Hayley M. Slye / Director of Media Relations
PITTSBURG, Calif.– Under the lights at Winter Chevrolet Stadium in Pittsburg, the Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, played with partial control of their own destiny. The fate of the 2017 Pacific Association season depended on the outcome of the Vallejo Admirals’ matchup with the San Rafael Pacifics a few cities away.
The Stompers defeated the Pittsburg Diamonds, molding a solid start from Scott Plaza into a 5-4 victory. Meanwhile, the Admirals littered the Pacifics with runs en route to a 12-5 victory–remaining tied with the Stompers at the top of the standings and solidifying plans for a Championship Game on Friday at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark.
Sonoma improves to 52-26, ending the regular season having set a Pacific Association record for wins in a season.
“From day one we stuck with our strengths, we know what type of team we are,” Miyoshi said. “All the credit goes to the team. I just want to thank everybody.”
Plaza dazzled until being pulled in the sixth, allowing the Diamonds’ first hit of the game in the fourth. A shower of singles in the third scored two to bolster Plaza’s effort.
“I had the ball at the end of the first half when we clinched in Pittsburg, I had it again tonight and I had it in college (at Division III University of Wisconsin Whitewater) when we won the National Championship,” Plaza said. “That’s what you dream of.”
Solid defense punctuated the game, with Yuki Yasuda and Derrick Fox making long throws to hold up a streak of 11 batters in a row retired. After the Stompers added a run in the top of the sixth, the Diamonds tied it up in the bottom of the frame.
The Stompers regained the lead in the seventh, ignited by a Brennan Metzger double. RBI singles from Yasuda and Matt LoCoco followed, putting Sonoma up 5-3.
“When your defense makes plays like that, it gives you a lot of confidence to keep throwing strikes because you feel like no matter where it’s hit, it’s going to be an out,” Plaza said. “Knowing that we have the best offense in the league, they’re going to give me support even if I do give up three in one inning, they bounce back right away."
Plaza responded by recording two strikeouts in the bottom of the frame for his fifth 1-2-3 inning of the game. He pitched seven strong, striking out seven and allowing three runs on just four hits.
All but two Stompers recorded a hit on Thursday while Yasuda and Scott David recorded two. Catcher Daniel Comstock also drove in two runs. On the Diamonds side, Vinny Guglietti broke the Pacific Association record for hits in a season.
Starter Ty’Relle Harris will take the mound for Sonoma at 7:05 p.m. at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field on Friday. His last time out, Harris pitched five and one third strong innings and picked up the win against Vallejo.
Tickets for the Championship Game and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.