Pacifics Sweeps Sonoma to End Regular Season
Seven Game Winning Streak Heading into Championship Game
By Vinnie Longo
August 30, 2015
San Rafael, CA -
With the second half championship wrapped up and home field advantage for the championship game clinched, only one thing remained for the San Rafael Pacifics heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Sonoma Stompers: momentum.
With their ninth inning comeback the night before, the Pacifics had seized the flow of the game and, as it turns out, it carried into the series finale as well.
San Rafael took the lead in the second inning thanks to a two-out rally started by a Jordan Brower single against Sonoma starter Ryusuke Kikusawa. Adrian Martinez singled on the next pitch and then, on a 2-2 count, Johnny Bekakis blooped a single to left to score Brower. On the play, centerfielder Connor Jones misplayed the ball, allowing Martinez to score as well, making it 2-0 Pacifics. David Kiriakos singled to score Bekakis, making it a 3-0 game and putting San Rafael in front for good.
“We knew that we had a goal today to keep the foot on the gas pedal,” said Pacifics Manager Matt Kavanaugh. “The offense got into a good rhythm, and the players who have been consistently contributing during this half continued to contribute. It was a well played game.”
Jake Taylor blasted a two-run homer off of Kikusawa in the third inning, and the Pacifics plated two more in the fourth on a double play ball from Zack Pace and an RBI single off the bat of Daniel Gonzalez.
Ryan DeJesús was tabbed as the starter and, despite not having pitched since July 31, threw his best game of the year. DeJesús returned to the form that made them the Pacific Association ERA leader in 2014, going six innings of one-run baseball, scattering seven hits while walking two and striking out six. Knuckleballer VJ Collins came in and gave three innings of work, surrendering two runs in the top of the eighth.
In the last of the eighth, with a 7-3 lead, Kavanaugh elected to give Nick DeBarr and Cory Bostjancic, both pitchers, an at bat. DeBarr grounded into a 4-6-3 double play that was one of the best defensive plays of the season: Yuki Yasuda made a diving play to his right and used his glove to flip the ball to Bowles. After Chase Tucker doubled, Bostjancic, in his first professional at bat, blasted a 2-0 fastball over the left field wall for a home, sending the three-quarters capacity into a frenzy and giving the Pacifics a 9-3 lead.
Collins shut down the Stompers in the ninth, stranding the bases loaded for the third time in the game.
The Pacifics return to action for the final time on Monday for the Pacific Association Championship Game, to be hosted at Albert Park. First pitch is at 7:05 and tickets for the game are available at pacificsbaseball.com.