SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers last regular season home game of the season began with a helicopter flyover and ended with the team ascending into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Association standings.
Presented by Virginia Dare Winery, the Stompers ended their regular season schedule at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark in dramatic fashion with a 6-5 victory over the Vallejo Admirals. The two teams have been hovering around first place for most of the second half of the season, taking the lead in tandem.
“We’re just going to take it one game at a time and keep playing hard,” said manager Takashi Miyoshi. “Mistakes happen, but we just have to pick each other up. Tonight, we trusted each other. From day one, this team has been great.”
In the eighth with one out, Vallejo reliever Tim Holmes loaded the bases with Stompers. His replacement, Andin Diaz struck out two but yielded two runs on a pair of wild pitches to give Sonoma a two-run lead.
Facing the heart of the Admirals lineup, Cox came in to pitch the top of the ninth and gave up a home run to Tillman Pugh. It was Pugh’s second home run of the game and third in two days. A couple of batters later, a slick double play ended the game.
Sonoma starter Scott Plaza went four innings and allowed two earned runs, solo shots of the bats of Pugh and Shawn Payne and Pugh. Pugh and Payne also hit a pair of home runs on Saturday.
“I respect Vallejo. Their players are playing really great baseball,” Miyoshi said. “Compared to the first half, they just upgraded the team. We just really have to keep up.”
Early in the game, the Stompers took advantage of Admirals errors with timely singles, but four runs wouldn’t hold up. In the seventh, the Admirals scored on an error and walked in a run to tie the game.
Brennan Metzger dazzled on Sunday, taking a three-run home run from Chris Fornaci with a leaping catch in left. On offense, Metzger drove in a third of the Stompers’ runs. Daniel Baptista and Derrick Fox both went 2 for 3 on the night. Fox was one third of the double play that ended the game and drove in one run.
The Stompers have just nine road games left to secure the second-half title and become the outright 2017 Pacific Association champions. The team returns to action Tuesday against the San Rafael Pacifics at Albert Park at 7:05 p.m.
“I just want to thank everyone that showed up to the ballpark this season and the Stompers family who work behind the game,” Miyoshi said. “An independent league team like this, without their support we wouldn’t exist.”
Tickets and merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. Tickets will also be available at the box office on game days, beginning 30 minutes prior to the game.
For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.