With their inaugural season winding down, the Sonoma Stompers continue battling to extend their first Pacific Association of Professional Baseball League campaign into the postseason with a playoff berth, and, facing the front-running San Rafael Pacifics, earned a split to start their final home stand at Arnold Field.
After dropping a 7-2 decision to visiting San Rafael on Tuesday, the Stompers bounced back with the long ball – including two home runs by Andrew Parker and one homer each by Charlie Mirabal and player-manager Ray Serrano – Wednesday evening and posted an emphatic 11-5 victory.
In the wake of yesterday's series finale against the Pacifics – results not available at presstime – Sonoma will host the Vallejo Admirals in its final three home games starting at 7:05 p.m. tonight, which will also serve as “Dusty Baker Night.”
The Stompers and their partner, Don & Sons, have teamed to honor Baker, the former Major League player and manager, who guided the San Francisco Giants to 103 wins in his first season (1993) as their skipper, then led them to a World Series appearance in 2002.
In his Giants' tenure, Baker was named the National League Manager of the Year in 1993, 1997 and 2000, and for tonight's first 200 fans attending the game, they will receive a free photograph of Baker in action.
The Stompers and the Depot Park Museum will then team up to celebrate the Valley's home-town star Jayce Ray, who has become one of the best players in the PAPB and is in the running for most valuable player, tomorrow night, Saturday, Aug. 23, with the first pitch at 5:05 p.m.
A 2008 Sonoma Valley High School graduate, Ray, along with Stompers teammate and fellow all-leaguer Tommy Lyons, led the Dragons to the Sonoma County League title and their first-ever North Coast Section championship as seniors.
Ray then went on to be an All-American and all-conference standout at Santa Rosa Junior College and the University of Washington, respectively.
Saturday night's first 300 fans in attendance will receive a free photo of Ray in action that has been hand-signed by the star center fielder.
On Sunday, Aug. 24, the Sonoma Stompers will host the Vallejo Admirals in their 1 p.m. season home finale, with tickets for all three games starting at $3 and can be purchased at stompersbaseball.com or by visiting the Arnold Field box office.
Leading the Stompers to their Wednesday night triumph over San Rafael were Erik Gonsalves' seven innings pitched for the win, allowing three earned runs on six hits, while striking out three and walking two; Parker's three-for-four, including two homers, a double, four RBIs and two runs scored; Serrano's two-for-four with two RBIs and two runs; Reid Chenworth's two-for-three, including a double, an RBI and a run; Glen Walker's two-for-five; Mirabal's homer, three runs and an RBI; Matt Hibbert’s single and two runs; Matt Marquis’ single and RBI; and TJ Gavlik's single and run.
In its Tuesday loss to the Pacifics, Sonoma was paced by Walker and Serrano's two-for-three with a run each; Gavlik's single and RBI; and Mirabal and Parker's single apiece.