Bunda Stellar as Pacifics Deliver Shutout
San Rafael now One Game Away from Hosting Championship Game
By Vinnie Longo
August 28, 2015
San Rafael, CA -
A three game series against the Sonoma Stompers to determine home-field advantage for the Pacific Association Championship Game. That’s all that stands between the Pacifics and hoisting their third championship trophy in franchise history.
And on Friday night, the Pacifics turned to rookie pitcher JR Bunda in hopes that he could give them a chance to win. In his third start as a professional, Bunda did more than give San Rafael a chance to win: he all but gave them the victory.
Bunda went eight innings of shutout baseball, scattering three hits and striking out a career high ten batters to earn his second victory. He issued two walks and hit one batter, but Bunda induced two double-plays and was helped by some stellar defense from Daniel Gonzalez, Chase Tucker, and David Kiriakos to secure the win.
“Bunda was lights out tonight, and we needed that from him,” said Pacifics Manager Matt Kavanaugh. “Tonight was one of those nights where both starters had their best stuff: the epitome of a pitcher’s duel. We put the pressure on in the right situations and got runs because of it.”
Jeremy Williams stretched a single into a double to begin the second inning and, after being moved to third on a fly-out to deep center from Chase Tucker, scored on a Ricky Gingras groundout.
It was 1-0 Pacifics, and it would stay that way until the bottom of the eighth. After back to back two out singles from Kiriakos and Zack Pace, Gonzalez rolled a soft-grounder to short. Peter Bowles charged but the ball skidded right by him and allowed both runners to score, giving the Pacifics a 3-0 lead.
Guadalupe Barrera workout around an error, striking out two men in the ninth inning to secure his eighth save in eight tries. He’s now two saves away from the league lead in save.
Sonoma starter Eric Schwieger was also strong tonight, getting a complete game effort in the loss, surrendering just one earned run on six hits while striking out two. One of the six hits came to Maikel Jova in the fourth inning, giving him 101 hits on the season to tie the single season record.
The Pacifics will return to action tomorrow to try and clinch home field advantage in the Championship Game. It will also mark the second day of the Pacifics Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary tribute weekend, and Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh will sing the national anthem. Grateful Dead tribute band Scott Guberman will perform a pregame concert from 4-5 in the final Concert in the Cove of the year. The first 200 fans will also receive tie-dye T-shirts courtesy of Alten Construction. First pitch is at 5:05 PM and tickets are available on pacificsbaseball.com.