STOMPERS SCORE IN NINTH TO WIN 50TH GAME OF 2018

  Kam Stewart drives in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, August 22, 2018 in Pittsburg, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Kam Stewart drives in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, August 22, 2018 in Pittsburg, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

PITTSBURG, Calif. – After scoring two runs in the first, the bats of the Sonoma Stompers lineup went quiet until the ninth, when they came alive to score the team’s third run of the game and push Sonoma to 3-2 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds.

Kevin Farley doubled down the right field line with two outs in the first inning to give the Stompers an early 2-0 lead that took the Diamonds six innings to counter.

From the first inning through the seventh, Juan Espinosa dominated Pittsburg hitters, allowing just five hits and two runs on a walk and three strikeouts in another solid start.

“The first inning was a little slower than most,” Espinosa admitted. “We started going after that, started getting ground balls from our defense and getting good plays from the outfield so it just kept going.”

D.J. Sharabi pitched a perfect eighth inning to keep Sonoma tied with Pittsburg heading into the ninth, where Bronson Butcher delivered a pinch-hit single and came around to score when Kam Stewart beat out a potential double play ball at first.

“I had a feeling he was going to come slider and he did,” Stewart said. “I got enough wood on it to be able to beat that double play out to get that run in.”

Pittsburg created trouble for Jacob Cox in the ninth, but the Stompers’ closer held on to pick up his 23rd save of 2018.

Now winners of 50 games in 2018, the Stompers return home for two games against the Vallejo Admirals, at 6:05 p.m. Thursday and Friday.