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Extra-Inning Loss Haunts Pacifics Again

San Rafael, CA -- So much for the new Pacific Association tie-breaker rule.  The Pacifics have now lost all seven of their extra-inning games this year.

After San Rafael’s pitching staff allowed only two runs over the first eight innings agains the potent Sonoma offense, the Pacifics entered the top of the ninth up 3-2 on Friday night at Albert Park. But Yuki Yasuda’s fly ball to left turned into a three-base error to tie the game and send it into the Pacifics own private hell – extra innings. 

Sonoma posted six runs in the tenth, five of them unearned, to win the series opener 9-4.

            “It’s nothing short of disappointing,” manager Matt Kavanaugh commented after being ejected for challenging umpire Gary Frieders on a tenth-inning Sonoma interference call. “It’s frustrating to come so close to winning, and to lose the game like that. We have to find a way to close it out, or figure out a way to win in extras.”

Through six solid innings on the mound, San Rafael starter Angel Mejia battled out of jams and allowed just two runs on two hits.

Jake Taylor’s sixth-inning solo homer upped San Rafael’s lead 3-1, and made Taylor the league-leader in home runs (16) and RBIs (52).

After Mejia issued three of his seven walks of the night to start the seventh, San Rafael reliever Michael Holback allowed just one run to preserve the 3-2 lead.

Together, Holback and Garrett Granitz pitched a scoreless eighth, putting the Pacifics three outs away from the 3-2 victory.

But the fates conspired against San Rafael again.  Sonoma has now beaten the Pacifics six times in their final at bat and five times in extra innings.

Last night it was Yuki Yasuda’s one out fly ball in the ninth off hard-luck loser Ryan Harper 1-1) that sailed over the glove of right-fielder Miles Williams and rolled to the wall while Yasuda ended up at third.

“We make that play and we’re one out away from sealing the deal,” said Kavanaugh after the game. “Instead, it put the tying run 90 feet away with just one out.”

The error cost the Pacifics a devastating run, as Marcus Bradley followed with a chopper that bounced under the glove of third-baseman Zach Goldstein sending the game into extra innings.

The Stompers poured on six runs on four hits and two errors in the tenth to take a commanding lead that the Pacifics couldn’t overcome.

San Rafael looks for a rematch tonight in a pitching duel between a pair of aces, Max Beatty and Sonoma’s Tyler Garkow.

Before the 5 pm game, the Pacifics and Perry’s on Magnolia restaurant will present the inaugural “Alexis Busch Award” as part of the Pacifics’ Women in Sports Weekend. The award, named for Alexis Busch, a Marin County woman baseball player and Giants bat girl who embodied the spirit of baseball, will be given to Mill Valley native Jenny Fulle, the first girl to play Little League baseball after successfully suing the league in 1974.

Women’s Weekend ends Sunday at 1:05 pm. The Pacifics will hold a girls’ baseball/softball clinic at 10:30 am, followed by a Homerun Derby at 11:30 am featuring local high schoolers facing off against former Pacifics slugger and current San Rafael High Head Coach Steve Detwiler.

For tickets, visit pacificsbaseball.com. 

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