SONOMA, Calif- The Sonoma Stompers brought the bats to the yard on Saturday night when they homered 5 different times to blow out the Stockade for the second time in 3 games.
Nick Gotta opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, homering off of Salina’s Phil Rowland (0-4), to give the Stompers and early 1-0 lead. Pedro Barrios singled and later scored on a Chris Kwitzer RBI hit to extend the lead 2-0.
The offense blew the game wide open in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Nick Kern led off the inning with a solo home run, his 3rd of the season, to straight away left, upping the score to 3-0. Matt Hibbert was drilled, Bronson Butcher walked, and Rayson Romero reached on an error to load the bases with nobody out. Gotta walked to drive in a run to make it 4-0. Barrios blew the game open with his first grand slam of the season, his 3rd home run overall, extending the lead to 8-0. Rob DeAngelis immediately reached on catcher’s interference by Eric Kozak and later score on a Miles Williams RBI groundout which capped off the 7-run 2nd inning, putting the Stompers way out in front 9-0.
Rowland lasted just 1 inning, allowing 9 runs, 7 earned on 6 hits.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning, against new Salina pitcher Jordan Young, the offense stayed hot. Romero doubled to right field to open the inning and with 1 out Barrios drove him in with an RBI single. After DeAngelis singled he stole second and Kozak threw the ball into center field, allowing Barrios to score and DeAngelis to go to third base as they Stompers now led 11-0. Williams joined the fun with a laser 2-run homer to center field, giving the Stompers a massive 13-0 lead.
Salina struggled against Stompers starter Pat Barnett (1-0) in his first start of the season. Zane Gelphman finally got the Stockade on the board in the top of the 4th inning with his 15th home run of the season, making it 13-1.
With Aaron Sheaks on the mound now for Salina, the Stompers took advantage of the position player on the hill. Gotta singled to open the bottom of the 5th inning and he scored on Barrios’ RBI double, his 6th RBI of the game, making it 14-1. DeAngelis walked to put 2 men on base for Jacob Barfield who pinch-hit for Chris Kwitzer. Barfield emphatically homered on the first pitch he saw, a 3-run blast to left for his 16th bomb of the season to add to the monstrous lead, 17-1.
Barnett tossed 6 innings, allowing just the 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 3. Well on his way to his first win of the season.
Willie Ethington (4-0) tossed a clean 7th and Ethan Gibbons (2-3) then came on to pitch. Gibbons allowed a 2-run homer to Gelphman in the top of the 8thinning but those runs were the only ones he allowed as he closed out the 17-3 Stompers victory.
With Vallejo beating San Rafael, the Stompers magic number to clinch 1st place in the Pacific Association is now just 3 with 12 games left to play. The Stompers hit the road for a Sunday afternoon game with the Admirals next.