Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
With so many different scenarios leading into the final weekend of the season, the Stompers quest to host the Pacific Association championship game on Monday has run into some measure of trouble. With only four games remaining, the Stompers had a half game lead over the San Rafael Pacifics for the best overall record, which determines who hosts the title game.
Needing a combination of four Stomper victories and/or Pacific losses, Sonoma came through on their end with an 8-6 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds on Thursday, ending their final home series in 2015 with a series win.
Sonoma (18-18 2nd half, 44-29 overall) bounced back after their tough loss on Wednesday with a patient approach against Devon Ramirez (0-1), who made his team debut with the Diamonds and was all over the place. By the time he came out of the game in the fifth, Ramirez walked 10 batters in all, the highest total the Stompers have coerced out of a starter all season long.
The Stompers only had seven hits in the game, but none bigger than the first hit as a Stomper for newcomer Keith Kandal. With the Stompers leading 4-2 in the inning after a run came home on a wild pitch, Kandal rocked one to left field for a three-run homer to put the Stompers ahead for good.
Sonoma got a great start from Dylan Stoops (2-1), who pitched seven strong innings while scattering 10 hits, with a few hits getting through thanks to bad hops and the setting sun at Arnold Field. Outside of those hits, Stoops settled down after a tough first couple innings and got a duo of double play balls to get out of some jams. His first start of the year helped cut the Stompers magic number down to 3.
Both Yuki Yasuda and Kristian Gayday drew three walks, with Parker drawing two. Chad Bunting had a two-hit night, the only multi-hit effort for the Stompers on the evening.
Now the scene shifts to Albert Park on Friday, as the Stompers visit the Pacifics with home field advantage in the title game on the line. First pitch is set for 7:05 with the radio broadcast beginning at 6:50 on StompersBaseball.com and the TuneIn mobile app.