Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
Like most good things, they have to come to an end at some point. After a week that saw the Sonoma Stompers set franchise records left and right, the lone remaining undefeated team in the Pacific Association had their first hiccup of 2015 as they fell to the defending league champion San Rafael Pacifics on Wednesday night, 10-6.
A back-and-forth game saw the lead change five times after the fifth inning, but it was in the seventh where San Rafael (3-4) took the lead for good. With two out in a 4-4 game, Paul Hvozdovic was called in from the bullpen to face the powerful Matt Chavez with two runners on.
On a 1-1 pitch, Chavez got a fastball up and clobbered it to deep center, sending it out of the park for his league-leading fourth homer of the year and giving the Pacifics a lead they would never relinquish. San Rafael added three more runs in the eighth to make it a 10-4 game, two coming on Maikel Jova's second homer of the season.
Sonoma (6-1) made things interesting by loading the bases in the ninth with nobody out, but Gered Mochizuki grounded into a double play. While a run did score, Sonoma had only one out to play with. They added one more run, but couldn't make a comeback similar to their come-from-behind victory last Wednesday against Pittsburg.
The Stompers pitching staff had a tough time finding their groove against the Pacifics, walking eight batters and allowing 11 hits. The bullpen was responsible for seven runs in all, this after allowing only two total runs in their first six games. Starter Eric Schwieger allowed only two hits and struck out five in five innings, but also allowed five walks.
A scary incident in the first inning saw Stompers catcher Isaac Wenrich collide with first baseman Daniel Baptista on a pop up down the first base line by Jova. Wenrich ran halfway up the line as Baptista came forward and as the ball came down, Baptista made the catch while Wenrich ran face first into the inside of Baptista's shoulder. After being down on the ground for a minute or two, Wenrich stayed in the game and played all nine innings for the Stompers.
Fehlandt Lentini, Sergio Miranda and Joel Carranza each had two hits for Sonoma with Miranda and Carranza each driving in two runs, as well. Miranda also added two walks, pushing his league-leading on-base percentage to .548.
The Stompers will have an off day tomorrow as part of the postponement of their three game series with San Rafael in fan consideration of the NBA Finals, as the Golden State Warriors will play the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of their championship series.
Sonoma will return to action on Friday evening to host San Rafael for a three game series, with the first two games marking Jose Canseco Weekend at Arnold Field. The former American League MVP and six-time All-Star will play in both games with the Stompers, and will be a part of a pre-game home run derby prior to Saturday's game.
Both games have a first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets in three ways: Online at StompersBaseball.com, in person at the Stompers Fan Shop located at 234 W. Napa St. or by contacting the Stompers directly at (707) 938-7277 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.