PITTSBURG, Calif. – The Vallejo Admirals fell victim to another walk-off loss, this time at the hands of the Pittsburg Diamonds by a 5-4 score. Vallejo led for most of the game after a four run second inning, but a disastrous eighth and ninth inning doomed the Admirals, with manager P.J. Phillips getting tossed by home plate umpire Ron Adams after lightly contesting the last of numerous questionable calls.
Events unfolded for the Admirals favorably to begin the game as Joe Hicks led off the second inning with a base hit. Patrick Moriarty followed with a base knock of his own before Aaron Brill drove in Hicks with an RBI single. After a Kyle Figueroa strikeout, Vladimer Gomez came up with two outs and launched a three-run homer out to left field giving the Admirals a commanding 4-0 lead over Diamonds starter Chris Cummins.
Pittsburg would strike back in the bottom half of the frame, as Kelly Starns and Thomas Shull both reached on back to back walks. Ian Hagenmiller then came up, and in what would turn out to be a crucial play, singled down the right field line on a ball that clearly fell foul, yet was ruled fair by Adams. Due to a wild pitch earlier in the at-bat which moved the runners up a bag each Starns ended up scoring while Shull moved up to third base.
Jordan Yallen then followed with an RBI single on a grounder through the left side of the infield that brought Shull in. Hagenmiller was able to score from second after a fielder’s choice to Brill at shortstop retired Jordan Yallen at second, with Hagenmiller initially advancing to third but then scoring after a throwing error by catcher Cyle Figueroa in the same sequence, trimming Vallejo’s lead to 4-3.
This was the only scoring to be had in the game until the eighth inning, as both starters pitched well. David Dinelli went six innings, scattering eight hits that never hurt him except for in the second inning, while Chris Cummins allowed only two hits after the four run second.
Josh Evans came on in relief in the seventh inning for the Admirals and didn’t run into trouble until the eighth, when after getting a strikeout allowed four consecutive base hits by Starns, Shull, Hagenmiller, and Yallen, with Hagenmiller’s knock being good for an RBI to drive in Starns and tie the game. Evans then retired the next two batters on a strikeout and fly ball to left field.
The ninth inning was where the misery climaxed for Vallejo. After a Joe Hicks groundout Patrick Moriarty singled to put Pittsburg reliever Joe Mello in the stretch. Alian Silva was then called on to pinch run and reached second base on a wild pitch. Lydell Moseby then struck out before Aaron Brill came up. While Brill was at the plate Silva was picked off at second on a close play at the bag. The result of this play drew the ire of player/manager Phillips, who was tossed as a result.
Things would only get worse for the Admirals in the bottom of the ninth as Tyler Nordgren led off with a double. Rich Mejia was then intentionally walked after a Nick Oddo ground out that advanced Nordgren to third. Kelly Starns then came to the plate and ended the game on an RBI single that drove in Nordgren, ending the contest, and leaving the Admirals shaking their heads. Vallejo will get a day off to clear their heads before starting a three game series at Sonoma on Tuesday.