‘Spaceman’ Lee rockets Stompers
A former standout Major League Baseball pitcher and colorful on-and-off-the-field personality took center stage for the Sonoma Stompers Saturday night at Arnold Field and delivered an impressive mound performance, especially for a guy who is 67 years old.
In the middle of Sonoma’s final month’s drive to reach the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball League second half first-place finish and postseason playoffs spot, Bill “Spaceman” Lee made his one-game appearance in the Valley a successful one by pitching the Stompers past the Pittsburg Mettle for a 6-3 win.
After Will Scott pitched a complete game in leading Sonoma to a 5-1 win over the Vallejo Admirals, which avoided being swept in the series, the Stompers committed five errors in an 11-7 loss to Pittsburg in Friday night’s three-game home series opener.
But the “Spaceman” came to the rescue Saturday evening.
Lee pitched 5-2/3 innings, while yielding six hits and three earned runs in posting Sonoma’s victory and breaking his own record as the oldest player to ever win a professional baseball game.
On Sunday the Stompers hoped to pocket a win and pull into a three-way second-half standings tie for first place, but they fell behind early and ended up dropping an 11-7 decision to visiting Pittsburg.
Also leading the Stompers with Lee in Saturday’s triumph were Jayce Ray’s three-for-three, including a double and two runs scored; TJ Gavlik's two-for-four with two runs and an RBI; Jaime Del Valle’s two-for-three with two RBIs; Matt Marquis’ runs and RBI on his first homer; and Matt Hibbert’s one-for-two with a run on his 26th birthday.
In last Thursday’s win over the Admirals, Sonoma was led by Scott’s complete-game six-hitter, yielding one unearned run, while striking out five and walking one; Hibbert’s two-for-three with a run and RBI; Gavlik’s two-for-four with two RBIs; Marquis’ double and two runs; Reid Chenworth's double and run; Joel Carranza’s single and RBI; Glenn Walker’s single and run; and Del Valle’s single.
The Stompers hit the road for a three-game series with second-half first-place San Rafael at Wilson Park tonight, with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.
Sonoma then moves on to Pittsburg to play the Mettle in a three-game series from Friday through Sunday, Aug. 15 to 17, before returning home on 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.