By: Dave Grant
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – The Admirals were unable to keep from being swept for the second time this season by San Rafael after the Pacifics came back to win, holding off Vallejo, 6-5 on Sunday afternoon at Arnold Park. Vallejo falls to 1-5 in the second half of Pacific Association play and 13-32 overall, while the Pacifics improved to 3-3 and 20-25 overall.
San Rafael improved to 5-1 at Albert Park this season against Vallejo and has now beaten the Admirals in 10 of the last 11 games in the head-to-head matchup. Vallejo left 14 runners on base and the Pacifics left 12.
Tillman Pugh opened the scoring for the Admirals after a run-scoring single in the first that drove in David Kiriakos. San Rafael answered back with a two-run double from Miles Williams brought in Cameron Monger and Zach Goldstein.
Vallejo tied the game in the second inning after an RBI single by Kiriakos that scored Vladimir Gomez from second base.
Five consecutive hits by San Rafael to open the fourth inning knocked Admirals starter Peter Reyes from the game, as the Pacifics took their second lead of the day after a two-run double by Monger that plated Mark Lindsay and Kyle Adie.
San Rafael added to their two run lead in the sixth after they loaded the bases and Derke committed an error on a ground ball from Juan Herrera that scored Goldstein. A sacrifice fly from Williams brought in Jake Taylor, giving the Pacifics a 6-2 lead.
In the seventh, the Admirals got consecutive hits from Shawn Payne and Mike Blanke and after a bunt to third by Chris Fornaci, had runners at second and third with one out. After a Derke strikeout, a wild pitch from San Rafael reliever Jake Pintar scored Payne from third and advanced Blanke to third, but Ryan Rodriguez struck out to end the frame.
A two-out single in the eighth by David Kiriakos was erased when Pugh struck out against Pacifics reliever Garrett Granitz. Through the first eight innings, the Admirals left 12 runners on base against San Rafael.
Tim Holmes pitched a perfect eighth for the Admirals, striking out Herrera looking.
In the ninth, the Admirals got a one-out walk from Blanke – who reached base in four of his five at-bats after two singles and a pair of walks – and Fornaci was hit by his 13th pitch of the season to put runners at first and second for Vallejo. Michael Holback replaced Granitz for San Rafael and got Derke to fly out to left. With two outs, Rodriguez singled to shortstop and with the bases loaded, Gomez singled to center and got the Admirals to within 6-5. Clarke popped out to second to end the game, as the Admirals left the tying and go-ahead runs on base.
Reyes suffered his first loss of the season, going only 3.2 innings allowing seven hits and four earned runs with four strikeouts and four walks. Angel Mejia picked up the victory for the Pacifics, improving to 1-1 this season with 5.1 innings of seven-hit baseball with two earned runs allowed and six walks with two strikeouts.
After a scheduled day off Monday, the Admirals travel to Pittsburg for the start of a three-game series that begins at 6:30 p.m. PT Tuesday from Winter Chevrolet Stadium. The pregame show presented by Team Superstores on the Admirals Baseball Network begins at 6:15 p.m. with Dave Grant and Tim Fitzgerald. Be sure to follow the Admirals on social media, including Twitter (@VallejoAdmirals).
NOTES: Clarke extended his on-base streak to 12 games after being hit by a pitch in the sixth … Blanke recorded two more hits, extending his on-base streak to five games, giving him his sixth multi-hit game of the season … San Rafael has now swept the Admirals twice this season and won 10 of the past 11 overall against the Admirals … Vallejo is now 3-30 when trailing after eight innings and 3-23 when a starter goes less than six innings this season.