The Sonoma Stompers took their third loss of the season and first at home on Wednesday night, falling 8-5 to the Napa Silverados.
Starter Ty’Relle Harris, who was an important performer in the Stompers’ 2017 campaign, returned to the roster and went four innings, allowing five runs and five hits.
Defensive miscues doomed the Stompers, who were unable to make up the deficit at the plate. Sonoma’s five runs made for a season low. In their first five games, Sonoma scored 44 runs.
Stompers Manager Zack Pace brought center fielder Marcus Bradley in to pitch the ninth. Bradley struck out the side, meaning Sonoma position players have pitched three hitless innings this season with five strikeouts.
Bradley, Kenny Meimerstorf and Mitchell Ho all extended their season-long hitting streaks to six games. While the Stompers mounted a comeback in the ninth, bringing the tying run to the on-deck circle twice, they failed to comeback, dropping to .500 on the season.
The first matchup between the newly-minted Silverados and the Stompers brought the longtime rivalry between the two valleys to the baseball diamond Tuesday night.
On the field, the Stompers won 6-4, as both teams delivered strong pitching performances culminating in the Stompers’ lowest-scoring game to date this season. The difference was a throwing error in the third that allowed Bradley to advance to third and scored two.
Errors were a trend in the game, as another throwing error by Napa shortstop Nick Kern sent two more Stompers runs to the plate in the seventh.
Ho hit his fourth home run in as many games, while Bradley continued to deliver offensively, turning in a three-hit performance, his third multi-hit game.
Starter Dominic Topoozian pitched five strong innings with six strikeouts en route to the win, but credited the rest of his team with the victory.
“There’s no quit, there’s no panic in these guys, even if things don’t go our way, we’re always fighting,” Topoozian said. “We all got each other’s back, we know that deep down.”
Following Topoozian’s performance, the bullpen combined to allow two runs over the final four innings, striking out four, capped off by Jacob Cox, who earned his first save.
Nearly 400 fans attended the event, which saw Mayor Madolyn Agrimonti throw the ceremonial first pitch and local trio the Cork Pullers deliver a spirited rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
The game was the first at home for Pace and first-year general manager Brett Creamer.
“Without my entire team, especially the front office staff, interns, seasonal employees and baseball operations staff, we couldn’t have pulled it off. Six months of preparation have panned out and it was great to see the community support on top of that,” Creamer said. “Plus, we got the W.”
The Stompers host the Pittsburg Diamonds Friday, the second game of a two-game series. Game time is 6:05 p.m.
The Stompers travel to San Rafael for a Saturday game, then on to Pittsburg for a Sunday game and back to San Rafael for a Tuesday game. The Stompers will be home Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week.