Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
It wasn't a one-hitter, but at the same time, it was another win that fit the billing of the Sonoma Stompers during their improbable run to start the 2015 season.
Hit, hit again, hit some more.
Led by player-manager Fehlandt Lentini's four-hit night, all nine Stompers recorded at least one hit and the team tied a franchise record with 17 hits as they held off a couple of rallies by the Pittsburg Diamonds in a 14-9 victory at City Park in Pittsburg Wednesday evening.
Sonoma (11-1) has had the most potent offense in the Pacific Association over the first two-plus weeks, and even with Pittsburg's (4-10) offense up for the challenge against Stompers starter Eric Schwieger (2-0), the Diamonds were just no match for a lineup that came into Wednesday's game featuring seven starters with a .750 OPS or better.
Whether it was with contact, power or plate discipline, the Stompers got a little bit of everything up and down the order. Lentini's contact approach as the team's leadoff man led to his best game as a Stomper, as he reached base five times in seven plate appearances. Gered Mochizuki also added three hits.
For power, it was Joel Carranza's two-run homer in the third inning and an RBI triple from Mark Hurley that put the Diamonds on their heels. Isaac Wenrich's leadoff double in the fifth began the biggest inning of the game for Sonoma, as a five-run rally brought all nine batters to the plate and put Sonoma up for good. Sonoma sent all nine batters to the plate in the seventh, as well.
Yet it was the plate discipline that was most impressive on Wednesday night, as up and down the lineup, seven of the team's nine starters drew at least one walk, with Danny Baptista drawing two while also going three-for-four.
It's the type of attack that shows off just how well-balanced the team has been through 12 games, and while it's a small sample size and subject to both batted-ball luck and cluster luck, the way the entire lineup has performed points more towards a talented team that's "firing on all cylinders," as starter Matt Walker described before the game. "There's not a weak spot in our lineup right now."
For the fourth straight three-game series, the Stompers will be going for a sweep, as they'll send 22-year-old Gregory Paulino to the hill in search of win #12 on Thursday. Paulino was tremendous in his most recent start on June 12, allowing only four baserunners and one earned run in six innings while striking out four against San Rafael.
The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with the radio pre-game show beginning at 6:45 both right here on StompersBaseball.com and the TuneIn app.