Two players very familiar to local fans of the Sonoma Stompers will be on the roster again this year, having agreed to terms for their forth seasons with the club.
Designated hitter Joel Carranza, and pitcher Mike Jackson Jr., have both been part of the Stompers since the team’s inaugural season in 2014, and were contributors for the team’s 2016 Pacific Association Championship.
Carranza, a Florida native, earned the league’s Most Valuable Player award with a league-leading batting average of .316 and a second-in-league 15 home runs. Carranza has slugged 44 round-trippers during his three years with the franchise.
“Sonoma has always felt like a home away from home to me,” said Carranza, who spent part of 2015 and 2016 with the Trois-Rivieres Aigles of the Canadian-American Association. “Since day one everyone in town and the Sonoma Stompers organization has supported me and made me feel like family.
“It makes coming back to Sonoma an easy decision. I’m looking forward to the season, seeing the team again and doing everything I can to help this organization win another championship.”
Veteran right-hander Jackson Jr. had one of the best seasons of his professional career in 2016, his third season in Sonoma as the ace of the pitching staff. The Pittsburgh product led the Pacific Association in wins (8-2) and was second in ERA at 2.84.
Jackson had one of the most dominant stretches of any pitchers in the league in the second half of the season, going 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA in his last five starts. He finished the season with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League after being called up on Aug. 15 and missing the last few weeks of the regular season. Still, Jackson finished second in Pitcher of the Year voting behind San Rafael’s Patrick Conroy.
“It’s hard to describe just how important these guys are to our organization,” said Stompers team President and General Manager Theo Fightmaster. “They’ve both been here since Day One. They’re integral to what we’ve accomplished, and what we hope to accomplish this season.”
The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, begins its season on June 2 against the Pittsburg Diamonds with a three-game series there, followed by three-game sets against other Pacific Association teams the Vallejo Admirals and the San Rafael Pacifics. Their first home game doesn’t come until Tuesday, June 13, against Vallejo.
Season tickets for the upcoming 2017 season at People’s Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field, as well as mini-plans and partial season tickets, are available now on the website, www.stompersbaseball.com, or at the Stompers Fan Shop, 234 West Napa St. Group events and group tickets are also available now. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 707.938.7277 for questions and more information.