Theo Fightmaster, General Manager
Joel Carranza, a charter member of the Sonoma Stompers who was promoted in July after a sensational start to his 2015 Pacific Association season, helped lead the Trois-Rivieres Aigles to the franchise’s first CanAm League Championship. Trois-Rivieres topped the New Jersey Jackals 2-1 in the decisive Game 5 of the CanAm League Championship Series on Sunday in New Jersey.
Carranza went 0 for 4 in the deciding game, but proved to be key acquisition for the Aigiles down the stretch. The Pembrooke Pines, Florida native hit .260 in 38 games (including 10 post season contests), with five home runs five doubles, 20 runs batted in, and an OPS of .795.
Carranza, 27, had been one of the most prolific offensive players in the Pacific Association since his arrival in 2014 – the Stompers’ inaugural season. After setting the league’s single-season home run record in 2014 with 19 dingers, Carranza put together one of the best all-around seasons from any player in the league in 2015, hitting .358/.406/.575 with 10 home runs, nine doubles, 39 RBI and 36 runs scored. Carranza was an integral part of the Stompers first-half championship team that went 26-11, clinching the first half title by 7 ½ games.
In Sunday’s action, the Aigles took the lead in the top of the fourth inning as they broke the scoreless tie with a Kyle Lafrenz sacrifice fly.
Trois-Rivieres added to that lead in the fifth inning when Javier Herrera singled to plate Eric Grabe who had singled to lead off the inning.
The Jackals scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. There, CF Dvontrey Richardson reached on an error and moved to second on a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat. Richardson moved to third when Tim Quinn drew a walk and scored when Peter Mooney lifted a sac fly to center field.
But the Aigles’ pitching staff made sure that was the only damage done on the night. Starting pitcher Mike Bradstreet earned the Game 5 win for working 7 2/3 innings and allowing just the one unearned run on seven hits. He walked just one batter and struck out five. Reliever Scott Kuzminsky took over in the bottom of the eighth and recorded a four-out save to seal the win.
Offensively for the Aigles, Pedro Lopez was the only player to have more than one hit in the game as he went 2 for 5. For the Jackals, both LF Matt Helms and Quinn had two-hit games.
The Stompers are planning for their 2016 season, as the league hopes to have a schedule out by 2016. Season ticket and sponsorship packages are available now. For inquiries, call 707.938.7277.