July 17, 2017 - Pacific Association (PA) - Sonoma Stompers
SONOMA, Calif.- The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, won 7-1 over the Pittsburg Diamonds behind another strong performance from starter Taylor Thurber in the final game of the first half on Sunday.
The Stompers improve to 28-11 on the season and finish the half in first place, while the Diamonds fall to 21-18 in second. Sonoma's 28 first-half victories set both a league and franchise record.
In his third start of the season, Thurber allowed six hits and issued just two walks in five innings pitched, holding the Diamonds to one run. He kept Pittsburg scoreless through the first four.
"Thurber competes every time he's out there. His approach works too, which is really nice. When he's on he's on, and when he's not, well, I haven't been to that game yet," said outfielder Marcus Bradley.
Activated Thursday, veteran Daniel Baptista scored Sonoma's first run of the game on a deep home run to left field in the third.
"It feels amazing being back out there with the guys. I'm just trying to keep things simple, do the job at hand, be in the moment every day, every inning," Baptista said.
Baptista also drew a walk in the eighth and stole a base, resulting in another run scored.
"He's definitely a game changer. Somehow, he just finds a way every time he gets into the game. He stays with his approach and it works for him. He keeps doing his job and it's helping the team out a lot," Bradley said.
The Stompers drew a total of eight walks in the game. Second baseman Scott David created several chances to score with his patient at bats throughout the night. David drew three walks, recorded one base-hit and scored the Stomper's second run.
Right-handed reliever Adam Ogburn took the mound in the sixth inning, giving up only one hit and holding the Diamonds scoreless through two innings after being inactive for over a week due to injury.
An offensive outburst in the eighth sealed the win for Sonoma. The Stompers struck for five runs in the inning. Bradley drove in two of those runs with a bases-loaded knock to center.
The second half begins on Tuesday against the San Rafael Pacifics. If the Stompers also clinch the second half, they are the outright champions.
"We have to stay focused every game, can't take any days off, come out ready to ball out one through nine," Baptista said. "If we do that, we're going to be just fine"
WHITMORE STARTS IN LEFT Kelsie Whitmore started the game in left field for the second night in a row. On Saturday, Whitmore recorded her first hit of the season.
"I've been putting in the effort this summer to really learn more about the game. Not just physically become better, but mentally become better... This is what I live for. I would be out here 24 hours," Whitmore said. "It's the one thing I wake up in the morning and fall asleep thinking about."
Whitmore was on the field for Stacy Piagno's seven-inning, four hit, one run performance on Saturday. Piagno became one of three women since the 1950's to earn the win in a men's professional baseball league game.
"I wasn't surprised. I expect that out of her, I know that's the player she is. I expect her to do that kind of stuff. Just because she's a girl, so what? She can play," Whitmore said.