Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
After Wednesday night's stumble against the Vallejo Admirals, the action on Thursday during Military Appreciation Night looked a lot more like the Stompers that dominated the competition in the first half of the Pacific Association season.
Sonoma's five run burst in the fourth inning proved to be the turning point in the game, as the two-out rally was the highlight in an 11-5 victory over the Admirals.
That fourth inning saw Sonoma (10-8 2nd half, 36-19 overall) down 2-1 thanks to a homer by Chad Bunting and a rare throwing error by catcher Andrew Parker. Facing Devon Ramirez (2-7), the Stompers had a runner at third and two out before Isaac Wenrich singled on a ball off Ramirez that deflected away for an infield single, tying the game at 2-2.
From there, the two out rally was on. Kristian Gayday picked up the second of his three hits on the evening to put runners at the corners, and then after an eight-pitch at-bat, TJ Gavlik drew a walk to load the bases.
Matt Hibbert and Yuki Yasuda then provided the firepower, as both players smacked two-run doubles down the left field line to give Sonoma the lead for good and chase Ramirez from the game.
After that, the Stompers scored to make it 7-2 before Bunting took Sonoma starter Gregory Paulino (7-3) deep again in the sixth, this time for a two-run shot to make it 7-4. That was as close as Vallejo (6-12, 19-38) would get in the game, as the Stompers offense kept coming against the Admirals bullpen, highlighted by Wenrich's 10th home run of the season in the eighth.
Outside of the two home runs to Bunting, Gregory Paulino was superb, allowing only six base runners in seven innings while striking out seven. It was his fourth start of seven or more innings out of his last five, and he's allowed only nine earned runs in those 33 1/3 innings.
With the win, Sonoma could possibly move into a first place tie with a Pittsburg loss, with the results from the Diamonds game with the San Rafael Pacifics not available at press time.
The Stompers return to Arnold Field on Friday for another KRAVE Friday, where the local food company will be out to let fans try all their delicious varieties of beef, turkey and pork jerky. Fans ages 21 and older can also have pairings with some of the beer selections available in the Lagunitas Beer Garden.
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.