Napa used their creativity on the base paths in the top of the first inning to get on the board against Stompers right-hander Konner Arnold (5-3). Justin Byrd led off the game with a single and stole 2 bases, including home, on a lackadaisical throw back to the pitcher to put Napa up 1-0.
The Silverados scored once again in the top of the 2nd inning on a Jake Marshall broken bat single into left to score Jordan Garr and make it 2-0 Napa.
The Stompers finally got to the 6’ 7” Napa starter Sean Johnson (2-5) in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Gotta singled to lead off the inning. Johnson then hit Matt Hibbert and walked Chris Kwitzer to load the bases. Back-to-back strikeouts put the Stompers in a hole but Rob DeAngelis singled past a diving Montelongo at first base to bring home a pair of runs and tie the game 2-2. With men at the corners and 2 out, Johnson’s wild pitch allowed Kwitzer to score as the Stompers took a 3-2 lead.
Napa scored twice more in the top of the 5th inning after Byrd and Salas collected back-to-back singles to open the inning. Montelongo drove in a run with a single to tie the game and Nicco Toni put Napa ahead when he grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to give Napa a 4-3 lead.
Arnold pitched into the 6th inning but failed to record an out after loading the bases. He went 5 innings while allowing 5 runs, 4 earned, on 8 hits and struck out 5. Willie Ethington (3-0) was the first man out of the bullpen for Zack Pace.
Ethington did walk in a run to extend the Napa lead 5-3 in the top of the 6th inning. After getting 2 quick outs in the 7th, Ethington allowed back-to-back hits and an error by Kwitzer at third base allowed Napa to load the bases and forced Pace to make another change, going to the sidearm right-hander out of the pen.
Marshall Shill came on and got Jake Marshall to groundout to shortstop to end the inning without allowing another run.
Hibbert and Kwitzer notched back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the 7th inning against Napa reliever Andrew Fernandez before Brent Gillespie singled to bring home a run, bringing the Stompers within 1 run, 5-4.
Napa got the run back in the top of the 8th inning, stealing home for the second time in the game. This time, William Salas took advantage of the mental lapse by Ethan Gibbons (2-2) and Bronson Butcher to steal a run and go back up 6-4.
Kyle Chavez came in for Napa out of the bullpen in the bottom of the 8th inning to try and hold the lead. After a quick first out, he allowed a single to Bronson Butcher who then went to second base on a throwing error by Sean Jackson in centerfield. A walk to Rayson Romero put 2 men on for Gotta who singled down the left field line but Ultsch could not play the trick bounce as it got by him, allowing a run to score to make it 6-5 and allowing Romero to go to third and Gotta to go to second. Hibbert then singled softly into shallow right field to tie the game 6-6 and Gotta was thrown out at the plate trying to give the Stompers the lead.
Entering the 9th inning tied 6-6, Pace pulled out all the stops, bringing in closer Ryan Richardson (1-0) who struck out the side to send the game to the bottom of the 9th tied.
Rob Humes (2-3) the Napa closer then came on and got a quick strikeout to open the inning. DeAngelis worked a walk to put the winning run on base. Then, with Nick Kern at the plate, DeAngelis stole second and went to third on a throwing error by the catcher Marshall. With the winning run 90 feet away, Kern got the intentional pass to set up a potential double play. With runners at the corners and 1 out, Butcher struck out for the second out of the inning. It was up to Romero now to end the game or extend it. The right-handed batter worked an 8-pitch walk to load the bases for Gotta, the toughest man to retire in the Pacific Association, boasting a .545 on-base percentage. Gotta worked a 4-pitch walk to end the ball game, sending the home fans home happy, and giving the Stompers their first walk-off win of 2019.
The Stompers are back in action Friday night in San Rafael at 6:30. They enter the game with a 6.5 game lead over the Pacifics for 1st place.