SONOMA, Calif- The first place Sonoma Stompers went toe-to-toe with second place San Rafael on Tuesday night and early runs proved to be the difference.
After Stompers pitcher Henry Omana was called up on Tuesday, new starter Joseph Broderick (1-0) made the trip up to Palooza Park at Arnold Field, a place he called home in 2018, to start on the hill for Manager Zack Pace.
Broderick got a rude awakening to the Pacific Association in 2019 as Raul Navarro homered on the first pitch of the game to give San Rafael an early 1-0 lead. Broderick went on to retire the next 7 hitters in a row.
The Stompers responded in the bottom of the 1st inning when Nick Gotta worked his league-leading 36thwalk of the season against San Rafael right-hander Chip White (2-2). Miles Williams singled and Rob DeAngelis walked to load the bases for Dondrei Hubbard who flied out to right field, but not deep enough to score the run.Brent Gillespie drove in a run when he reached on a fielder’s choice to drive in Gotta and tie the game 1-1.
After a pair of walks in the bottom of the 2nd inning put 2 men on, Williams mashed his 4th home run of the season over the scoreboard in left-center field to give the Stompers a 4-1 lead which they would not give back.
The offense continued in the bottom of the 3rd inning, this time all with 2 outs. Pedro Barrios walked and Bronson Butcher singled to put 2 men on. Rayson Romero then collected his first RBI of the season on a double down the left field line to score Barrios and increase the lead 5-1. Still with 2 out, Gotta looped a 2-run double down the left field line to make it 7-1 after 3 innings.
San Rafael got one more in the top of the 6thinning on Navarro’s 2nd home run of the game to make the score 7-2.
In the top of the 7th Broderick allowed 2 more runs when Navarro laced a single into right-center, inching San Rafael even closer 7-4.
In his first start with the club in 2019, Broderick lasted 7 innings while allowing 4 runs on 9 hits and striking out 7, well on his way to a win.
Leedholm got Lunardelli to strikeout, Escobar to pop out, and Annone to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning without allowing a run.
The Stompers tacked on one more in the last of the 8thinning on a Gotta RBI single to score Romero and send the game to the 9th 8-4.
Ryan Richardson came on in a non-save situation and stuck out the side to end the ballgame and give the Stompers a record of 20-7.
The Stompers are back home Wednesday night against the Salina Stockade. It’s Wine Night and tickets are going fast. Purchase yours at stompersbaseball.com.