SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – Despite winning only one of their first five games at Albert Park this season, the Sonoma Stompers offense burst out early Thursday night and an outstanding start from Vijay Patel paved the way to a 8-6 victory for the Stompers over the San Rafael Pacifics.
For the first time this season, Patel pitched through the end of the seventh inning, allowing just two runs on three hits and one walk, while striking out five.
“Me and Mitch [Ho] got on the same page early and just kind of cruised from there,” Patel said. “Defense, offense. These guys show out every single time I’ve pitched, so it’s a lot of fun to be out there.”
The offense gave him early support in big ways over the first four innings. A double from Ho in the second scored Marcus Bradley, then hits from Miles Williams, Kenny Meimerstorf and Kevin Farley drove home two runs in the third.
With Sonoma already up three runs, Williams doubled his team’s lead in the fourth with a three-run home run, his 20th of the season. That home run set the Sonoma Stompers single-season home run record, breaking the previous mark of 19, which had been set by Joel Carranza in 2014.
“In the past few weeks, I might have seen six or seven fastballs,” Williams said. “I was looking for a hanger and he threw a fastball low and away, just kind of put a good swing on it, put a good finish on it. I’m keeping everything as simple as possible.”
Daniel Baptista and Farley connected for back-to-back home runs in the top of the seventh, which proved to be the difference in the game. San Rafael tagged Sonoma’s bullpen for four runs over the final two innings to bring the score within two, but ultimately fell to the Stompers 8-6.
Now with four consecutive wins, the Stompers look for their second sweep of the Pacifics in 2018 Friday night, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.