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Stompers sputtering of late

Sonoma's Charlie Mirabal throws out a runner from his shortstop position during the Stompers victory over the Pittsburg Mettle last Saturday night at Arnold Field. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Sonoma's Charlie Mirabal throws out a runner from his shortstop position during the Stompers victory over the Pittsburg Mettle last Saturday night at Arnold Field. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

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After starting the second half of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball League season strong by winning a bevy games in the latter innings while reaching the top of the standings,

the Sonoma Stompers have struggled of late, which is not good timing with only two weeks remaining on the schedule.

In Tuesday’s PAPB game at Wilson Park in San Rafael, Sonoma belted four home runs, two by league leader Joel Carranza, but ended up losing to the Pacifics 9-8 after their bottom-of-the-ninth-inning rally.

While Carranza went two-for-five with a pair of home runs to go with three RBIs and two runs scored, for the Stompers, Jayce Ray batted three-for-five, including a homer and two runs, and Andrew Parker had one home run, two RBIs and one run game.

Also pacing Sonoma were Glen Walker’s single and run; TJ Gavlik’s RBI; and Rinaudo and Reid Chenworth’s double and run each.

On Wednesday, the visiting Stompers broke open a 2-2 game with a six-run top of the fifth inning en route to a high-scoring 12-9 victory over San Rafael.

Sonoma’s Will Scott pitched six innings for the win and was supported offensively by Matt Hibbert’s three-for-six, including two doubles, two runs and an RBI; Ray’s three-for-five with a double and two runs; Charlie Mirabal’s two-for-four with two runs and an RBI; Glenn Walker’s two-for-five with one RBI and one run; Parker’s homer, two runs and an RBI; Matt Marquis’ single, run and RBI; and Carranza and Steve Rinaudo’s single and run apiece.

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The Stompers’ productive catcher Jaime Del Valle is now playing in one of the top independent leagues in the United States.

Del Valle, 24, a native of Barranquilla, Colombia, signed with the Evansville Otters, one of the best teams in the Frontier League, last Sunday to help in their playoff drive.

With the top three teams in each division earning a playoff spot, Evansville is one of a trio of teams, including the Washington Wild Things and Southern Illinois Miners, battling to make the postseason as the Frontier League East Division champion, who will receive a first-round playoff bye.

Del Valle joined Sonoma from the Vallejo Admirals at the end of June and, besides his strong defensive play behind the plate, batted for a .272 average, with 21 RBIs and 28 runs scored for both teams.

Del Valle, in his last game as a Stomper last Saturday at Arnold Field, went two-for-three with two RBIs while catching former Major League Baseball star Bill “Spaceman” Lee, who broke his own record as  the oldest pitcher to win a professional baseball game at the age of 67.

Sonoma manager Ray Serrano took Del Valle’s spot on the active roster.

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The Stompers, who wrapped up their series with San Rafael last night – results not available at presstime – travel to Pittsburg to play the Mettle in a three-game series starting tonight and running through tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 16, and Sunday, Aug. 17. before returning home Tuesday, Aug. 19, to host the Pacifics.

Stompers tickets start at $3 and can be purchased online at stompersbaseball.com or at the Arnold Field box office, which opens one hour before the first pitch of every home game.