By Daniel Barrera
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – For the second time in three weeks, a Saturday night at Albert Park resulted in heartbreak for the Vallejo Admirals. Despite an outstanding start from pitcher Marquis Hutchinson the Admirals fell in 10 innings to the San Rafael Pacifics 4-3 on Saturday night.
Going into the bottom of the ninth inning leading 3-1, Vallejo seemed destined to win their third straight and move within one game of first place San Rafael in the standings, however the Pacifics rallied to tie the ball game. The bottom half of the inning started with a lead-off single from Maikel Jova. Kyle Adie then came on to pinch run and Garrett Gemgnani was walked immediately after the base knock from Jova. Gemgnani was also relieved on the base paths in favor of Jourdan Weiks.
Both pinch runners were then moved to second and third base on a sacrifice bunt by Brent Gillespie. Ricky Gingras then came to the plate and hit a hard grounder to Aaron Brill at first base. Brill couldn’t handle the grounder cleanly as it caromed off his upper body into the foul territory of right field. By the time the Admirals recovered, both Adie and Weiks had scored, tying the game on the tough luck error. Hutchinson lasted one more batter, getting Daniel Gonzalez to ground out before he was relieved by Joe Watson. When Hutchinson left the game he had pitched 8.2 innings, allowing 3 runs, although none of them were earned.
The Pacifics were able to load the bases in the bottom of the tenth inning when Brent Gillespie delivered a walk off single over the head of Tim Williams in deep right field for the victory. This was the only earned run of the game for San Rafael. Vallejo only had one earned run as well on a solo home run from Gerald Bautista in the top of the seventh inning. With the loss Vallejo falls 3 games back of the Pacifics in the second half standings, squandering an opportunity to shrink the Pacifics’ lead to one game.
Also of note was a benches clearing skirmish in the bottom of the tenth inning when Zack Pace slid home and was called out on a fielder’s choice. Catcher Wilfredo Petit took exception to the slide and both benches emptied although no punches or shoves occurred. Tomorrow the Admirals return to Wilson Park against the same Pacifics team, not having to wait long to erase the memory of Saturday night’s contest. The game will also be played under a time limit of two and a half hours.