Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
There have been a few times this week where frustration sets in for the Sonoma Stompers at the most inopportune times. Mainly, it's come at times where the Stompers need runs at key moments in the game, like the several times they've left the bases loaded. But on Friday, it ended up happening defensively, where the Stompers had starred over the past week by allowing three or less runs in five of their last six games.
Instead, the Stompers have now allowed more than twice the amount of runs in those five games over their past two losses, with Friday's 9-3 loss against the San Rafael Pacifics giving Sonoma's main rivals a two-game lead in the Pacific Association second half standings.
Sonoma (14-11 2nd half, 40-22 overall), now facing their largest deficit in the standings all season, fell behind early and couldn't come back, a familiar tale against the Pacifics, who got out ahead early in Thursday's win as well. San Rafael (16-9, 35-28) took advantage of Sonoma's second error to bring home three unearned runs in the second, as all three came with two outs.
Added to the defensive frustration was the aforementioned troubles at the plate and another couple of times where the inning ended with the bases loaded. Even with one run in during the second, Sonoma continued to get runners on without driving them home, as the Stompes left 12 runners on board for the second straight night.
Mike Jackson, Jr. (5-3) had a tough outing at home against San Rafael for the second straight time, allowing five runs in five innings with seven hits and seven strikeouts. Only two of those runs were earned, but they came on a hanging breaking ball to Matt Chavez, who hit his league-best 29th home run of the season to put the game out of reach.
Sonoma got multi-hit efforts from Mark Hurley and Daniel Baptista, who each had two hits. Hurley hit his eighth home run of the season, a laser that just got over the short porch in left field. Newcomer Peter Bowles got both his first hit and his first RBI as a professional.
The Stompers will try to bounce back on Saturday with Santos Saldivar on the mound, who has been the best pitcher in the Pacific Association since arriving a little more than a month ago. The right-hander has a 0.95 ERA in his 28.1 innings and is currently carrying a 17-inning scoreless streak. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. with the gates opening at 4 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 email@example.com.