Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
Only two games into their weeklong series against the defending Pacific Association champion San Rafael Pacifics, the Sonoma Stompers now realize that they are in for quite the test as the first half of the 2015 season winds down.
After San Rafael came back on Tuesday night to snatch a win away from Sonoma, the Pacifics were dominant from the start, as they handed the Stompers their worst loss of 2015 on Wednesday night, 7-1.
In his first appearance since his dominant 4-hit shutout a week prior, Gregory Paulino (2-2) was hit early and hit hard. The Pacifics attacked Paulino early in the count and got two huge hits to plate three runs, with an RBI triple by David Kiriakos getting followed by an inside-the-park home run from Matt Chavez to right-center on a ball that took an odd carom off the fence and past Fehlandt Lentini.
It was more than enough for San Rafael (13-11), who got a terrific pitching performance from Max Beatty. A week after his own stellar outing against Pittsburg that ended up in a loss, Beatty came out and held the best offense in the league to only six hits. Only one hit ended up hurting him on the evening, as Lentini hit a solo homer in the third for Sonoma's (18-6) only run.
Sonoma has now lost three straight games for the first time this season and has seen their lead in the Pacific Association shrink down to five games over San Rafael. The Stompers are 0-3 at Albert Park this season and have been outscored by 11 runs in those games against the Pacifics. To put that in perspective, the Stompers are outscoring their opponents by 71 runs in the other 21 games, which includes a three game sweep over the Pacifics at Arnold Field nearly three weeks ago.
Offensively, it was another great game for Joel Carranza, who went 2-for-4 and is now 5-for-9 in the series. He has five multi-hit performances over his last eight games. Lentini's fifth homer of 2015 ties him with Carranza for the team lead.
Sonoma will have quite the test on Thursday evening as southpaw Wander Beras will make his second start of the season for San Rafael. The hard-throwing southpaw struck out 10 batters in only 5 1/3 innings during his debut against Vallejo on June 26. Sonoma will counter with their own southpaw in Jeff Conley. The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with the radio broadcast beginning at 6:50 p.m. on StompersBaseball.com and the TuneIn app.