Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
Eric Schwieger threw eight superb innings and both Joel Carranza and Danny Baptista homered to put the Sonoma Stompers one win away from the Pacific Association first half title, as Sonoma defeated the Vallejo Admirals on Saturday evening, 9-2. Thanks to Pittsburg's come-from-behind victory against San Rafael in extra innings coupled with the Stompers win, Sonoma's magic number is at 1, meaning that they can clinch the title at home tomorrow against Vallejo in the series finale.
Schwieger (4-1) was dealing from the get-go and really made only one mistake all night long: a two-run homer to Brad Young in the seventh. Outside of that, he was downright nasty, primarily using a fastball with pinpoint accuracy to keep Vallejo (13-22) off-balance and only able to make weak contact.
Of the 24 outs Schwieger ended up getting, he struck out nine and only got one flyout. The other 14 were all via groundouts, which the Stompers league-best defense gobbled up with aplomb. He allowed only five hits and didn't walk a single battle. Schwieger's control was the best it has been all season, as he only went to one three-ball count.
Offensively, Sonoma (22-11) got hot from the start and didn't let up. Joel Carranza highlighted the first with a two-run shot off Demitrius Banks (1-3), his sixth of the season and his first since June 20, a game where Carranza helped start Sonoma's comeback win against the Admirals at Wilson Park.
There would be no comeback necessary on Saturday, as the Stompers continued with two more in the second (which featured Baptista's solo shot, his fourth of the year) and a four-run fifth inning that featured a two-run single from Kristian Gayday.
It was more than enough for Schwieger, who threw 74 of his 95 pitches for strikes (78%) and didn't allow a runner past second base save the home run to Young. Paul Hvozdovic finished up in the ninth inning to put Sonoma only one win away from history.
On Sunday afternoon, the Stompers will look to clinch the team's first-ever half-championship, as they will send Gregory Paulino to the mound to finish off the team's weekend series with the Admirals. First pitch is set for 1:05 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.