Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
It started out looking like another one of those starts for Matt Walker, where he used deception and command to keep the San Rafael Pacifics off balance. Then the Pacifics offense that had helped the team to eight wins out of their last 13 showed up and proved why they are a team to watch towards the end of the first half of the 2015 Pacific Association campaign.
A two-out, two-run single from Zack Pace and a two-run opposite-field shot by Jeremy Williams where the big blows in San Rafael's 6-2 victory over Sonoma, as the Pacifics handed the Stompers their first loss at Arnold Field in 2015.
Sonoma (20-7) played small ball early and were able to push across a run in the third, followed up by back-to-back two-out doubles by Danny Baptista and Mark Hurley in the fourth to make it 2-0. This seemed like a good start for Walker (2-2), who retired 12 straight at one point.
But it was the fifth inning that turned things around, as Walker walked three batters in a row with two outs and gave up Pace's two-run single to tie the game. Then Williams hit his two-run homer in the sixth to give San Rafael the lead for the first time, and their bullpen came up big in support of Nick DeBarr (2-2).
After seven strong innings from their Opening Night starter, the Pacifics turned to the hard throwing tandem of Cody Bostjancic and Michael Kershner to wrap things up, with Kershner striking out Isaac Wenrich to end the game.
Sonoma's offense was held in check after that second run came home, but they had their chances to tie things up. Wenrich in particular had a chance to remember, as he launched a high fly ball down the right field line with a runner on in the seventh, but it drifted foul instead of becoming a game-tying two-run homer. The team left a total of 11 runners on in the game.
The loss for Sonoma keeps their magic number at 7 with 12 more games to play in the first half, including three more against the Pacifics. Two of those games will happen tomorrow as part of a unique day/night doubleheader where each team will host one of the two games.
Game one is set for a 1:05 first pitch, as the big lefty Eric Schwieger will take the mound for Sonoma in the rubber match of the three game set at Arnold Field. Game two will start at 6:05 at Albert Park in San Rafael, where a starter has not yet been named for the Stompers. Tickets purchased for the first game at Arnold Field will also be accepted for the second game at Albert Park.