COMEBACK FALLS SHORT

Two Taylor Late Inning HR’s Not Enough In 8-6 Loss To Sonoma

With the date of August 15th, the league-wide trade deadline, lurking right around the corner, the Pacifics are desperately trying to solidify their banged up starting rotation. Over the last 4 games, the Pacifics have rehearsed 3 new starters, but have come up dry. 

The so-called “new guys” are 0-2 with a whopping collective 10.80 ERA.  The Pacifics are 1-2 in those games. 

Yet another fresh face answered the casting call to audition for the Pacifics Thursday night. Billy Damon (0-1, 10.80 ERA), newly arrived from a successful season in the Pecos League, fresh out of college at 22 years old, was thrown into a hotly contested pennant race with the hopes of providing some spark to a struggling and sluggish Pacifics production.

It was a lot to ask of the kid. 

Shaking off the nerves, Damon delivered an effective opening inning performance, but in the 2nd  the streaking Stompers got on the board after catcher  Mitchell Ho hit a low liner to center for an RBI double. 

Damon found greater troubles in the top of the 3rd. Miles Williams led off the inning with a ground-rule double to left center. With 1 out, Kenny Meimerstorf doubled home Williams and then with 2 outs Kevin Farley hit a sinking liner to Wallace which he dove for and missed, allowing Meimerstorf to score, growing the Sonoma lead to 3-0. 

Tiring under the bright stage lights, Damon lost command of the strike zone in the  4th, walking Rayson Romero and Rob DeAngelis on 8 pitches to open the inning. Behind 1-0 on former Pacific Miles Williams, Damon grooved him a fastball, an egregious faux pas. Williams hit it over the scoreboard in right center, giving Sonoma a gaudy 6-0 lead. 

The oft-times buried Pacifics have been forced to employ the “chipping away” strategy frequently these past few weeks as the pitching staff shoveled them into early and deep holes. Again, last night the Pacifics were forced to climb their way out with a sole run in the bottom of the 4th. Clark led off with a triple to right center for the first Pacifics hit of the game and, strangely, speedster Clark’s first triple of the season. Rando Moreno followed with a grounder to Farley at third to score Clark and show some spark of life. 

In the bottom of the 5th inning, Zach Files became the second baserunner of the night when he was hit by Vijay Patel (6-3, 5.01 ERA). After Files stole second, Jake Taylor delivered his first of five RBIs with a double down the left field line, scoring Files and inching it closer at 6-2. 

With mixed reviews, Damon lasted 5 innings in his Pacifics debut, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits while striking out a very respectable 7 Stompers. 

The hot and cold Angel Baez (0-1, 6.88 ERA) tossed an efficient 1-2-3 6th before finding trouble in the 7th

Daniel Baptista and Kevin Farley seemingly put the game out of reach with back-to-back opposite field homers to start the inning, extending the Sonoma lead to 8-2. Baez then settled down, retiring the next three hitters in a row after the damage was done.

Thus far, it’s safe to say that it’s been a disappointing season for Jake Taylor (.306, 12 HR, 51 RBI), finding himself demoted to the bottom of the lineup after three years of anchoring its middle. While he’s maintained an over .300 batting average, the big hits and dominating presence have not materialized.  This night, however, was a return to form. Taylor took the leading role in a bravado performance that would, sadly, fall tantalizingly short. 

Taylor led off the bottom of the 8th inning with a solo home run, his 11th of the season, cutting the lead to 8-3. 

In the bottom of the 9th, the resilient Pacifics began their late, desperate comeback with back-to-back singles by Gillespie and Wallace off Jason Seever (9.00 ERA). Then with 2 outs, Taylor went yard again, his 2nd homer of the night and his 12th of the season to bring the Pacifics within 2 runs, 8-6. 

But, like Nora Desmond’s failed return to the screen in Sunset Boulevard, the Pacifics dream of late glory stalled.  They ran out of innings. 

With the loss, the Pacifics are now 39-22 on the season (9-12 in the second half) and sit 3 games behind Sonoma for the league lead with a crucial final game of the series on Friday night. 

Tonight, the Pacifics will be making history with the first ever “Oysters & Baseball Festival”, presented by the Hog Island Oyster Company! On this special night, the Pacifics will be renamed as the Oysters.  Visit PacificsBaseball.com to purchase a special ticket package including a general admission ticket, a 6 oyster sampler, a glass of Van Ruiten sparkling rosé, and an Oysters jersey - the exact same one that the Pacifics will be playing in! Oysters and jerseys will also be available for ala carte sale at the game. Friday’s game against the Sonoma Stompers is slated to start at 7:05. 

Tickets can be purchased at pacificsbaseball.com.