Sonoma Stompers Fall Short in 6-2 Loss to Pittsburg Diamonds Despite Stellar Defense, Bullpen

 Sonoma Stompers outfielders Matt Hibbert (pictured) and Matt LoCoco combined to make the outfield a no-fly zone through most of Tuesday night's 6-2 loss to the Pittsburg Diamonds at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Sonoma Stompers outfielders Matt Hibbert (pictured) and Matt LoCoco combined to make the outfield a no-fly zone through most of Tuesday night's 6-2 loss to the Pittsburg Diamonds at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Hayley M. Slye / Media Relations

SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, fell short of overcoming a four-run deficit in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to the Pittsburg Diamonds.

Sonoma starter Taylor Thurber allowed three runs through six, but the Stompers managed just four hits off of the Diamonds’ Tyler Stirewalt. Stirewalt struck out seven in six innings of work.

"We beat ourselves. I don't think we get beat very often," said designated hitter Joel Carranza. "We left a lot of men on base today and if you don't hit the ball, you're not going to win."

Despite a dearth of hits, the Stompers compiled nine walks on the night. While Sonoma’s offense came primarily from walks, the Diamonds used the long ball. Four of Pittsburg’s six runs came on hits that went over the fence.

Sonoma mounted two bases-loaded threats in the later innings. In the sixth, the Stompers strung together three straight walks but did not bring any of them around to score. In the seventh, a walk sent Derrick Fox home to score.

"When the hits don't work, you've got to try something else," Carranza said. 

The game was punctuated by solid defense from Matt LoCoco and Matt Hibbert in the outfield. The two declared the outfield a no-fly zone as LoCoco laid out to make a graceful diving catch, his second spectacular grab in his last few games.

"I feel like we have the best outfield in the league. Nothing drops," Carranza said. "It's fun, because it makes our pitchers a lot more comfortable.  

Stacy Piagno entered the game for the top of the ninth, pitching a scoreless frame and striking out Pittsburg’s Wes Wallace. Zach Wendorf also pitched a scoreless inning in relief.

"Zach has been really good out of the bullpen lately. He's been just getting the job done, doing what he has to do. We're really pleased with how he's been doing," Carranza said. "And Stacy, she comes out and does her thing. It's always fun to watch her."

The Stompers still lead the Pacific Association, but drop to 35-15 while the Diamonds improve to 27-25 at third place.

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