By Gabe Schapiro
Vallejo, CA – The Vallejo Admirals (8-10) couldn’t dig themselves out of an early hole, losing to the Sonoma Stompers (13-3), 9-3, Sunday afternoon, at Wilson Park.
Sonoma scored all nine of their runs in the first four innings of the contest, as Stompers starter Matt Walker went six strong innings, silencing any whispers of a comeback attempt.
The tone of the day would be set within the first two pitches. After taking ball one, player-manager Fehlandt Lentini sent the next delivery over the left field wall for a leadoff home run. A walk and three singles later, and Sonoma had grabbed a 3-0 lead before Vallejo had even picked up a bat.
The Admirals did briefly keep it interesting. In the second inning they scratched their first run across with a two out rally. Glenn Walker sent a pop up into the sun, that first baseman Daniel Baptista couldn’t find, landing in fair territory for a single. Kale Sumner swung at the next pitch, sending it into the right-center field gap for an RBI double.
In the next half inning, however, Sonoma got the run right back. Joel Carranza doubled, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored when the usually sure handed Michael Cerda misplayed a ground ball.
Finally, the Stompers broke it wide open in the fourth. Sonoma batted around, sending 10 hitters to the plate. Those 10 men combined to work three walks, one hit by pitch, two doubles, and a single on their way to a five spot, giving them a commanding 9-1 advantage.
Vallejo starter Scott Weinschenk didn’t make it out of the inning. He struggled with his command it what was his first rough outing in the Admirals navy blue and gold. In his previous three starts he hadn’t allowed more than three earned runs, or allowed more than one walk. On this day he departed having given up eight earned, while issuing three free passes.
On the bright side, the Vallejo bullpen combined to toss five-and-a-third scoreless innings to finish the game and give their offense a chance. Unfortunately, the Stompers pitching staff had other plans.
The Admirals got to Walker again in the sixth, when Tony McClendon reached on an error, and Jordan Hinshaw followed that up with an opposite-field two-run home run.
That’s all that the Stompers would allow, however, as Walker finished the inning strong to finish his day. Jon Rand Jr. came in from the bullpen, and tossed three scoreless frames to complete Sonoma’s victory.
After dropping two-of-three to the Stompers at home, Vallejo will now look for some revenge as they travel to Sonoma for a three-game set. The series gets underway tonight at 7:00 PM, with the Admirals sending Devon Ramirez to the mound.