SONOMA, Calif.– Kenny Meimerstorf takes home the 2018 Pacific Association Rookie of Year title. “This award is incredibly meaningful to me. Going into my first professional season I didn’t know what to expect,” said Meimerstorf. The Nevada native attended Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas where he spent four years on varsity hitting for a .406 average, 41 home runs, 188 RBIs, and 163 runs scored in 157 games. Kenny’s stellar 2013 Senior season earned him 2nd-team High School All-American.

After Kenny’s spectacular High School stint, he attended and played at the University of Arizona for the 2014 season. Kenny then transferred to the College of Southern Nevada, where he hit .282 in 63 games. Meimerstorf finished his college career at Florida International University.

For the Golden Panthers, Meimerstorf drove in 70 runs, hitting 13 home runs and totaling 38 extra-base hits over his two seasons. Battling a labrum injury in 2017 as a senior Meimerstorf performed at a high level hitting .324 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs, slugging .498.

 After a successful 2017 senior season, Meimerstorf signed with the Sonoma Stompers for the 2018 season. For the Stompers, the outfielder homered in eight of his first 20 games as a professional. “Half way through the season when I started to reminisce on how far we’ve come as a team and as a player was truly inspiring. The whole year my goal was to win a championship at the end of the year, but Rookie of The Year was always my second goal. After a year of hard work and dedication I am so happy to receive this award and I’m feeling more driven to work harder for the next season,” said Memierstorf. On June 16th, Meimerstorf hit go ahead grand slam off of former MLB veteran J.P. Howell of the San Rafael Pacifics in a 5-3 victory.

 “Kenny showed us a lot of grit this season. Based on his successful track record, we knew what he was capable of. This season was no different,” said General Manager Brett Creamer. The Bishop Gorman product finished second in the Pacific Association in both runs batted in (74) and home runs (23) while playing in 78 of the 80 games.

“His outstanding work ethic on a daily basis showed with his results. Kenny is well deserved for his award and I look forward to watching him grow throughout his career,” said Manager Zack Pace

Kenny Meimerstorf hitting a home run against the San Rafael Pacifics, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Kenny Meimerstorf hitting a home run against the San Rafael Pacifics, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

The 2017 Pacific Association Rookie of the Year winner was Michael Rizzitello of the San Rafael Pacifics who most recently played for the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League in 2018. Meimerstorf is the first Stomper to win the award since Mark Hurley in 2015. “We had such an amazing squad and we were a family on and off the field. We had a great group of guys that loved to compete day in and day out. We constantly pushed each other to be better everyday and that’s why we were the best team that has ever been in the Pacific Association… I am beyond blessed to be a part of the Stompers family,” said Meimerstorf.

Meimerstorf also helped the Stompers walk off twice during the 2018 season. Most notably on July 6th vs. The Napa Silverados where Kenny sent a towering fly ball to left field for his second home run of the game. The post game interview can be found here. “In the upcoming 2019 season my goal is to win a memorable championship and to show up with a winning mentality. I hope to move on to a top tier league to compete for a spot and ultimately move on to affiliated baseball to continue chasing my dreams,” said Meimerstorf.

Sonoma Stompers standout pitcher Tyler Sharp finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting. Sharp’s rookie season consisted of a 6-2 record and a league leading 2.90 ERA. In 80.2 innings pitched, he struck out 79 batters to just 68 hits allowed. The Antelope Valley College alumnus also collected 2 saves.


SONOMA, Calif.– Daniel Comstock took Gilded Glove honors for the 2018 Pacific Association season at the catcher position. The former Arizona Diamondbacks 2015 18th round draft pick played in 49 games for Sonoma, hitting .362 with nine home runs and 50 runs batted in before getting called up to the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League. “Getting catcher of the year is an honor… achieving this award is a milestone in my career that I will never forget,” said Comstock.  Comstock proceeded former catcher Isaac Wenrich who won the award in 2017.

 “Being apart of the Sonoma Stompers family has been a huge blessing in my baseball career and my life. I had the opportunity to play professional baseball in my backyard,” said Comstock. The Petaluma native attended Petaluma High School where he hit .433 in four years of Varsity baseball.

 The righty then attended Menlo College where he held a .355 career batting average with 27 home runs in three seasons before getting drafted with the Diamondbacks.

 “Comstock had an outstanding year, he’s a very knowledgeable and talented player. Comstock was the heart of the team, his character and work ethic helped create the teams identity,” said Manager Zack Pace. Comstock’s 2018 success began on opening night vs. the Martinez Clippers where he went 3-5 with two home runs and a career high six runs batted in.

 “Daniel’s positive outlook and leadership tendencies really helped us out throughout the season. He represented himself like a true professional on and off the field,” said General Manager Brett Creamer.

 The Sonoma Stompers also had catchers Ryan Cooper and Mitchell Ho who finished seventh and tenth respectively in Gilded Glove voting. “The Stompers have been a class act organization since day one and everyday I get to wear that Stompers jersey, it is truly an honor,” said Comstock.


Former Sonoma Stompers GM appointed executive of burgeoning pro league

SAN FRANCISCO — The Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs has formally named Theo Fightmaster the league’s next commissioner. Fightmaster, who began his Pacific Association career as a front office executive with the San Rafael Pacifics in 2011, also served as the general manager of the Sonoma Stompers from 2014 through the 2017 season.

During Fightmaster’s tenure the Stompers were on the cutting edge and garnered national acclaim for the organization’s progressive tactics. After Sonoma’s 2014 inaugural season, the Stompers partnered with former Baseball Prospectus contributors and managing editors, Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller, to bring analytically driven and experimental ideas to the front office and to the field. The story of the 2015 season was chronicled in the New York Times best-selling book “The Only Rule Is It Has to Work.”

Additionally the Stompers signed the game’s first openly gay player, Sean Conroy, in 2015, and partnered with Francis Ford Coppola’s Virginia Dare Winery in 2016 in an effort to create more opportunities for women in professional baseball. The Stompers recruited Kelsie Whitmore and Stacy Piagno in an effort to integrate the game. The Stompers went on to win the Pacific Association championship that season, and enjoyed a better-than .600 winning percentage in the four seasons under Fightmaster.

“Theo Fightmaster is someone who realized years ago, that to make an impact in the sports world, he would need to think outside the box,” said Billy Bean, VP & Special Assistant to the Commissioner MLB. “His ability to bring progressive minded people together that work as a team caught my attention a few years ago. In that time, his name, while being one of the best in pro sports, has started to become synonymous with innovation. I can’t wait to see what he does next.”

Off the field, Fightmaster guided the Stompers through three separate ownership groups and was part of a front office that lead Sonoma to profitability in their third year of operations. Sonoma saw sponsorship revenues grow for four consecutive seasons (2014-’17), and enjoyed increased ticket sales and food and beverage revenues year over year from ’14 to 2016.

Part of his vision for the Pacific Association is to bring new revenues in the form of corporate partnerships. More immediately, to usher in new ownership to San Rafael. The Pacifics, the charter member of the Association and one of independent baseball’s signature franchises is currently up for sale.

“This league means a great deal to me, as do many of the people in it.” Fightmaster said. “I’ve put literal blood, sweat and tears into this, and I hope to see it continue to grow and stabilize as a premier independent league that offers excellent and well-valued entertainment.

“This league has done so many incredible things in such a short period of time; from experimenting with robotic umpires, to five-man infields, re-introducing the idea of the bullpen fireman role and giving opportunities to gifted players regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and I’m eager to see what’s next. We’ve raised a lot of money for great local organizations and causes, and been significant contributors to the local economies where we play.”

A lifelong Sonoma County resident, Fightmaster is a graduate of the Arizona State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. In 2017 he was recognized by the North Bay Business Journal as one of the regions top 40 executives under forty. He resides in Santa Rosa with his wife, who is a teacher, and two sons. They are expecting a baby girl in March 2019. Fightmaster sits on the board of directors for the non-profit Children & Family Circle, which helps provide free day care for parents of children from infancy to 2 years old. He and his wife have also served as foster parents for multiple children.


Founded in 2013 by four North American Baseball League teams, the Pacific Association now consists of six professional clubs; the Sonoma Stompers, San Rafael Pacifics, Pittsburg Diamonds, Vallejo Admirals, Napa Silverados and the Martinez Clippers. San Rafael has been crowned league champion three times. Both the Silverados and Clippers joined the fold in 2018 as the only independent league on the West Coast grew from four to six clubs.

The league plays approximately an 80-game schedule between the end of May and early Sept. More than 100 players have been promoted from the ranks to higher professional leagues, and nearly a dozen have been signed by Major League Baseball organizations.


Eddie Mora-Loera, October 8, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.( Sonoma Stompers)

Eddie Mora-Loera, October 8, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.( Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif. – The Sonoma Stompers are excited to announce the addition of their new Assistant General Manager Eddie Mora-Loera. He enters his first season in the Front Office with the Sonoma Stompers, and his fifth with the organization. A Bay Area native, Mora-Loera grew up in Oakland and graduated from Bishop O’Dowd High School where he was named first team All-HAAL in 2009-10 and third team All-Bay Area as a second baseman. He then attended Sierra College before transferring to Jacksonville State University in Alabama. In 2014, Mora-Loera held a .317 average with three home runs and 17 doubles to help the Gamecocks capture the Ohio Valley Conference Championship. “I am thrilled that Eddie will be helping us out for the 2019 season, and this is a great opportunity for him,” said General Manager Brett Creamer.

The Stompers are coming off of a 57-23 record in 2018, which broke the Pacific Association win total that their league rival San Rafael Pacifics have held since 2013. “I am looking forward to contributing to the organization and keeping the positive momentum from 2018 going,” said Mora-Loera.

Eddie Mora-Loera of the Sonoma Stompers in a game against the Vallejo Admirals, in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Eddie Mora-Loera of the Sonoma Stompers in a game against the Vallejo Admirals, in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

The reliable infielder has tallied 158 games for the Stompers, which is fifth all time. For his professional career the right handed hitter has tallied 127 hits, 80 runs scored, 71 RBIs, and a .251 batting average. “Bringing in Eddie will significantly help what we’re trying to accomplish here in 2019. He’s familiar with the area and is eager to bring the community together,” Creamer said. “We’re trying to grow our brand and find new ways to give back.”

Mora-Loera will assist the team in sales, business development, baseball operations, retail, and all other day-to-day tasks. Mora-Loera previously worked for the City of Oakland where he coordinated youth sport programs. The current Sonoma resident helped grow revenue for the City and coordinated season schedules for over 90 Bay Area teams. “The community support while working for my hometown in Oakland drove me everyday. As a player for the Stompers, I felt that same community support from the fans and host families. My goal is to continue to maintain and grow the support within the community,” said Mora-Loera. In 2017, he worked the Northern California region for the local community business Smashmallow. His main goals were to grow brand awareness and recognition as a sales rep.


Kenny Mathews walks off the mound in the Sonoma Stompers game against the San Rafael Pacifics, September 2, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Kenny Mathews walks off the mound in the Sonoma Stompers game against the San Rafael Pacifics, September 2, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif. – What was a magical season came to an end for the Sonoma Stompers Sunday night and not in the way they wanted, as the San Rafael Pacifics captured the 2018 Pacific Association Championship with a 6-0 victory over the Stompers.

Angel Ventura compiled the best pitching performance Sonoma saw in 2018, allowing just three baserunners in the game. Kam Stewart and Rob DeAngelis recorded back-to-back hits in the fourth inning and Stewart walked in the sixth, but nobody else reached base for Sonoma in the heartbreaking loss.

San Rafael rallied for four runs in the second inning off Tyler Sharp, who showed uncharacteristic struggles early on.

The Stompers bullpen pitched 7.2 innings of the game and did their best to keep it within reach, combining to allow two runs and five hits, but solo home runs from the Pacifics in the sixth and seventh innings put the final nails in the coffin for Sonoma.

The Stompers still, however, finished the regular season 57-23, seven games ahead of San Rafael in first place, breaking the league’s record for wins in a season. As the offseason begins, the team will prepare to retool for a new season in 2019.


Ethan Gibbons throws a pitch in the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, September 1, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Ethan Gibbons throws a pitch in the Sonoma Stompers game against the Pittsburg Diamonds, September 1, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif. – After a shutout to end the regular season, the Sonoma Stompers continued their pitching prowess, keeping the Pittsburg Diamonds off the board Saturday night for a 5-0 victory in the Pacific Association semifinal game, advancing themselves to the league championship Sunday.

Joseph Broderick’s magic from Friday transferred to Ethan Gibbons, who pitched six shutout innings, allowing only three hits in the first postseason victory in the history of the franchise.

“I just wanted to attack the hitters and give our team the chance to win today,” Gibbons said. “That’s all you can ask out of your starting pitcher and I was happy I was able to do that.”

Gibbons was relieved by Vijay Patel, who after starting nine games during the 2018 season pitched three scoreless frames out of the bullpen with three strikeouts to seal the victory and earn a save.

Patel’s three innings continued a scoreless stretch from the staff, a streak of 21 scoreless innings dating back to Thursday’s game against San Rafael.

The offense came alive early in the game, tagging Diamonds starter and former Major League Baseball pitcher Travis Blackley for two runs in the second inning. Bronson Butcher singled to score Brock Hartley and Marcus Bradley brought home Butcher a few batters later with a single of his own to give the Stompers a 2-0 lead.

Sonoma added more in the third when Daniel Baptista reached on an error that scored Rob DeAngelis and Kenny Meimerstorf came home on a Butcher sacrifice fly.

Hartley connected for a solo home run in the fifth inning, adding insurance for good measure and making him one of two players, along with Butcher, to record two hits in the game.

Six different Stompers recorded hits in the victory as the team looks to continue the trend of all-around effort into Sunday.

In a rematch of the 2018 Pacific Association championship game, Sonoma will face the San Rafael Pacifics, this time playing host to their league rivals.

 “Tomorrow we’ve just got to come out like we did today and I think we’ll be just fine,” Hartley said. “The pitching is great, we have a fresh bullpen after the last couple of days and I like our chances.

The Stompers went 8-8 against the Pacifics in 2018, including a 6-2 record in Sonoma. The San Rafael won the right to face Sonoma after a close 3-2 victory over the Vallejo Admirals Saturday evening.

First pitch Sunday will be at 7:05 p.m. from Palooza Park at Arnold Field with the game’s winner taking home the Pacific Association title.


Joseph Broderick throws a pitch in the third inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the San Rafael Pacifics, August 31, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Joseph Broderick throws a pitch in the third inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the San Rafael Pacifics, August 31, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif. – In the final game of the regular season, the Sonoma Stompers shut out the San Rafael Pacifics 1-0 on a complete game shutout from Joseph Broderick.

Broderick, a native of West Islip, New York, was one of the top pitchers in the Pecos League in 2018 and joined the Stompers in mid-August.

His first appearance with Sonoma was a rough start against San Rafael on Aug. 10, but after four outings as a reliever without allowing an earned run, manager Zack Pace tasked him with once again facing the league’s top offense.

In the season’s 80th game, Broderick’s complete game was the first from a Stompers pitcher in 2018. The shutout was Sonoma’s fourth of the year and second against San Rafael.

Over nine innings, Broderick allowed just five hits while not walking any batters and striking out 11.

“I figured I’d go out there and attack from pitch one and let the defense make plays and they did,” Broderick said. “Niko [Pacheco] and I were on the same page from pitch one and the defense made plays for me.”

The right-hander only threw 113 pitches, never more than 17 in an inning. He never faced more than four batters in any inning and retired the side in order three times, including in the ninth inning to conclude the game.

While San Rafael’s pitching was strong as well, limiting the Stompers to only four hits, Sonoma was able to take advantage of defensive miscue from Pacifics starting pitcher Nick DeBarr. While DeBarr had to leave the game after suffering an injury on the play, Rob DeAngelis was able to immediately double home Kam Stewart as soon as a new pitcher entered the game.

Marcus Bradley, Stewart and Kenny Meimerstorf were the only other Stompers to record hits in the game.

Finishing the regular season at 57-23 (.713) and on a five-game winning streak, the Stompers prepare for the Pacific Association semifinal, where they will host the Pittsburg Diamonds at 7:05 p.m. at Palooza Park at Arnold Field. San Rafael will host the Vallejo Admirals with the winners of those two meeting in the league championship Sunday.


Rayson Romero follows through on his home run in the second inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the San Rafael Pacifics, August 30, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Rayson Romero follows through on his home run in the second inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the San Rafael Pacifics, August 30, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif. – Despite breaking the league’s win record Wednesday night, the Sonoma Stompers kept rolling into Thursday with a 6-4 win over the second place San Rafael Pacifics.

The Stompers scored three runs in the second inning on home runs from Niko Pacheco and Rayson Romero but did not back town despite San Rafael taking a 4-3 lead.

Kenny Meimerstorf tied the score in the seventh with an RBI double and Bronson Butcher gave Sonoma the lead with a single to score Meimerstorf, his 15th hit and eighth RBI in his 14th game as a Stomper.

“I’m just trying to stay aggressive,” Butcher said. “I’m not really letting myself get passive in the box. Some guys have helped me try to be a little more patient with pitching but I’m a very, very aggressive hitter as far as jumping on balls early.”

Insurance in the eighth on a Kam Stewart sacrifice fly gave Sonoma two-run lead, enough for D.J. Sharabi to earn his first save of the season.

Juan Espinosa started on the mound and pitched six outstanding innings, allowing just three hits and one walk, while striking out eight and not giving up an earned run.

Once Espinosa left the game, Vijay Patel pitched out of the bullpen for the first time since early July and pitched two shutout innings with three strikeouts to record his ninth win of the season. The victory made Patel the first Stompers pitcher to earn more than eight in a season.

“It’s really crazy, considering most of them were out of the bullpen,” Patel said. “It’s a great team. Every time I come in the game, no matter what the score is, those guys end up fighting for me and finding a way to get the lead. A lot of the credit goes to them, but it feels great to have a record though, I’m not going to lie.”

With one regular season game left, the Stompers and Pacifics face each other once more Friday night before both teams prepare to host playoff games Saturday.

Sonoma will host the league’s fourth place team, either Pittsburg or Vallejo, at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Palooza Park at Arnold Field. Should the Stompers win that game, they would host the league championship game at Arnold Field Sunday, Sept. 2, at 7:05 p.m.


Tim Henry bats in the second inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Napa Silverados, August 29, 2018 in Napa, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Tim Henry bats in the second inning of the Sonoma Stompers game against the Napa Silverados, August 29, 2018 in Napa, Calif.(James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

NAPA, Calif. – After clinching first place Tuesday night, the Sonoma Stompers won their third straight game Wednesday, the team’s 55th of the season to set the Pacific Association’s record of wins in a season, previously set by the San Rafael Pacifics in 2013.

After the 17-run extravaganza Tuesday, Wednesday’s contest was much calmer, a 4-2 final in favor of Sonoma.

The Stompers scored two runs in the second and third innings with Kevin Farley connecting for two hits and driving in runs along with Daniel Baptista, Ryan Cooper and Tim Henry.

“I was really just looking for a good pitch to hit,” Farley said. “I try to look for mistakes because that’s what people are going to hit well most of the time.”

The Stompers used seven different pitches in the game rather than going with a traditional starter in order to align their starting pitchers for the upcoming playoff games.

Ethan Gibbons pitched two scoreless innings at the start and was relieved by Kenny Mathews, who also threw two.

Joseph Broderick, Jason Seever, Ryan Richardson and Jacob Cox combined to not allow an earned run the remainder of the night. Kam Stewart recorded the first two outs of the seventh inning as well, the shortstop’s second pitching appearance of the year.

As it has been all season, the pitching staff continued to excel in the win, striking out 14 batters while just walking two.

Cox finished the game in the ninth with a 1-2-3 frame for his 26th save of the season. The appearance was his 70th lifetime and broke the Stompers’ all-time game pitched record, which had previously been held by Mike Jackson Jr.

The Stompers wrap up the regular season at home Thursday and Friday against the San Rafael Pacifics at 6:05 p.m. both days.