By Daniel Barrera
Vallejo, Calif. – For the second game in a row the Vallejo Admirals wasted a fantastic pitching performance from their starter falling in 10 innings to the San Rafael Pacifics 7-3. Roman Gomez went eight innings and gave up three earned runs, at one point retiring 15 straight batters. Despite this Gomez did not get a decision as the Admirals fell four games back of the Pacifics in the second half Pacific Association standings.
The game did not start out smoothly for Gomez and the Admirals, as Zack Pace led off the game with a solo home run to right field giving the Pacifics a 1-0 lead. After surrendering two more hits Gomez was able to work himself out of the inning, and proceeded to pitch the next six innings without surrendering a run. During this scoreless stretch Gomez allowed only two hits, seemingly in command of a game with a two hour and 30 minute time limit. The rules of the game stated that pitchers had only 20 seconds to deliver each pitch to the plate. This seemed to help Gomez, who maintained a steady rhythm throughout the contest.
The Admirals scored all of their runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, tagging Pacifics right-handed starter Patrick Barnett with three runs in the frame. Joe Hicks led off with a single. Tim Williams then walked before Gerald Bautista drove in Hicks with an RBI single. Lydell Moseby smashed an RBI double to follow Bautista’s single, which brought in Williams from second base before Bautista was driven in on a ground ball fielder’s choice from Kyle Figueroa. The three run inning was not enough to bring the Admirals a victory though as they stranded 11 runners overall.
Those stranded runners would prove costly to the Admirals as Gomez struggled in the eighth inning, giving up two runs. With one out in the inning Chase Tucker walked, before advancing to third base on a double by Jake Taylor. On the same play Tucker would score on a throwing error by Tim Williams in right field, cutting the lead to 3-2. Maikel Jova then hit an RBI single to drive in Taylor and tie the game. In the bottom of the eighth inning the Admirals threatened but ultimately came away empty handed when Gerald Bautista was tagged out at home after a collision at the plate with Pacifics catcher Ricky Gingras. Benches emptied for the second day in a row as a result of the play but once again no punches were thrown. Bautista was ejected for his part in the play.
With the game tied at the end of nine innings and after the time limit had expired (which happened in the bottom of the ninth inning) both teams switched to international sudden death rules. Here, both teams would get an opportunity to bat at least once, with each team getting two runners on base, at first and second base. The runners would have to follow the batting order from which the runner at second was placed. The first batter of the inning would follow the runner at first base in relation to the batting order.
The Pacifics chose to have the top of their order represent them on the bases in the top of the 10th, with Zack Pace placed at second base and Chase Tucker occupying first base. Jake Taylor, the third hitter in the batting order, then led off the top of the inning. All three men would score in the inning as Admiral reliever Wendell Floranus, who came on in the ninth inning, surrendered a base hit to Taylor before hitting two consecutive batters after recording two consecutive outs, bringing in Pace and Tucker. Daniel Gonzalez then doubled after the two hit batsmen, driving in Taylor and the first hit batter, Brent Gillespie, giving the Pacifics a four run cushion going into the bottom of the tenth.
The Admirals, spotted two runners themselves, went down quietly with a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning, losing a tough one to the team they are chasing for first place. Vallejo has Monday off before beginning a three game series against the Pittsburg Diamonds on Tuesday night at Wilson Park.