By Gabe Schapiro
Vallejo, CA – The Vallejo Admirals (13-24) did well to make what looked like a laugher early into a nail biter, but their big comeback bid fell just short, losing to the Sonoma Stompers (24-11), 8-6, Tuesday night at Wilson Park.
The Stompers opened the game scoring eight unanswered runs, but the Admirals managed to silence the onslaught, as their offense began chipping away at the deficit. Vallejo had the tying run sitting at second base as late as the eighth inning, but couldn’t land the finishing blow to complete the comeback. Sonoma starter Jeff Conley was shaky, but got the job done, earning the win. Closer Sean Conroy came up huge, battling out of a basses loaded and one out situation, to eventually take home the save.
Vallejo has had to endure a couple of lopsided losses at the hands of the Pacific Association’s best team, and in the opening frames it looked like this could well turn into another one.
Matt Hibbert got the ball rolling with a bang, sending the second pitch of the game over the left field fence for a solo home run.
That was just the beginning, as the Stomper hitters jumped all over Admirals starter Nick Flory.
They would go on to send all nine men to the plate in the first inning, scoring six runs on five hits.
Sonoma kept adding on, notching single runs in the second and third to give them an 8-0 lead.
Flory settled down nicely from there, however, to begin the turning of the tide. He would go on to face the minimum over the fourth and fifth innings, to finish his night and hand it off to the bullpen.
Meanwhile, Vallejo’s bats awoke, putting their first dents into the deficit in the fourth.
Veteran PJ Phillips led off the inning with a double. First baseman Lydell Moseby, making his Admirals debut, then sent a line drive into center field to pick up his first hit and RBI with the club. Moseby himself would come around to score three batters later on a fielders choice and an errant throw by shortstop Aritz Garcia, making it 8-2.
The resilient Admirals kept at it, adding two more runs in the fifth.
Robert Brown and Glenn Walker reached on singles, with Brown scoring on a fielder’s choice off of the bat of Phillips. Phillips then advanced all the way to third when right fielder Taylor Eads dropped a routine fly ball, and crossed the last 90 feet home thanks to a Josh Wong RBI single.
Wong would come up clutch again in the seventh, adding another RBI single to make it 8-5.
In the eighth, Vallejo made their last big push.
Tyler Nordgren and Brown started the rally with a walk and a single. Jalyen Harris brought the Admirals to within just two, driving in Nordgren with an RBI single. With two runners on and one out, Sonoma called on Conroy to get them out of the jam. Walker, the first batter he faced, beat out a tall chopper for an infield single, loading the bases. One of the league’s best closers proved why he is just that, however, by striking out Phillips and Moseby to put an end to the threat.
That would be Vallejo’s last gasp, as Conroy retired them in order in the bottom of the ninth to end it.
The Admirals will be back in action tonight, in game two of this three game series with the Stompers. Vallejo will send Tony Guerra to the mound, making his first appearance back with the team since being re-acquired last week.
In addition, the Admirals will also be hosting Family Fun Night! $25 gets you four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas.