Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
For the second time over its first 20 games of 2015, the Sonoma Stompers have won six consecutive games, as they defeated the Pittsburg Diamonds in game one of their three game weekend series, 11-8.
Sonoma (17-3) got huge games from the middle of its order, as Joel Carranza (2-for-5, 2B, 2 R) and Isaac Wenrich (3-for-5, 2B) set the tone for the evening. A seven run barrage in the second-inning seemed like it was going to be enough for Sonoma, but even after sending 13 batters to the plate and chasing starter Mike DeLong (0-2), Pittsburg (7-15) kept coming and coming.
Yet even when Sonoma saw their lead cut down to 8-5 after five innings, the Stompers were able to squeeze a few more runs out of their league-leading offense, making a winner out of Jeff Conley (1-1) for the first time in his career. Erik Gonsalves and Jon Rand each threw two innings of relief to finish things up, and Sonoma has tied the franchise record win streak it set the first week of the season.
While the offense was all over the place, defense did shine bright in a few places, especially in the outfield. Matt Hibbert made a sensational grab on a fly ball to deep right field from Jay Almendral, diving back and over his left shoulder just shy of the warning track to make the first out of the fourth. Three batters later, Mark Hurley dove forward on a sinking line drive to left from Brandon Williams to steal a hit away and end the inning with the same flair Hibbert had begun it with.
The Stompers will go for a franchise-record seventh straight victory on Saturday evening when they travel back to Pittsburg for game two of their three game series. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. with the radio broadcast beginning at 4:50 on StompersBaseball.com and TuneIn.