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Stompers topple San Rafael in Sonoma franchise inaugural home opener

During the Stompers’ franchise home-opening win over the San Rafael Pacifics last night in front of possibly the largest baseball crowd ever at a refurbished Arnold Field, Sonoma head coach Ray Serrano (right) talks with center-fielder Jayce Ray – a Sonoma Valley High School graduate and former prep and college standout – who reached third base after walking for the second time in the second inning. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

During the Stompers’ franchise home-opening win over the San Rafael Pacifics last night in front of possibly the largest baseball crowd ever at a refurbished Arnold Field, Sonoma head coach Ray Serrano (right) talks with center-fielder Jayce Ray – a Sonoma Valley High School graduate and former prep and college standout – who reached third base after walking for the second time in the second inning. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

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After nearly a month on the road to start their inaugural Pacific Association of Professional Baseball League season, the Sonoma Stompers finally got to play some ball in the Valley and were welcomed by possibly the largest baseball crowd ever at Arnold Field.

Facing San Rafael in last night’s franchise home opener at a refurbished Arnold Field, the Stompers took advantage of four walks and a hit-batter to grab a 2-0 first-inning lead, but found themselves tied at 2-2 an inning later.

Sonoma then combined for five runs on seven hits in the second and third frames and, in front of the enthusiastic home fans, sailed to an eventual 7-5 PAPB victory over the visiting Pacifics, with right-handed pitcher Will Krout picking up his third win without a loss.

Leading the Stompers with two hits each were Jaime Del Valle and Sonoma Valley High School graduate and former prep and college standout Jayce Ray, and Charlie Mirabal added a pair of RBIs.

The three-game series continues with the Sonoma Stompers hosting San Rafael in 7:05 p.m. games at Arnold Field tonight and tomorrow, Thursday, July 3.