Pacifics Sweep Admirals to Keep Pace with Sonoma
Back 1/2 Game in Overall Standings with Three Games Left
By Vinnie Longo
August 27, 2015
Vallejo, CA -
By the sixth inning, a game that had begun as a low pressure series finale became a must-win contest. Sonoma, who leads the Pacific Association overall standings by a half game, had already defeated the Pittsburg Diamonds and Vallejo had come already back to tie the Pacifics 3-3. With the winner of the overall standings earning the right to host the Pacific Association Championship Game, the Pacifics couldn’t afford a loss for the sake of momentum if nothing else.
Chase Tucker led off the sixth, and after falling into a 2-2 count blasted a Demetrius Banks fastball over the wall in straightaway center for his first professional home run, giving the Pacifics a 4-3 lead.
From there, the offense ignited. A four run eighth inning, propelled by a 2-RBI double from Johnny Bekakis and an RBI single from Zack Pace, sent the Pacifics home as winners 8-4, securing their fourth series sweep of the season.
“Tucker really crushed that ball, and that was a wakeup call that our offense needed,” said Pacifics Manager Matt Kavanaugh. “Every time Vallejo would score a run, the offense would have an answer. We’ll need to keep up that pace of baseball as we head into this final series against Sonoma this weekend.”
After San Rafael went ahead in the second inning on a sac fly from Tucker, the Admirals punched home three against starter Wander Beras in the bottom of the fourth. Beras surrendered only one hit in the inning, a leadoff double to PJ Phillips, but committed a costly error when he overthrew first on a Tyler Nordgren bunt attempt and threw two wild pitches, allowing Vallejo to take the lead.
But when the offense came out in the top of the fifth, they go to work quickly. Bekakis led off with a double and then scored on Pace’s single. After Daniel Gonzalez drew a walk, Pace and Gonzalez attempted a double steal. Second baseman Glenn Walker moved to cover the bag at second and Maikel Jova poked a grounder through the right side to score Pace and tie the game at 3.
It was a turning point in the game, and it wasn’t even a designed hit-and-run: Jova saw the gap open up on the steal attempt and put the ball through it.
Wander Beras gave another eight inning performance, allowing four runs (all unearned) on seven hits, walking two, striking out eight, and throwing three wild pitches. Beras (7-2) has now won his last six starts.
Jova finished the game with a pair of hits to give him 100 on the season, becoming just the third man in league history to amass 100 hits and placing him just one shy of the single season record held by Nick Boggan and former teammate Matt Chavez. Pace finished 3-4 with 2 RBIs, and the deuces were wild for Bekakis, who clubbed two doubles, scored two runs, and drove two runs home.
The Pacifics return home for the final home stand of the season on Friday evening, as they’ll host the Sonoma Stompers for a three-game set. The Stompers hold the overall standings by a half game, and will play the Pacifics in the Championship Game as the first half winners. This series will decide who will host the Championship Game.
The Pacifics will also kick off the Grateful Dead 50th anniversary tribute weekend with a Friday Night Concert in the Cove featuring The Right Time. The Right Time will perform the concert from 6-7 and Pacifics Happy Hour discounts will extend on beer, wine, and snacks up to first pitch. For tickets and more information, please visit pacificsbaseball.com.