By Gabe Schapiro
Vallejo, CA – The Vallejo Admirals (10-18) fell behind early, and couldn’t overcome the deficit, losing to the Pittsburg Diamonds (11-17), 10-6, Friday Night at Wilson Park.
Third baseman Josh Wong had a huge night for the Admirals, going three-for-four with two home runs, a double, and five RBIs. His efforts were for naught, however, as the rest of the offense combined to add just three hits.
The Diamonds, meanwhile, put runs on the board in bunches, and got production from up and down their lineup. Vallejo starter Scott Weinschenk never really found a rhythm, and didn’t have luck on his side as several bouncers squeaked through the infield. All nine Pittsburg starters reached base at least once, and five of them contributed multiple hits.
Pittsburg jumped on Weinschenk early, staying aggressive and swinging early in counts. The first five hitters of the game reached base thanks to a walk, three singles, and an error, quickly throwing up three runs on the board. They would eventually send all nine batters to the plate, adding a fourth run along the way, to grab a 4-0 lead before the Admirals had picked up a bat.
Vallejo grabbed one of them back in the second, when Wong got a jump-start to his fantastic night. After a Jordan Hinshaw walk, Wong swung at the first pitch he saw, and sent a booming double to dead-center field that hit off of the wall, scoring Hinshaw easily.
In the next half inning, however, the Diamonds started to pull away, thanks in large part to the Admirals’ shaky defense. After a quick first out, Tim Battle and Joe Lewis connected for back-to-back singles. The miscues snowballed from there, as Pittsburg would go on to score three times via an error, three passed balls, and a Scott David RBI single, which would prove to be the game winner.
A solo homerun from Mike Taylor in the fourth, and an RBI single from Rich Mejia in the fifth would extend their lead to 9-1.
It appeared to be one of those nights for the Admirals, but the bullpen slowed the bleeding, and Wong’s offensive outburst would keep the game interesting.
In the bottom of the fifth, Michael Cerda led off with a single. Wong stepped to the plate, and once again put a charge into one, sending it over the right field wall for an opposite field, two-run bomb. The shot brought the game back to a more reasonable 9-3.
Mejia picked up his third RBI of the night in the seventh, knocking in Taylor with a double for their 10th and final run.
Wong loomed in the bottom half of the inning, and the one-man offense didn’t disappoint. With Hinshaw on first base, Wong this time waited until the third pitch he saw, but gave it the same result. The ball sailed over the left field wall, giving Wong his fourth and fifth RBI’s on the night, bringing Vallejo within five.
The Admirals made one last push in the eighth, scratching across their sixth run, this time without the help of Wong.
PJ Phillips singled on an 0-2 count, advanced to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on an errant throw by catcher Tyler Eppler, and then scored on yet another wild pitch.
Despite turning what once appeared to be destined for an ugly loss into a real contest, that’s all of the offense that the Admirals could muster. In the ninth they were retired in order to end it.
This evening, Vallejo will be back at it, sending their team ERA-leader, Devon Ramirez, to the mound. In addition, the Admirals will be celebrating Military Appreciation Day! Bring your military ID, or come in your uniform, and receive half price admission and a free hot dog. Prior to the game, the Admirals will also be in the Vallejo 4th of July Parade. All of our players will be in attendance, handing out schedules and free tickets.