By Daniel Barrera
PITTSBURG, Calif. – The list of contributors could go on and on for the Vallejo Admirals on Saturday night, as the team collected 12 hits on the road in an 11-8 victory against the Pittsburg Diamonds. Perhaps most impressive was Vallejo’s ability to score with small ball and the long ball.
The Admirals got things started right away in the first inning as Darian Sandford led off the game with a walk. Sandford then stole second and third base before being driven in by Alian Silva on a ground out. Tim Williams then singled and stole second base. Andrew Rubacalva then drove Williams in with an RBI single as Vallejo jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
Pittsburg answered though in the bottom half of the inning, with three consecutive hits from the first three hitters of the inning. Jose Garcia and Kelly Starns both singled, before Tyler Nordgren knocked Garcia in with an RBI double. Nick Oddo followed with an RBI single to bring Starns home and then Rich Mejia followed with a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Nordgren, putting Pittsburg ahead 3-2.
The Admirals tacked on two runs in the top of the third inning to regain the lead before the Diamonds scored one themselves in the bottom of the third, tying the game 4-4. The fourth inning however was the frame most indicative of the Admirals day offensively. Aaron Brill led off with a base hit. Patrick Moriarty then came up for his first at-bat of the game and smashed a two-run homer to right field after replacing Gadiel Baez due to a stiff back. Darian Sandford then followed the homer by drawing his third walk of the game. Sandford swiped two more bases before being driven in by a sacrifice fly from Tim Williams, extending the Admiral lead to 7-4.
More offense followed in the fifth for Vallejo as Joe Hicks drew a walk to start the inning before Lydell Moseby hit the first of his two home runs for the day, giving Vallejo a 9-4 advantage and forcing Pittsburg starter Jeff Lyons’ exit, as the righty gave up nine earned runs.
The Diamonds made the game close in the seventh inning, as Jordan Yallen led off the inning with a base knock before being driven in by a Kelly Starns homer. Tyler Nordgren then hit a big fly of his own to give Pittsburg back to back dingers and cut the Vallejo lead to two runs at 9-7. This offensive explosion eventually chased Admiral starter Brent Adheen from the game as the seventh inning turned out to be his last.
The final two runs from the Admirals came from the two biggest offensive performers in the contest as Darian Sandford was knocked in on an RBI single from Alian Silva in the eighth inning and Lydell Moseby muscled up on his second homer in the ninth inning. Sandford’s run scored was made possible by his base hit, then his stealing of two more bases, giving him an astounding six stolen bases on the night.
The Diamonds managed one more run in the bottom of the eighth inning, but that run was the sole result of walks as the bases were loaded from three walks from reliever Mario Mendoza, before Wendell Floranus came on and walked a batter of his own. This was the only low point for the Admirals in their victory, as their defense made numerous impressive plays, notably from the left side of the infield made up of Moriarty and Aaron Brill, who switched from third base to shortstop after Baez left the game. The Admirals hope to continue their sharp play tomorrow, as they try for the series victory in Pittsburg. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.