Carranza sets league HR mark

Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune Sonoma's Joel Carranza looks to connect with a pitch during a recent game against Vallejo. Sunday, Carranza hit his 47th career home run, breaking the league lead for career home runs. He had been tied with former Pacific and Pittsburg Diamond, Mike Taylor, with 46 home runs.


Joel Carranza’s ninth-inning home run broke more than just a 3-3 tie on Sunday at Albert Park. His two-run blast also broke the Pacific Association’s record for career home runs, while propelling the Sonoma Stompers to a 5-3 victory, and a series win over the San Rafael Pacifics.

Carranza tied former Pacific and Pittsburg Diamond, Mike Taylor’s record of 46 career home runs Saturday night as the Stompers routed San Rafael 20-11. No. 47 came off of Garret Granitz in the ninth inning Sunday, breaking a 3-3 deadlock giving the Stompers a lead they would not relinquish.

“I remember when he hit his first in Vallejo in 2014,” Stompers President and General Manager Theo Fightmaster said. “Never could I have imagined the impact he’d have on this organization, and this league. He’s been sensational.”

Carranza was responsible for four of five Stompers runs in the game, going four-for-five on the afternoon. It was the reigning Pacific Association MVP’s two-RBI double that allowed Sonoma to strike first against their Pacific Association Rivals.

The long ball has been the primary source of runs in the series. Both teams combined to hit eight Saturday night, 12 total in the series.

Ty’Relle Harris put up another solid performance for the Stompers, retiring nine straight following a leadoff single. He struck out eight in a seven-inning, six-hit, three earned run outing.

The 2016 Pacific Association Pitcher of the Year Patrick Conroy took the mound for San Rafael, allowing three earned runs and five hits in four and two-thirds innings.

The Stompers sit in first place and improved to 11-4 on the season after becoming the first Pacific Association team to reach double-digit wins Saturday.

Next weekend’s homestand will feature a rematch with the Pacifics, the first time the Stompers will face them at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field in Sonoma. The homestand will also include Little League Night on Friday, a remixed Father’s Day celebration Saturday and “Out at the Ballpark” LGBTQ night Sunday.

A portion of the proceeds from the weekend tilt will directly benefit Sonoma Valley Babe Ruth youth baseball. The Stompers dontated $3,000 to El Verano Elementary School’s after school program during their opening home series.

Saturday night, the Stompers and Pacifics locked up in a home-run battle as the Stompers won 20-11.

“It was like a fireworks show, it was fun,” said Carranza “Everybody was relaxed, and that’s the key to our success”

A seventh-inning grand slam by the Pacifics’ Ricky Gingras drowned a Sonoma lead Friday, but Manager Takashi Miyoshi’s Stompers used the long ball to put San Rafael in deep water early Saturday.

Friday, the Stompers dropped the opening game of the series with the Pacifics, 8-4.

The third-place Pacifics are responsible for three out of four Stompers losses on the season.

The three-game set is the second series of the season between the Stompers and Pacifics, both of which have been at Albert Park.

Sonoma travels to Vallejo for a three-game series today (Tuesday), Wednesday and Thursday before returning home to face the Pacifics for the first time at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark starting Friday, June 23. The Stompers and Pacifics meet for a weekend series, take Monday off and then face each other in another three-game series at Arnold Field.