TOPOOZIAN DAZZLES AS STOMPERS BEAT J.P. HOWELL AND PACIFICS

 (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – After falling to the Martinez Clippers Friday night, the Sonoma Stompers rebounded quickly, scoring first against the San Rafael Pacifics and holding the lead through the rest of the game in their 5-3 victory Saturday evening.

In his fourth start of 2018, Dominic Topoozian continued his successful season, throwing seven shutout innings to go along with seven strikeouts. Topoozian only allowed five hits and just one walk in his league-leading third win of the season.

“Today, my changeup really stood out for me, keeping the hitters off balance,” he said. “I’ve always been a good command guy, my thing is first pitch strikes, get the leadoff man out and have 15 pitches or less in an inning and as long as I’m doing those three things, the day is going to go by quick.”

Topoozian averaged 14 pitches an inning over his outing and in a stretch from the second to sixth innings, retired 13 straight Pacifics hitters. The right-hander was also backed with early run support when the Stompers scored four runs in the third inning.

Facing former Major League veteran J.P. Howell for the second time in eight days, Sonoma erupted for four hits in the inning, with Kenny Meimerstorf’s second grand slam in a week breaking what was at the time a 0-0 tie. For the Stompers left fielder, it was his second hit of the season off of Howell.

“I tried to just put a good swing on it and it went out, I was super pumped,” Meimerstof said. “It feels pretty cool to have a couple of hits off of an ex-big leaguer.”

Daniel Baptista’s fifth-inning solo home run, his second of the season the lead to a 5-0 score that stuck until the ninth inning.

D.J. Sharabi pitched a scoreless eighth inning, then after Vijay Patel allowed three runs in the bottom of the ninth, Jacob Cox induced a ground ball for the final out to earn his sixth save of the season.

The Stompers travel to Pittsburg Sunday afternoon for a 1:00 p.m. Father’s Day game against the Diamonds.