Max and Mazza, Timely Bats Combine to Defeat Sonoma 5-2

With a 3-way tie for second place in the Pacific Association standings between San Rafael, Sonoma and the surging Silverados, all 2 games behind the defending league champion Vallejo Admirals, last night’s matchup between the Pacifics and Stompers before a raucous Tuesday night crowd of 540 took on added meaning despite the fact that the young season was still not quite two-weeks old.

After all, was said and done, matters got ratcheted tighter with Vallejo’s lead slimmed to 1 after a taut 1-0 loss to Pittsburg.  The Silverados, winners of 6 straight, and the Pacifics remained on the Admirals heels with victories of their own.   

For the Pacifics (7-4), reliable ace Max Beatty (2-1, 6.00) took his turn on the bump, continuing his run of solid performances with 7 strong innings of work to give the Pacifics a much-needed victory and their bullpen a much-needed rest.

“Max looked great tonight.  He had command and all his pitches were working,” said Pacifics manager Matt Kavanaugh.  “We got some clutch hits and a shut-down appearance from Mazza.  The crowd was awesome, loud and behind us all the way.  It was a good night for Pacifics baseball.”

The Pacifics scored out of the gate in the bottom of the first against Stompers starter Tyrelle Harris (0-2, 6.00). Rando Moreno doubled and Jake Taylor singled to put runners at the corners for the league’s leading hitter, Javion Randle (.429), who beat out an infield single deep in the hole at short to give the Pacifics a 1-0 lead. 

Moreno once again was the offensive catalyst, leading off the 3rd inning with a single, advancing to second on a passed ball, and then scoring when Brent Gillespie dumped a double down the left field line to extend the lead to 2-0. 

Beatty was in command through the first 2 innings, striking out the side in the 2nd, but in the 3rd inning he was forced to work out of a bases loaded and nobody out jam by striking out Kam Stewart looking on a sharp curveball then inducing a 5-4-3 double play to walk away unscathed. 

In the 4th Beatty once again evaded trouble with runners at first and second with one out before getting Eddie Mora-Loera to ground into an inning-ending 5-3 double play. 

Beatty ended his night allowing only 2 runs on a 2-run homer by Kenny Meimerstorf in the 6th while striking out 9 in his 7 innings of work. 

The offense answered right back in the bottom of the 6th, bunching an RBI double from Zach Files and an RBI single by DonAndre Clark, then scoring on a bases-loaded walk by Kyle Ulanday to increase the lead to 5-2, ultimately all the Pacifics would need.

After Beatty’s strong outing, Kavanaugh handed the game off to steady Chris Mazza (0.82 ERA). En route to his second save of the year, Mazza allowed only one base runner on a swinging strike 3 that got to the backstop, while striking out 5 of the 7 batters he faced.  Proving his overpowering performance, Mazza threw 20 strikes in his 28 total pitches thrown. 

The Pacifics will go on the road to Sonoma Wednesday at 6:00 pm and Pittsburg Thursday and Friday at 6:35 before returning home for the weekend. 

The Stompers will be back at Albert Park Saturday against Sonoma.  Former 12-year MLB veteran J.P. Howell, who has been commanding over his first two outings for the Pacifics not allowing a run and striking out 11 in his 7 innings pitched, will make the start.  First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 and the first 250 fans will receive the official batting practice shirt of the 2018 Pacifics sponsored by Scot Candell and Associates, featuring the “Best Team on Grass” logo on the back. Sunday is Father’s Day, and the Pacifics invite all Dads to bring their kids to Albert Park to play catch on the field with the Pacifics at 11:30 am. 

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