Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
The Sonoma Stompers scored a run in each of the last four innings to help them to their first win of the second half, defeating the Vallejo Admirals, 8-5 on Saturday night at Wilson Park.
After Friday's strange loss in the second half opener, Sonoma (1-1, 27-12) was hoping to bounce back behind Eric Schwieger (5-1), and it looked a lot like many of Sonoma's recent victories against Vallejo in the early going. A three-run first inning and an extra run in the third gave Sonoma a 4-0 lead.
Yet Vallejo (1-1, 14-27) did what they did in Tuesday's game, where they saw an early lead and chipped away at it. Unlike the Tuesday game, they didn't do it in one or two run bursts, as the fifth inning saw one swing of the bat from Joshua Wong to tie the ballgame. His three-run homer off Schwieger made it 4-4 and turned a nine inning game into a four inning game.
That's when the Stompers buckled down and took advantage of their opportunities. In each of the next four innings, they scored single runs, with Yuki Yasuda's RBI single that plated Taylor Eads in the sixth giving Sonoma the lead back for good.
In fact, it was Eads who came through with the most impressive night at the plate for Sonoma, as the rookie went to the plate five times and reach all five times. A night after Mark Hurley went 5-for-5, Eads went 2-for-2 with three walks and scored three times, all from the nine spot in the order. He also stole three bases.
The final of those stolen bases occurred on an odd play. Devon Ramirez (1-5) tried to pick Eads off at first, but his throw went into the dirt and past PJ Phillips, which allowed Eads to go all the way to third. However, simultaneously, Ramirez was called for a balk. The rule as stated is on any balk, the ball is live, which gives the team that the balk was committed against the choice of taking the balk or the result of the play. Since Eads would have only been at second on the balk, the Stompers declined and Eads had his third stolen base.
Sonoma's 13-hit night included yet another multi-hit night from Hurley, who went 2-for-5 for his eighth multi-hit game in his last 12. He now has a 14-game hitting streak, the longest streak of any Stompers player in 2015. Danny Baptista had his second consecutive three-hit night and Gered Mochizuki had two hits, as well. All nine players for the Stompers reached base.
Schwieger didn't have as strong a start as he did on Saturday against Vallejo, but he was good enough to pick up the win. He allowed four runs on nine hits, but was able to escape some jams. His biggest escape came in the sixth, as the Admirals had the tying run at third with one out.
The big lefty from Grand Island, NE settled down and struck out Gadiel Baez for the second out before getting former teammate Glenn Walker to fly out to left on the very next pitch, ending the last great scoring chance for Vallejo that evening. Santos Saldivar allowed one run in his two innings of work, but gave way to Sean Conroy in the final inning. Conroy got three groundouts to seal up his seventh save.
The Stompers will end their weeklong trek to Vallejo with a Sunday matinee at Wilson Park. The first pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. with the radio broadcast beginning at 12:50 on StompersBaseball.com and the TuneIn mobile app.