The Sonoma Stompers remain undefeated early in the 2017 Pacific Association season after Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over the Vallejo Admirals. Sonoma owns a 5-0 record on the season after erupting for 38 runs in their first four games, making Wednesday’s game their closest so far this year.
“That’s baseball for you,” said the newest Stomper, starting pitcher Ty’Relle Harris. In his ninth season of professional baseball, Harris made his Stompers debut by allowing only one run while striking out nine in his seven-inning performance.
“The first inning I was kind of overthrowing a little bit, I was real excited to be a Stomper and come out here and show my stuff,” Harris said. “Once I settled in and got my fastball through the knees, we were able to go cutter off the same plane.
“It all starts with fastball command. If you can go through the knees, you make guys’ days a lot tougher.”
Harris set the tone early for his stellar night. The veteran gave up a single to start the first, but struck out Gerald Bautista with runners on the corners to end the inning. Bautista went into the matchup hitting a Pacific Association-leading .556 and coming off a 3-3 performance in Tuesday night’s game, when the Stompers erupted for 11 runs but gave up only 4, with Bautista getting 2 RBIs for his team.
The Sonoma defense was all but impenetrable in the Wednesday game as three innings ended on double plays. “The double plays were huge,” Harris said. “Once you can get two outs on one pitch, you kind of trust it more and say, ‘Hey, here, hit the ball, I got my guys behind me.’ I appreciate those fellas and am looking forward to getting out there next week and doing it again.”
Two out of the five Stompers’ hits on Wednesday came off the bat of rookie Matt LoCoco Wednesday. LoCoco continued a streak of prowess at the plate, smacking his second triple in two days to put Sonoma up 2-0 in the fifth. Despite only two hits through seven, both from LoCoco, the Stompers wrangled a 3-0 lead in that span.
Matt Hibbert surpassed Isaac Wenrich for the team lead in stolen bases, collecting three bags Wednesday as the team collected nine in all.
“In pro ball, sometimes you just can’t hit because you’re facing all good pitchers,” Miyoshi said. “We’re the type of team, we see a little thing and take advantage of it.”
Tuesday’s series opener against the Admirals ended with a comfortable 11-4 score, sparked not only by LoCoco’s two hits and three walks but doubles by Hibbert, Marcus Bradley and Eddie Mora-Loera. The team even left a dozen runners on base, or the score might have been higher still. Starter Scott Plaza got the win, his first of the young season.
The series with the Admirals continued Thursday night, score unavailable at press time. It will be followed by a three-game series in San Rafael against the Pacifics, before the Stompers make their home debut at Arnold Field on Tuesday, June 13, against the Admirals.
Tickets and merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa St. in downtown Sonoma.
Tickets will also be available at the box office on game days, beginning 30 minutes prior to the game.