STOMPERS CLINCH FIRST PLACE, TIE LEAGUE WINS RECORD

  Bronson Butcher drive in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Napa Silverados, August 28, 2018 in Napa, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Bronson Butcher drive in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Napa Silverados, August 28, 2018 in Napa, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

NAPA, Calif. – Now winners of 54 games in 2018, the Sonoma Stompers clinched first place in the Pacific Association regular season standings, while also tying the league’s record for wins in a season with their 13-4 victory over the Napa Silverados.

The game began as a pitcher’s duel, with neither team scoring in the first three innings. Innings four through six saw just four combined runs scored, but with time running out, the Stompers tied the game in the seventh and took control in the eighth.

Tyler Sharp delivered another good outing, striking out seven over five innings of two-run ball. He did not walk anyone and gave up just three hits.

Cole Watts and D.J. Sharabi followed him in the game, keeping the offense within reach.

Tim Henry drove in his first run as a Stomper on a sacrifice fly in the fourth but the hitters struggled to score runs until the seventh when walks to Rayson Romero and Marcus Bradley proved costly to the Silverados, as both later scored in the inning to tie the game.

Sonoma sent 15 batters to the plate in the eighth inning and scored nine runs on the power of an error, two hit batters, three hits and six walks.

The first nine batters in the inning reached base with Bronson Butcher giving the Stompers a 5-3 lead on a 2-RBI bases-loaded single. Romero was hit by a pitch to load the bases once more and the next three Stompers walked with the bases loaded to bring home three more runs.

Up five runs, 8-3, Brock Hartley punctuated the inning with a grand slam to increase the lead further. Sonoma loaded the bases again but held off scoring more until the ninth when the Stompers added their 13th run of the game.

Jacob Cox pitched the ninth inning, giving up a run but holding the end of of the game down for the 13-4 victory.

“I’m proud of these guys, they battled all the way through,” Stompers manager Zack Pace said. “They found a way to battle back like they always do. I was hoping we were going to score some runs there and we put up the nine-spot, I got to breath a little bit and relax a little bit.”

With first place clinched, the Stompers turn their attention to preparing for postseason play, which begins Saturday, Sept. 1.

EARLY RUNS HELP BREAK FRANCHISE WIN RECORD

  Brock Hartley scores in the second inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, August 26, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Brock Hartley scores in the second inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, August 26, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif. – The Sonoma Stompers rebounded quickly from their close loss Saturday, scoring early and holding their lead for nearly the entire game as they topped the Pittsburg Diamonds 7-5.

Vijay Patel pitched out of trouble in the first, then ran into trouble in the third when the Diamonds scored five runs. To preserve his arm for the final week of the regular season, Patel left the game after that third inning.

Before Pittsburg scored its five runs, the Stompers got the scoring started with five of their own, including singles from Kenny Meimerstorf and Daniel Baptista, then a two-run knock from Brock Hartley.

Rayson Romero went on to single in Hartley, Marcus Bradley drove in Bronson Butcher, who had been hit by a pitch and Kam Stewart doubled in Romero.

While five runs on five hits was not enough offense at first, the Stompers countered the Diamonds’ five-run inning with two more to take the lead on a two-run single off the bat of Butcher.

The two run lead held through the remainder of the game, as Jason Seever was the first out of the bullpen once Patel left, pitching the next three innings, allowing just one hit and retiring the final nine Diamonds he faced. Cole Watts and Ryan Richardson both pitched scoreless innings as well, preserving Sonoma’s two-run lead.

Jacob Cox entered the game in the ninth, saving his seventh straight game, eighth in August and 25th of the season. The win was Sonoma’s 53rd of the season, settling a franchise record for wins in a season, breaking the mark of 52 the team set in 2017.

After a Monday off, the Stompers enter the final week of the regular season before gearing up for the playoffs. They play their final road games of the season in Napa against the Silverados Tuesday and Wednesday, then welcome the San Rafael Pacifics to Palooza Park at Arnold Field for the last two games of the year.

STOMPERS DROP CLOSE CONTEST TO PACIFICS

  Kevin Farley makes a throw from third base in the Sonoma Stompers game against the San Rafael Pacifics, August 25, 2018 in San Rafael, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Kevin Farley makes a throw from third base in the Sonoma Stompers game against the San Rafael Pacifics, August 25, 2018 in San Rafael, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – With a chance to clinch the regular season title, the Sonoma Stompers fought all game long, but came up on the short end in the game with the San Rafael Pacifics Saturday night, losing 5-3.

While San Rafael scored a run in the first, Sonoma countered with two in the second on a two-run double from Brock Hartley that scored Daniel Baptista and Kevin Farley.

This, however, was the majority of the Stompers’ offense for the game. Sonoma was able to add on a run in the seventh when Rob DeAngelis singled in Marcus Bradley, but San Rafael was able to score in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings to keep their advantage.

Bradley was once again a bright spot at the top of the lineup, going 3-4 with a walk and stolen base, his 21st swiped bag of 2018.

DeAngelis and Hartley also had two hits each, while Bronson Butcher connected for his second late-inning pinch-hit single this week.

The Stompers return home Sunday afternoon to play the Pittsburg Diamonds for the final time this season. The 1:05 p.m. game will also be the team’s Military Appreciation Game.

STOMPERS RALLY LATE TO WIN TIE FRANCHISE WIN RECORD

  Rayson Romero (left) and Kenny Meimerstorf (right) smile after taking the lead in the eighth inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Vallejo Admirals, August 24, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Rayson Romero (left) and Kenny Meimerstorf (right) smile after taking the lead in the eighth inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Vallejo Admirals, August 24, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif. – Despite falling behind early, the Sonoma Stompers battled all game long Friday night, tying the contest in the seventh and taking their only lead of the game in the eighth to win the game 5-4.

The Vallejo Admirals struck for three runs in the first and Sonoma soon countered in the bottom half of the inning, scoring on a Vallejo error. Rayson Romero brought his team within one in the second, connecting for his first home run of the season, also his professional home run.

“I thought it was a matter of time,” Romero said. “It has been a pretty long season and to finally get the first home run off my back feels really good.”

Even though Vallejo scored in the fourth, Sonoma added a run in the fifth to stay within one run, again taking advantage of an Admiral error.

The tides turned in the seventh when Kam Stewart tied the game with a double that scored Marcus Bradley, the third of three runs Bradley scored in the game, also after his third of three walks.

“That is my job, to get on base,” Bradley said. “It just happened to be that they couldn’t find the zone against me. That’s all I’m trying to do, disrupt the game with my speed and let the big boppers behind me do their job and score me.

Looking to break the tie in the eighth, Niko Pacheco singled, then another error from Vallejo scored Kenny Meimerstorf to give the Stompers their first and only lead of the game.

After D.J. Sharabi, Jason Seever and Ryan Richardson combined for 3.1 innings of scoreless relief, Jacob Cox took the ball in the ninth and sent Vallejo packing to pick up his 24th save of 2018.

The Stompers travel to Albert Park Saturday evening for a 5:05 p.m. game against the San Rafael Pacifics. Should the Stompers win, they would not only break the franchise record for wins in a season, but they would also clinch the regular season title and ensure home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  

PACHECO HITS FIRST PRO HOMER AS STOMPERS ROUTE ADMIRALS

  Niko Pacheco rounds the bases after hitting his first processional home run in the third inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Vallejo Admirals, August 23, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Niko Pacheco rounds the bases after hitting his first processional home run in the third inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Vallejo Admirals, August 23, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif. – The Sonoma Stompers’ offense erupted early Thursday night, as the Vallejo Admirals could not come back from a five first inning and Sonoma went on to win 13-5.

The Stompers took advantage of two Admirals errors in the first inning, as Brock Hartley brought home the game’s first run on an E6, then scored on a wild pitch.

Ryan Cooper then went on to clear the bases with a double, plating three more runs and advancing to third on an E4, providing a large lead after just one inning.

Niko Pacheco continued the scoring in the third, responding to Vallejo’s four-run inning with his first professional home run, a two-run shot with no outs that scored Bronson Butcher.

“It’s been a long time coming, it felt really good,” Pacheco said. “I got a fastball out over the plate and put a good swing on it and it flew over the fence.”

Sonoma didn’t stop there, sending 10 batters to the plate in the sixth, plating six runs and once again taking advantage of a Vallejo error.

Marcus Bradley singled home Cooper and Rayson Romero, then came around on a single from Hartley. Kevin Farley dashed home on a wild pitch and Butcher singled in two and advanced to second on an E3.

This lead was more than enough for Ethan Gibbons, who pitched six innings, allowing just two earned runs with three strikeouts.

Jason Seever, Cole Watts and Josepeh Broderick combined for three scoreless innings out of the bullpen with three strikeouts to keep Vallejo off the board for the remainder of the game.

Now 51-22, the Stompers now look to jump to 30 games above .500 and tie the franchise record for wins in a season of 52, which they set in 2017. The Admirals will play in Sonoma again Friday at 6:05 p.m.

STOMPERS SCORE IN NINTH TO WIN 50TH GAME OF 2018

  Kam Stewart drives in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, August 22, 2018 in Pittsburg, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Kam Stewart drives in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, August 22, 2018 in Pittsburg, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

PITTSBURG, Calif. – After scoring two runs in the first, the bats of the Sonoma Stompers lineup went quiet until the ninth, when they came alive to score the team’s third run of the game and push Sonoma to 3-2 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds.

Kevin Farley doubled down the right field line with two outs in the first inning to give the Stompers an early 2-0 lead that took the Diamonds six innings to counter.

From the first inning through the seventh, Juan Espinosa dominated Pittsburg hitters, allowing just five hits and two runs on a walk and three strikeouts in another solid start.

“The first inning was a little slower than most,” Espinosa admitted. “We started going after that, started getting ground balls from our defense and getting good plays from the outfield so it just kept going.”

D.J. Sharabi pitched a perfect eighth inning to keep Sonoma tied with Pittsburg heading into the ninth, where Bronson Butcher delivered a pinch-hit single and came around to score when Kam Stewart beat out a potential double play ball at first.

“I had a feeling he was going to come slider and he did,” Stewart said. “I got enough wood on it to be able to beat that double play out to get that run in.”

Pittsburg created trouble for Jacob Cox in the ninth, but the Stompers’ closer held on to pick up his 23rd save of 2018.

Now winners of 50 games in 2018, the Stompers return home for two games against the Vallejo Admirals, at 6:05 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

MEIMERSTORF'S FIVE RBI'S POWER STOMPERS TO 7-5 WIN

  Kenny Meimerstorf singles in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, August 21, 2018 in Pittsburg, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Kenny Meimerstorf singles in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, August 21, 2018 in Pittsburg, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

PITTSBURG, Calif. – While the Pittsburg Diamonds had a counter for everything early on, the Sonoma Stompers pulled away with a 7-5 victory Tuesday night, behind a five-RBI performance from Kenny Meimerstorf.

Meimerstorf kicked off the scoring with a three-run home run in the first inning, his 23rd of the year, and put the Stompers ahead in the sixth with a two-run single, finishing 2-4 on the day with five runs batted in and a walk.

Meimerstorf now leads the Pacific Association in runs batted in with 73.

The top of the order accounted for much of the team’s success, recording four of Sonoma’s seven hits and combining to walk seven times.

After the Stompers and Diamonds traded runs over the first two innings, Pittsburg took the lead in the bottom half of the third, but Sonoma answered nearly immediately when Kam Stewart led off the top of the fourth with a solo home run, his 12th home run of the season.

Stewart finished 1-3 on the day with two walks and three runs scored.

The Stompers drew 11 walks in the game, including three from each Rob DeAngelis and Rayson Romero.

While Vijay Patel struggled in the first three innings, he found a groove in the fourth, not allowing any runs over the final 2.2 innings he pitched.

Once Patel left the game, Jason Seever, Ryan Richardson and Jacob Cox combined for 3.1 hitless and scoreless innings to hold down the victory for Sonoma.

Cox pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure his 22nd save of the season.

Now 10-4 against Pittsburg this year and 49-22 on the season, the Stompers look for their 50th win of 2018 Wednesday night at 6 p.m. in Pittsburg against the Diamonds.  

LATE OFFENSE NOT ENOUGH AS STOMPERS DROP TOUGH GAME TO THE CLIPPERS

  Kam Stewart makes a throw from short in the Sonoma Stompers game against the Martinez Clippers, August 19, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Kam Stewart makes a throw from short in the Sonoma Stompers game against the Martinez Clippers, August 19, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

(Justin Cox / Stompers Media Intern)

SONOMA, Calif. – Despite late excitement, the Sonoma Stompers dropped a 6-4 decision to the Martinez Clippers Sunday afternoon. The loss brought both a five game winning streak and an 11 game home winning streak to a close.

The Clippers struck early with a run in the first and four in the second off Stompers Kenny Matthews. Matthews finished his day after six innings allowing six runs off five hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

Sonoma did find some offense in Brock Hartley with a 3-4 day including a fourth inning double to score Rob DeAngelis and a two run home run in the sixth.

The bullpen kept the game close for the Stompers in the later innings, with D.J. Sharabi throwing two innings of scoreless relief in his 31st appearance of the season to tie the single season appearance record for the Stompers, with Mike Jackson Jr. and Yuki Sakama, who both pitched 31 games in 2014.

The win did come with some stress for the Clippers, as the Stompers drew four walks in the bottom of the ninth to bring the game a run closer, to the eventual 6-4 final.

The Stompers will look to rebound Tuesday in Pittsburg, as they take on the Diamonds at 6:05 p.m. from Winter Chevrolet Stadium.

STOMPERS EDGE OUT CLIPPERS IN CLOSE CONTEST

  Kenny Meimerstorf rounds third base to score in the second inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Martinez Clippers, August 18, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Kenny Meimerstorf rounds third base to score in the second inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Martinez Clippers, August 18, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif. – While the score was closer than games past, the Sonoma Stompers did not stop their roll, scoring early and holding off the Martinez Clippers all game long in a 5-4 win Saturday night.

Kevin Farley kicked off the scoring in the second with an RBI single that brought home Kenny Meimerstorf. Farley wasn’t left out on the bases long though, ass Brock Hartley brought him home minutes late with a two-run homer that put Sonoma up 3-0.

“I was battling 2-2 and thankfully he threw me a nice little looping curveball on the outside corner where I could poke it over,” Hartley said.

Meimerstorf singled in Marcus Bradley in the third and Rob DeAngelis drove home Rayson Romero in the fifth, punctuating the Stomper offense for the evening.

Tyler Sharp was once again excellent for Sonoma, pitching 5.2 innings with just two runs and two hits allowed, while striking out five Clipper batters.

Jason Seever followed Sharp with 1.1 scoreless innings, then Ryan Richardson continued his trend of success, pitching a perfect eighth inning to bridge the gap to Jacob Cox.

“I’m just getting ahead in the count and letting my defense do the work and trying to get out of there as quick as possible,” Richardson said.

Martinez brought the score within one, but Cox closed the door for his league-leading 21st save of the season, helping the Stompers improve to 48-21.

These two teams see each other for the last time in 2018 Sunday afternoon, with a 1:05 p.m. start as Sonoma ends its four-game homestand.

STOMPERS EXTEND STREAK WITH WIN OVER DIAMONDS

  Kam Stewart follows through on his three-run home run in the second inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, August 17, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Kam Stewart follows through on his three-run home run in the second inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, August 17, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif. – Winners of now four straight, 10 in a row at home, the Sonoma Stompers continued their success in 2018 with an 8-2 win over the Pittsburg Diamonds.

Kam Stewart led the way offensively, going 2-2 with a single, home run and three walks. He drove in three runs and scored three as well in the process.

“I got some good pitches and one left the yard for me,” Stewart said. “You get a big blast and you come back into the dugout with these guys and they’re all hoorahing for you and it lifts you up.”

Stewart is now hitting .440 in August and has now only recorded two hits in each of his last four games, but reached base in 35 straight.

Rayson Romero and Marcus Bradley also played key roles, as each had a single and walk with two runs scored.

The Stompers scored two in the first on a wild pitch and Daniel Baptista single, added three in the second on Stewart’s home run and one in the third on Kenny Meimerstorf’s 22nd home run of the season.

Ethan Gibbons delivered another strong start for the orange and navy, throwing six innings of two-run ball to keep the Stompers in the game.

With the Stompers up six runs, the bullpen took over in the seventh and D.J. Sharabi, Cole Watts and Joseph Broderick combined for three scoreless innings with five strikeouts.

Now 26 games above .500, the Stompers welcome the last place Martinez Clippers to town, who like the Stompers, have won four straight games. Saturday's contest starts at 6:05 p.m. and Sunday’s game will begin at 1:05 p.m.