Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
The Sonoma Stompers are once again alone atop the second half standings of the Pacific Association as they defeated the Pittsburg Diamonds, 8-3 on Friday night, breaking the two teams' tie for first place.
It was yet another game where Sonoma (8-5 2nd half, 34-16 overall) left multiple baserunners on in multiple innings, but in situations where they did get runners on, two big hits propelled them forward to victory. The first big hit came from Mark Hurley in the bottom of the opening frame, as with two runners on, a fly ball to right field just snuck over the 10-foot fence for a three-run homer to give Sonoma a lead they would never relinquish.
The second big hit came in a 4-2 game with the bases loaded in the fourth. Brennan Metzger singled to left field to bring two runs home, and as Yuki Yasuda tried to go first to third, Jordan Hinshaw's throw to try and get Yasuda out was wild, allowing the speedy infielder to race home for the third run on the play and put the game out of reach for good.
While he didn't have his best stuff, starter Gregory Paulino (6-3) did well enough to earn the victory. In his five innings, the young right-hander struck out five but allowed 11 baserunners (six hits and five walks), including solo homers to Hinshaw and Mike Taylor. Santos Saldivar and Jon Rand, Jr. each threw two innings in relief to finish things off for the Stompers.
Offensively, Yasuda was the star, reaching all five times he saw the plate by going 3-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored. Sonoma only had six hits on the evening, but were able to coerce nine walks from the Pittsburg (7-6, 25-26) pitching staff, including five from starter Dennis Neal (4-1), who was ineffective in his five innings of work and took his first loss of the year.
Sonoma and Pittsburg will lock horns tomorrow for two games, including a makeup game from July 9 that was postponed due to inclement weather. The first game will take place at 1 p.m. with the second game slated for 5 p.m. Both games will be seven-inning affairs, with the first game counting towards the second half and the second game counting towards the first half matchup that was postponed.
A special price for the second game will be honored for tickets purchased behind home plate, with premium reserved tickets going for only $6 and grandstand seats costing only $4. Those prices will only be honored if a ticket has been purchased or redeemed for the first game.
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.