SONOMA, Calif- The Sonoma Stompers played the second-longest 9-inning game in franchise history on Friday night in their four hours and nine minute win over the Salina Stockade 17-12.
Ethan Gibbons (0-1) got the start on the mound for Manager Zack Pace but he did not look right out of the gate. Gibbons allowed a leadoff home run to Justin Byrd, quickly putting the Stockade up 1-0. He surrendered 2 more runs in the top of the first on a Kyle Ulanday 2-run single and just like that Salina led 3-0.
They got to Gibbons again in the top of the second inning on another leadoff home run, this one by Zane Gelphman, and a pair of RBI singles, doubling the lead 6-0.
Now in a hole, the Stompers would try to do what they had done twice already in this home stand, score a dozen runs.
The Stompers answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the second inning on a Brock Hartley RBI groundout and with some help on a wild pitch by Andrew Merken, cutting into the deficit 6-2.
Things started to get out of hand for Salina in the bottom of the third inning. Dondrei Hubbard was hit by a pitch to open the inning and then Chris Kwitzer followed with a single. Miles Williams walked to load the bases.
On a 1-2 count to Brock Hartley, the big outfielder fouled a ball down the left field line but his right knee buckled underneath him. Hartley had to be carried off the field and taken for further evaluation. Rob DeAngelis took his spot in the lineup.
A wild pitch brought Hubbard home, making it 6-3. DeAngelis worked a walk to load the bases once again. After a Jacob Barfield strikeout for the first out, Bronson Butcher hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Kwitzer, bringing the score to 6-4. Rayson Romero drew a walk to load the bases once more and Nick Gotta drove in a run on a walk, putting the Stompers within one, 6-5. With the bases loaded still, Pedro Barrios delivered a 2-run single up the middle, giving the Stompers a 7-6 lead in just the bottom of the third inning, but they were not done. with runners at the corners Hubbard walked and was on base for the second time in the inning. Kwitzer then grounded to short for an infield single, driving in a run, but the wild throw to first allowed 2 more runs to score in the error, capping off an 8-run bottom of the third with the Stompers now leading 10-6.
The Stompers added 2 more in the bottom the fourth inning on a Butcher 2-run single up the middle, extending the lead to 12-6.
In the top of the fifth inning, Salina scored 3 times on an RBI single by Omar Artsen, and RBI double from Chuck Rocker, and an RBI groundout by Byrd to cut into the Stompers lead, 12-9.
Williams led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a walk and he later came around to score on a wild pitch, increasing the lead to 13-9. Barrios’ 3-run triple to center and Hubbard’s RBI single both extended the lead to 17-9 after five innings of play.
Salina scored twice more in the top of the seventh and once in the top of the eighth but that was all as the Stompers win 17-12 in a rollercoaster battle after being down 6-0 after the first inning and a half.
The Stompers have an off day on Saturday before returning to the field in Vallejo on Sunday for a 1:05 start against the Admirals.