By Gabe Schapiro
Sonoma, CA – David Dinelli turned in one of his best starts of the season, but the Vallejo Admirals (6-14) couldn’t muster any offense in support, dropping a pitchers duel to the Sonoma Stompers (12-8), 1-0, Saturday evening, at Arnold Field.
In what is the definition of a tough-luck loss, Dinelli tossed seven strong innings, allowing just three hits. Unfortunately for the workhorse, and for the Admirals, one of the three knocks left the building, for the lone blemish on his otherwise great outing. He also struck out six, and scattered four walks.
The one solo home run turned out to be all that the Stompers would need, as Mike Jackson Jr. and Dylan Stoops combined to pitch a shutout.
After a quick first inning, left fielder Mark Hurley led off the bottom of the second for Sonoma. Hurley worked a full count before driving one over the short porch in left, to hand the Stompers a 1-0 lead.
Dinelli bounced back in a major way, allowing just two more hits over his last five scoreless frames.
Meanwhile, the Admirals struggled to string together any hits against Jackson Jr. and Stoops. Twice they got a runner to third, but would leave them stranded both times.
Vallejo’s best scoring chance came in the sixth.
Glenn Walker doubled, the Admirals only extra base hit on the evening. Jackson Jr. was then quickly pulled, and handed things off to Stoops.
Stoops tossed a wild pitch, allowing Walker to advance to third, setting things up for Vallejo’s best hitter, PJ Phillips. Phillips sent a liner up the middle that seemed destined to find real estate in the outfield, but a leaping Gered Mochizuki came out of nowhere, going full extension to reel in the hot shot for the third out of the inning.
Two innings later, Phillips would return the favor, turning in his own absolute gem of a play with a behind the back flip to secure a force out at second base, and keep their deficit to just the one run.
Stoops was dealing, however, and threw three hitless innings to silence any hopes of a momentum swing, and end the game.
The Admirals are back at it this afternoon, as they wrap up this lengthy six game series against the Stompers. The action gets underway at 1:00 PM.