By Gabe Schapiro
Vallejo, CA – The Vallejo Admirals (8-22) and the San Rafael Pacifics (20-10) combined for six errors, five wild pitches, and a pass ball on Thursday night, underscoring a 7-6 nail biter and a San Rafael series win at Wilson Park.
The final score might not indicate it, but starters David Dinelli and Wander Beras turned in strong efforts, but both also had to labor through several defensive miscues behind them. In all, only five of the contests combined 13 runs would go down in the scorebook as earned.
Despite the mistakes, the game remained close for most of the night, with the decision being unclear up until the final pitch. Vallejo battled back after falling behind early, and eventually had the tying run at second base in the bottom of the ninth, but couldn’t find that last clutch hit.
The sloppy tone was set quickly.
Through three innings of play, the Pacifics held a 2-1 lead, with the games three runs coming via a pass ball, and two errors.
In the fourth, both squads traded crooked numbers, but once again poor defense played a major role.
San Rafael would eventually put up a four spot in the top half of the inning, but did it on just two hits. Gadiel Baez didn’t help Dinelli’s cause, committing two errors in the frame. The veteran Maikel Jova made Vallejo pay for them, coming up with the big blow, a two-RBI double down the line to extend their lead to 6-1.
In the bottom half of the inning, it was the Pacifics turn to commit some costly gaffes.
PJ Phillips and Lydell Moseby got things started with a walk and a single. Tyler Nordgen followed with a routine ground ball to first baseman Jordan Brower, but Brower let it get through the wickets and into the outfield, allowing Phillips to score. After what would have been the third out of the inning, Jordan Berry was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Glenn Walker worked a walk to force in Moseby, and a wild pitch added another, making it 6-4.
After needing over 100 pitches to get through four innings, Dinelli came up with a much-needed seven-pitch one-two-three fifth, before running into trouble in the sixth.
David Kiriakos led off the inning with a triple into the left-center field gap that a diving Tyger Pederson couldn’t quite reach despite the strong effort. Two batters later Danny Gonzalez singled him home, in what would prove to be the game’s winning run, and the end of Dinelli’s night.
Derrick Mitchell and newcomer Drew Bravo finished the game off strong, combining to toss a scoreless three-and-two-thirds innings, and keep Vallejo within striking distance.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Admirals made San Rafael earn in. Mason Morioka and Phillips singled and walked to get the tying run to the plate. Josh Wong then sent a booming double into the gap, scoring both to cut their deficit to just 7-6. With one out and the equalizer sitting 180 feet away, the Pacifics called on closer Guadalupe Barrera, who quickly silenced the comeback bid with a shallow fly ball and a strikeout to end it.
Vallejo will be back at it tonight, as the Sonoma Stompers come to town to begin a three game series. The action gets underway at 7:00 PM.