Partly sunny

Stompers open home stand tonight

Professional baseball in the Valley begins at 7:05 p.m. tonight when the Sonoma Stompers Baseball Club holds its franchise home opener at a refurbished Arnold Field, where it will host the San Rafael Pacifics.

The Pacific Association of Professional Baseball League home series continues through tomorrow night, Wednesday, July 2, and Thursday, July 3.

After playing a long stretch of PAPB road games a month into the season, the Stompers will host the San Rafael Pacifics in this evening's inaugural home clash, with Sonoma recently bolstering its lineup with the signings of Matt Hibbert and Manuel Osborne-Ramirez, who each swing a strong bat and are solid with the glove. Hibbert is a 5-foot, 10-inch, 180-pound 23-year-old out of Chandler, Arizona, who played his previous two seasons with the Hawaii Stars, formerly of the North American Baseball League and later the Pacific Association of Baseball Clubs.

In two seasons in two different leagues, Hibbert batted .265, stole 24 bases in 76 game appearances, and was a standout in the outfield, committing only four errors in 187 chances.

The 6-1, 210-pound Osborne-Ramirez, nephew of former big league star and World Series MVP Manny Ramirez, played last season with the Amarillo Sox of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

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