Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
With only a few games remaining against the San Rafael Pacifics, the onus on the Stompers during this particular weekend series was to win at least two out of three in order to keep them tied with their rivals from Marin County for the final two week push in the second half.
Instead, the Stompers are now three games behind San Rafael heading into the weekend finale, as a 3-2 lead went away in the eighth inning and the Stompers dropped their fourth game in the last five against the Pacifics, 5-3.
Sonoma (14-12 2nd half, 40-23 overall) didn't strand as many runners on Saturday as they had the previous four games (42 in all, including 25 in scoring position) and really did well with some productive outs, producing two ground balls that brought home runs and being in position at third base with two outs to score on a wild pitch.
However, some of the mistakes that haunted Sonoma earlier in the week came back on Saturday in spades. With Matt Chavez at the plate representing the tying run and first base open in the fifth, the team decided to pitch to Chavez a lot like what they did on Tuesday night, trying to go low and away.
Unfortunately, a slider by Santos Saldivar hung up a bit and over the outer half of the plate, which Chavez drove deep and out to right for his third home run of the week and his league-best 30th of the season to tie the game at 2-2.
Once Sonoma took the lead again, Dylan Stoops was holding things down in the eighth, having begun his second inning of relief, but San Rafael (17-9 2nd half, 35-29 overall) again attacked, only this time, they took the lead for good. Back-to-back doubles by Jeremy Williams and Maikel Jova tied the game, and then with two outs, Adrian Martinez hit a single to center to score Jova and give San Rafael the lead.
It was another tough loss for Sonoma against the defending Pacific Association champions, but there were good performances from Saldivar (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K) and Yuki Yasuda (2-for-4) for the team to lean on, even with the loss.
Now the focus will be on Sunday's matinee, with game time temperatures expected to hit the triple digits and Eric Schwieger getting the ball for Sonoma against San Rafael's Patrick Conroy in a duel of southpaws. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.
Tickets begin at just $4 and can be purchased online at StompersBaseball.com or at the Stompers Fan Shop, located at 234 W. Napa St. in beautiful downtown Sonoma. Tickets can also be purchased at the gates at Arnold Field before any home game. For more information, call the Stompers at (707) 938-7277 or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.