Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
Facing a second consecutive starter with effectively wild tendencies, the Sonoma Stompers offense was stifled yet again, as Vallejo Admirals ace David Dinelli allowed only one run in his seven innings of work to hand Sonoma it's second straight loss on Friday night, 3-1.
The Stompers offense was once again held to five hits, but they actually held the lead for a good portion of the game after an RBI infield single by Danny Baptista in the fourth. But Dinelli (3-1), while needing 120 pitches to get through his start, was able to keep Sonoma off balance thanks to his wildness.
It was similar to what Sonoma (11-3) saw in Pittsburg starter James Trebus on Thursday, as Dinelli couldn't pinpoint the fastball, but was able to throw his very good splitter to offset his fastball command issues, much like Trebus threw his slider. Sonoma had two good chances to get more than just the one run in both the fifth and seventh innings, but just couldn't get the hits strung together to get back on track.
Vallejo's two runs in the sixth proved to be the difference, as an error by Gered Mochizuki at short led to an RBI double by Vallejo's (8-8) Tony McClendon to tie the game. After getting moved to third, McClendon scored on Kale Sumner's sacrifice fly, and Vallejo added their third run thanks to the speed of Darian Sandford, who stole his 23rd base and raced home on a throwing error by Sonoma catcher Andrew Parker.
Baptista had two hits on the night to lead the Stompers offense, who even with their struggles are still batting .303 as a team this season. They still lead the league in all three triple slash categories along with hits and runs scored, but the offense might be starting to normalize after 12 games of incredible offensive production.
On the hill, it was a good night for Jeff Conley (0-1) who even in defeat had a quality start and kept Vallejo off balance. He only allowed seven baserunners (6 H/1 BB) in six innings and didn't allow an earned run while striking out four.
The Stompers will try and bounce back on Saturday evening in game two of their series with Vallejo. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. with the radio broadcast featuring Baseball Prospectus editor-in-chief Sam Miller beginning at 4:45 on StompersBaseball.com and the TuneIn app. Mike Jackson, Jr. is the scheduled starter for the Stompers.