SONOMA, Calif- The Sonoma Stompers welcomed the second place San Rafael Pacifics to Palooza Park at Arnold Field on Wednesday night. After a close game early on, San Rafael started to run away. Brent Gillespie’s big 3-run home run in the 9th made it a 1-run game but the Stompers could not come all the way back.
San Rafael collected 4 hits in the bottom of the 1st inning off Stompers right-hander Nick Barnese(4-1), the big one a 2-run double off the bat of Axel Johnson to give the Pacifics a 2-0 lead.
After 2 quick outs in the bottom of the 1st inning, Chris Kwitzer drew a walk, setting the table for Brent Gillespie’s monster triple to straight-away centerfield, putting the Stompers on the board. Miles Williams followed with a single to tie the game 2-2 after 1 inning.
San Rafael regained the lead in the top of the 3rd inning on a Yeiler Peguero solo shot to right to make it 3-2.
The Pacifics tacked on 2 more runs in the top of the 4th inning on a Mike Annone 2-run home run the other way, extending the San Rafael lead 5-2.
Barnese exited the game after 5 innings, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6.
Willie Ethington (3-0) was first out of the bullpen for Zack Pace but he did not last long. Ethington allowed 4 hits but the defense collapsed, committing 2 errors on the way to a 4-run San Rafael 6th, growing the lead 9-2.
The Stompers answered in the bottom half of the inning, scoring 3 runs with help from a wild pitch, an error, and a Rob DeAngelis RBI groundout to inch the Stompers closer, 9-5.
San Rafael added 2 more runs in the top of the 7th inning on a Jacob Columbo 2-run single, putting the Stomper deficit at 11-5.
Kwitzer led off the bottom of the 7thinning with a walk and Miles Williams launched his 9th home run of the season, to bring the Stompers closer 11-7.
Jailen Peguero, the San Rafael closer, entered the game for the bottom of the 9th inning just one day after allowing the walk off home run to Napa’s Nicco Toni.
Peguero struck out Nick Gotta to open the inning but allowed back-to-back singles to Matt Hibbert and Kwitzer to breathe some air back into the Stompers balloon. On a 1-2 count, Gillespie annihilated a 3-run homer to right-center field to bring the Stompers within 1, 11-10. Williams walked to put the tying run on base but back-to-back strikeouts ended the Stompers threat as they fell 1 run short.
The Stompers are home again on Thursday night against the Napa Silverados at 6:05 at Palooza Park at Arnold Field.