Article and photo by Jesus Cano
Maybe the Pittsburg Diamonds just needed a change of scenery to have their fortunes change.
After being outscored 20-5 in their opening series against the reigning Pacific Association champion Vallejo Admirals, the Pittsburg hitters woke up as they defeated the Sonoma Stompers 18-7 in their season home opener.
The bats certainly came back to life.
After beginning the game with a rough start by Tyler Stiewart who surrendered a homerun in the first inning, returning player Wes Wallace smacked a three-run shot right after to put the Diamonds ahead 3-1.
“There’s guys looking for a scoring position so I’m looking for a pitch up there,” Wallace said. “It was 2-0 count, I’m just going to make sure to shrink my zone and make sure it’s a pitch I could drive. I got one that was up and put a good swing on it.”
Wallace finished the night 4 for 5 with six RBIs.
Stiewart continued to struggle, as he gave up back-to-back homeruns to the Stompers.
Pittsburg was handed a plethora of gifts in the fourth inning which saw a significant turn in the game.
Tied 4-4 Sonoma pitcher Robbie Kidd game in relief for starter Ethan Gibbons. Kidd struggled with his control, as he faced five batters, and gave all of them walks. Kidd exited the inning with two earned runs. It didn’t get better for Sonoma, as Pittsburg showcased its bats Rafael Valera doubled in two runs. Jordan Van Atta sacrificed to center and Patrick O’Donnell recorded an RBI single to lead the bottom of the fourth with a 10-4 lead.
Pittsburg never lost the lead after that, but that didn’t come with its trouble in the Stompers’ next crack at the bat. Miles Williams hit a two-run homer. Pittsburg pitcher Skylar Shaw-Fuss walked in a runner.
Pittsburg added 10 more runs to finish the game and snap it’s early season slump.
“We got a lot a question marks on the team, but the guys came out today and showed they were hungry and could swing the bats,” World Series champion and Pittsburg Diamonds manager Aaron Miles said.
One of the Diamonds top performers was Valera. While his jersey number is two, his lucky number as four, as he had four RBIs and had a four-hit game.
“I just wanted to be calm and relaxed at the plate,” Valera said. “If you get too rough or to hard you’re not gonna do good.”
The Diamonds play their home games at Winter Chevrolet Stadium located inside City Park at 60 Civic Avenue in Pittsburg. To learn more about the team and to view this season’s schedule visit www.diamondsproball.com.