Grand Slam Lifts Sonoma Stompers Over San Rafael Pacifics in 10-5 Victory

 Joel Carranza (left) hit a grand slam in Wednesday's 10-5 victory over the San Rafael Pacifics at Albert Park. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Joel Carranza (left) hit a grand slam in Wednesday's 10-5 victory over the San Rafael Pacifics at Albert Park. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.– A seven-run rogue wave in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 10-5 victory over the San Rafael Pacifics kept the Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, afloat at Albert Park.

“We’re confident in the seventh, eighth, ninth innings that we’re going to battle, we’re going to get guys on base and we’re going to score,” said center fielder Matt Hibbert. “I think just knowing that we’ve done it before just gives us that confidence that we can do it again.”

Sonoma starter Erik Gonsalves did not allow an earned run until the seventh, when San Rafael sailed through a 3-1 Stompers lead. Trailing by two runs, Sonoma answered back with five hits, including a grand slam off the bat of Joel Carranza.

“It feels great to put your team ahead and help your team win. Now, in crunch time, with (the Vallejo Admirals) doing as good as they are, and us doing as good as we are, it’s a big thing to do,” Carranza said.

Earlier this season, Carranza broke the league record for career home runs at Albert Park. His shot on Wednesday was his 13th of the year.

Hibbert was also an offensive force Wednesday, going 4 for 6 and crossing the plate twice and driving in a run.

“We just want to apply pressure in any way. It can come by a hit, it can come by me walking or getting on base somehow, some way. But once I’m on, I feel confident that I can get over to second base and find a way to score,” Hibbert said.

Brennan Metzger and Daniel Baptista also continued to deliver for Sonoma, going 2 for 4 with to RBIs and 1 for 3 with two walks and two runs, respectively.

Through his first six innings, Gonsalves allowed no earned runs, issued no walks and gave up just three hits.

“He’s a veteran. He knows what he can do and what he can’t, and he knows how to go out there and do what he can to the best of his ability,” Carranza said.

Together in relief, newcomer Logan Gillaspie and 2017 stalwart Zach Wendorf allowed no runs.

With the Admirals also taking victory on Wednesday, the two teams remain tied at the top of the Pacific Association standings. The Stompers play the series-deciding game against the Pacifics on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. before heading to Vallejo for a three-game set beginning Friday.

“We control our own destiny,” Hibbert said. “We’re focused on what we have to do, not looking elsewhere.”

Tickets for a possible championship game at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field and Stompers merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email