By: Matt O’Donnell (Times-Herald)
The Sonoma Stompers are technically still part of the Pacific Association of Baseball Clubs.
But on nights like this, the Stompers appear to be in a league of their own.
Sonoma pounded out 15 hits and routed the Vallejo Admirals 15-7 on Tuesday evening to begin a Pacific Association series at Wilson Park. The Stompers have scored 134 runs, 30 more than any other team in the league and 64 more than the Admirals.
Sonoma, which is 12-4 overall and 6-1 against Vallejo, broke the game open with a five-run fifth inning, ending Admirals ace David Dinelli’s night early.
Sonoma led 14-2 after Marcus Bradley’s three-run shot in the sixth inning.
Maybe a bright spot was the Admirals (5-11) picked up 12 hits themselves as they try and climb out of their offensive doldrums.
“A couple of guys in the bullpen pitched well late but the game got away early,” said Admirals designated hitter Shawn Payne, who had two hits and an RBI. “We got some good at-bats late there. You just have to put it in play with runners in scoring position and less than two outs.”
The Admirals did not help Dinelli’s cause with a key error in the fourth, leading to three unearned runs.
With the game tied 1-1, the Stompers had the bases loaded but Dinelli (0-1) induced a ground ball from Bradley. Admirals first baseman Nick Akins came home but the throw was in the dirt and Eddie Mora-Loera scored to make it 2-1. Instead of an inning-ending double play, the inning continued.
The Admirals got the second out when Brennan Metzger grounded into a fielder’s choice but Isaac Weinrich scored on the play. The third run of the inning scored on Masa Miyadera’s delayed steal of home.
Weinrich’s two-run single chased Dinelli and made it 6-1. Reliever Pete Reyes did not fare much better, allowing two of Dinelli’s inherited runners to score and one more of his own as the Stompers led 9-1.
The Admirals will try and figure out a way to beat the Stompers on Wednesday and Thursday.
“You have to make the routine play, nothing spectacular,” Payne said. “You have to put the ball in play with a runner at third and less than two outs and just stay within yourself.”
The Admirals did make some noise with four runs and five hits in the sixth. Gerald Bautista and Deybi Garcia had RBI singles, Chevy Clarke had an RBI double and the fourth run scored on a throwing error to make it 9-6.
Payne, Clarke, Bautista, Graylin Derke and Tillman Pugh all had two hits. Pugh, who has been scuffling, scored three runs, including the tying run in the third when he alertly scored from first after pitcher Mike Jackson Jr. threw to first base.
Bautista hit his third homer of the season, a solo shot to left to lead off the eighth and make it 14-7.
Notes: Joel Carranza cracked his fourth homer of the season for the Stompers with a center-field shot in the second. Carranza broke the league’s all-time home run record with a bomb on Sunday against San Rafael. … Vallejo boxer Ryan “Rhino” Bourland threw out the first pitch. … The Stompers only stole one base, something they’ve done well against the Admirals in the past. … Clarke’s 2-for-4 night raised his average to .377, good for third in the Pacific Association. … Weinrich, the ex-Admiral, was 3-for-6 with three RBIs.