Sunday, July 30, 2017

Calderon, Guinn Homeruns Are Just Enough in 5-4 Victory




Calderon, Guinn Homeruns Are Just Enough in 5-4 Victory

            A three-run homerun by B.J. Guinn in the fifth inning and a two-run homerun by Yiecok Calderon in the seventh provided all of the Diamonds’ runs and they were just enough as Pittsburg held back a continually threatening Vallejo to win 5-4.

            In the bottom of the ninth the Admirals had runners at second and third with one out but San Agnew-Weiland struck out Graylin Derke and Shawn Payne hit a comebacker to allow the Diamonds to escape with the win.  Vallejo left 12 runners on base in the game.

            Pittsburg starter Michael Gunn (4-1) gave up one run and struck out eight in six innings pitched to earn the win. Agnew-Weiland got his first save. David Dinelli (1-5) took the loss for the Admirals.

            The Diamonds start a three-game series against the league leading Sonoma Stompers on Tuesday in Sonoma.


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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tight Ballgame Blown Open by Admirals Who Win 12-4



Tight Ballgame Blown Open by Admirals Who Win 12-4

            As late as the fifth inning the score was tied, but four Vallejo runs in the bottom of the fifth and the eighth blew open a close game and the Admirals won 12-4.

            With two homeruns and four RBI’s, Chris Fornaci lead the Admirals offense. Javier Marticorena and Yiecok Calderon homered for Pittsburg in the losing effort.

            Travis Blakley (0-2) had his least effective start for the Diamonds and took the loss. Demetrius Banks (1-2) came on in relief of Peter Reyes for the Admirals and shut down Pittsburg to earn the victory.


            The rubber match of the three-game series will be Sunday at 1:05 p.m. in Vallejo.

Friday, July 28, 2017

MacDonald Shuts ‘Em Down, Calderon, Marticorena Light ‘Em Up, Diamonds win 11-0




MacDonald Shuts ‘Em Down, Calderon, Marticorena Light ‘Em Up, Diamonds win 11-0

            Corey MacDonald – with relief help from Angel Lara – shutout Vallejo while Yiecok Calderon and Javier Marticorena tore up the baseball enroute to an 11-0 Diamonds victory.

            Both Calderon and Marticorena had a homerun among their combined seven hits. Jose Garcia was 2 for 3 with two walks, both hits coming off his brother Eli Garcia.

            MacDonald (4-4) pitched seven shutout innings, collecting six strikeouts on his way to earning the win.  Christopher DeLeon (2-5) lasted just 1 1/3 innings and took the loss.

            The two teams will meet again Saturday at 5:05 p.m. in Vallejo.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Diamonds Fall Behind Early, Can’t Get Back in Game, Lose 10-4



Diamonds Fall Behind Early, Can’t Get Back in Game, Lose 10-4

            Chevy Clarke lead off the game with a homerun and shortstop David Kiriakos continued his torrid hitting as the Vallejo Admirals opened a big lead early and never looked back, beating Pittsburg 10-4. Kiriakos went 10 for 14 in the three-game series including three hits tonight.

            B.J. Guinn hit a two-run homerun for the Diamonds who had opportunities but couldn’t get the timely hits to close the gap.

            Dennis Neal (2-4) started for Pittsburg but lasted only 1 1/3 innings giving up six runs --four of them earned – and took the loss. Brett Solano made his professional debut pitching 4 2/3 innings for the Diamonds and was charged with three earned runs.

            Marquis Hutchison (4-5) pitched into the eighth inning and got the win for Vallejo which won its first series of the season against the Diamonds.


            The two teams move to Vallejo tomorrow to begin a three-game set at 6:35 p.m. at Wilson Field.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Diamonds Bats Fail Stirewalt, Admirals Win 4-2



Diamonds Bats Fail Stirewalt, Admirals Win 4-2

            Diamonds starter Tyler Stirewalt gave up only three runs in seven innings pitched, but a combination of five Vallejo pitchers held Pittsburg to just two runs and the Admirals won 4-2.

            Vallejo shortstop David Kiriakos continued to feast on Pittsburg pitching – he has seven hits in 10 plate appearances in this series – as the Admirals opened up a 4-0 lead in three innings and then held on.

           Mahlik Jones gave up one run in five innings pitched and got the victory. Sammy Gervasio pitched a scoreless night and got his eighth save. Stirewalt took the loss.


            The rubber match of the three-game series will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Winter Chevrolet Stadium.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Familiar Tale: Diamonds Take Huge Lead Against Vallejo, Hold On For Victory




Familiar Tale: Diamonds Take Huge Lead Against Vallejo, Hold On For Victory

            Homeruns by Gerald Bautista, B.J. Guinn and Yiecok Calderon led the Pittsburg Diamonds to a 12-2 lead over Vallejo. But a three-run homer by Shawn Payne and a blistering 4 for 5 night for David Kiriakos lead a charge by the Admirals to pull within three runs before they finally succumbed 14-10.

            Diamonds starter Michael Gunn (3-1) pitched a rocky five innings giving up eight runs though only three were earned. He got the win. Skyler Shaw-Fuss and Sam Agnew-Weiland – who both had trouble in their most recent outings – pitched well in relief.

            David Dinelli (1-4) gave up 12 runs, nine of them earned, in four innings and got the loss.

            The two teams meet again Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Winter Chevrolet Stadium in Pittsburg.

            

DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH – SERIES NOTES, JULY 25, 2017



DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH – SERIES NOTES, JULY 25, 2017
Diamonds Look to Get Back on Track After a Weekend of Difficult Losses to the Stompers. Starting Pitching and Offense are Strong Points, Bullpen is a Concern

            Picking themselves up after being laid low by two consecutive walk-off losses to Sonoma, the Pittsburg Diamonds welcome Vallejo back to Winter Chevrolet Stadium. The Diamonds lost all three games in the wine country and at 2-6 are already four games behind the undefeated Stompers. The Admirals were swept by San Rafael over the weekend and have a second-half record of 1-5. Here’s a look at the expected starting pitchers for Pittsburg:

Tuesday, July 25, Winter Chevrolet Stadium, 6:30 p.m. – Back from a blister that sidelined him for awhile in June, Michael Gunn has regained his spot in the starting rotation. The 24-year-old hard-throwing lefthander out of Wilson, Arkansas started his professional career in 2014 as part of the Boston Red Sox organization.  In his last start – July 19 at Vallejo – Gunn earned the win with six innings pitched giving up just one run and striking out seven. His season stats:
Season Team   W        L          ERA    G         GS       SHO    SV       IP        SO       BB       H
Summer 2017  2          1          4.42     9          6          0          0          40.2     49        24        33

Wednesday, July 26, Winter Chevrolet Stadium, 6:30 p.m. – Widely regarded as the team comedian, Tyler Stirewalt has made a serious impression on Pittsburg’s pitching success. After playing at Fresno State, Stirewalt was drafted by the Minnesota Twins. Last Thursday, Stirewalt went eight innings, got eight strikeouts and got the win as the Diamonds defeated Vallejo 9-5. His season stats:
Season Team   W        L          ERA    G         GS       SHO    SV       IP        SO       BB       H
Summer 2017  5          3          3.15     10        9          0          0          60        48        32        48

Thursday, July 27, Winter Chevrolet Stadium, 6:30 p.m. – Starting pitcher to be determined

Diamonds Try to Shake Off Frustrating, Emotional Losses – Having chased Sonoma all of the first half of the season, Pittsburg was determined to make an early statement that it was going to be even tougher competition in the second half. The Diamonds were tough competition all weekend in Sonoma but lost all three. Friday night a tight game was blown open late by the Stompers. On Saturday night, the Diamonds led by a run going into the bottom of the ninth inning, but reliever Jordan Brink could not record an out as Sonoma scored two-runs for a walk-off victory. Sunday night was worse. Pittsburg led by two going into the bottom of the tenth inning, setting the stage for the Stompers centerfielder Matt Hibbert who smashed a three-run homerun for the second walk-off victory in two nights. 

From the Trading Block to the Homerun Trot -- It was a homecoming of sorts last week for Gerald Bautista who was traded from the Vallejo Admirals to the Diamonds with just two weeks left in the first half of the season. As his old and new team kicked off the second half of the season, he did his best to make Vallejo wonder why they got rid of him. Tuesday night he hit an RBI triple off the wall, Wednesday night he sent the ball over the wall for a homerun and Thursday night he drove in two runs with a double.

Diamonds Hope Playing the Admirals Will Right the Ship – They have had some wild, tight ball games, but overall Pittsburg has gotten the better of Vallejo. After taking two of three in the opening series of the second half, Pittsburg is 10-5 on the year against the Admirals – the same record the Diamonds have against San Rafael. Against Sonoma on the year, Pittsburg’s record is 3-12.

 It’s Easy to Find These Diamonds – The Diamonds are rapidly becoming Pittsburg’s reality TV show with expanding coverage of their games streaming online. Of course, the best way to catch the action is to come on down to Winter Chevrolet Stadium and enjoy a summer evening in the covered grandstand. $7 tickets are available at www.DiamondsProBall.com. All games can be heard live on www.Mixlr.com with Tony Schultz and Scott Macdonald calling all the action. The pre-game show “Runs!Hits!Aaron!” featuring Diamonds manager Aaron Miles can be heard ten minutes before the scheduled first pitch each day. A link to the “live broadcast” can be found on the Diamonds’ home page. Friday and Saturday home games are shown live on Delta TV which can be found at Comcast Channel 24, Uverse Channel 99 and also streamed on the City of Pittsburg website (search “Diamonds”). Sunday games and other games are streamed live by www.BayAreaSports.tv. That schedule can be found on their website.


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Sunday, July 23, 2017

McKeon’s Clutch Hit Wasted, Stompers Win in Walk-Off 5-4


McKeon’s Clutch Hit Wasted, Stompers Win in Walk-Off 5-4

            Pittsburg catcher Alex McKeon’s two-out, two-strikes, two-RBI single in the top of the tenth looked to give the Diamonds an extra-inning victory in Sonoma. But in the bottom of the tenth, Matt Hibbert drove a 1-2 pitch into the left field grand stand with two runners on to give the Stompers their second walk-off win in a row, 5-4.

            The two teams were tied at two after a pitchers duel between the Diamonds’ Travis Blakley and Sonoma’s Tyrelle Harris. Yiecok Calderon homered for Pittsburg and Yuki Yasuda homered for the Stompers.

            Joe Lewis (2-1) took the loss. Jacob Cox (4-2) gave up two runs in the tenth but got the win.


            The Diamonds will open a three-game series against Vallejo on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Winter Chevrolet Stadium in Pittsburg.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Diamonds Take Lead Into the Ninth, Lose 6-5



Diamonds Take Lead Into the Ninth, Lose 6-5

            On the verge of collecting their first win of the second half over the defending champions, the Diamonds helped Sonoma score the tying run and then the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to snatch away the victory 6-5.

            On the strength of two homeruns by Wes Wallace and another by Vinny Guglietti, Pittsburg took a 5-4 lead in to the bottom of the ninth.  Jordan Brink walked the first two batters and gave up a single to Marcus Bradley which drove in Isaac Wenrich to tie the score. With no outs and the infield and outfield pulled in, Brennan Metzger punched a soft infield hit to send Mesa Miyadera to the plate with the winning run.

            Brink (1-3) got the loss. D.J. Sharabi (4-2) got the win in relief.


            The two teams will finish their three-game series Sunday at 6 p.m. in Sonoma.

Close Game Blown Up by Stompers Offensive Explosion, Sonoma Wins 10-1




Close Game Blown Up by Stompers Offensive Explosion, Sonoma Wins 10-1

            A pitchers duel tied at one after 5 ½ innings, gave way to nine Sonoma runs over the final three innings as the Stompers won big going away. 10-1.

 A scoreless battle between the Diamonds’ Dennis Neal and the Stompers’ Tyler Thurber was broken in the bottom of the fifth when Matt LoCoco doubled home Masa Mayadera to give Sonoma a 1-0 lead. In the sixth, Vinny Gugliettli answered with an opposite field solo homerun for Pittsburg.

The Stompers followed with two runs in the sixth, and a run in the seventh before the bottom fell out with six runs in the eighth inning. Thurber (3-0) got the win. Neal (2-3) gave up just two earned runs in almost six innings but took the loss.


 The teams will face off in game two of their series Saturday at 6 p.m. in Sonoma.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Diamonds offense provides cushion in Pittsburg victory

Pittsburg’s offense provided the cushion as Diamonds starter Tyler Stirewalt did not have his best outing and the men in black beat Vallejo 9-5 to take the series 2-1. Javier Marticorena, Yiecok Calderon and Gerald Bautista each had two RBI’s as the Pittsburg scored nine runs in the first two innings and held on.

Stirewalt (5-3) who came into the game with an earned run average of 2.76, gave up five runs in eight innings on his way to getting the win. Admirals starter Brent Adheen (1-4) could only last into the second inning giving up eight runs and taking the loss.

The Diamonds are 2-1 in the second half and head to Sonoma for a three-game weekend series against the first half champs.

Diamond pitchers “Gunn” down 14, Pittsburg rolls 9-5

Three Diamond pitchers combined to strike out 14 Vallejo batters – seven by starter Michael Gunn – as Pittsburg got its first victory of the second half, 9-5 over the Admirals.

Ordomar Valdez with a three RBI triple and Vinny Guglietti with two hits, two RBI’s and a run scored led the Diamond offense. Pittsburg third basemen Gabriel Bautista hit a long solo homerun to the deepest part of the ballfield.

Gunn (2-1) pitched six innings giving up one run. Vallejo starter David Dinelli (1-3) took the loss.

The rubber match of the series will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Vallejo.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Blackley pitches complete game, striking out 11 in Diamonds loss

Vinny Guglietti

Former major leaguer Travis Blackley (0-1) pitched a complete game, struck out 11 and allowed just three earned runs, but two unearned runs were the difference sending Pittsburg to a 5-4 defeat to the start the second half of play in the Pacific Association.

The Vallejo Admirals – who finished last in the first half – are 1-0 after starter Peter Reyes (2-0) gave up three runs in almost six innings of pitching and got the win. Three Admirals relievers pitched into jams and then escaped them. Sammy Gervasio gave up a run in the ninth inning but got his seventh save.

Diamonds right fielder Gerald Bautista got an RBI triple and walked twice in his first game against the team that traded him three weeks ago. The Diamonds left eight runners on base.

Game two of this series that opens the second half will be Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Vallejo.

Diamonds in the rough – series notes, July 18, 2017



DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH – SERIES NOTES, JULY 18, 2017
Thrilling Race to First Half Title Came Up Short but Diamonds Are Hoping
To Learn from That and Capture the Second Half Championship

Come-from-behind and extra inning victories – with a three-run walk-off homerun by J.J. Wagner as the crowning point – filled the Diamonds’ fierce run at the championship for the first half of the Pacific Association season.  Pittsburg, however, came up short, finally being knocked out of the race with just four games left to play. The Diamonds enter the second half of the season with great starting pitching, proven excellence in the field and what many consider to be the best line-up in the league. Can they be consistent enough to win the second-half title? It’s Opening Day all over again as the Diamonds play Vallejo and everyone’s record is 0-0.

Tuesday, July 18, Vallejo, 6:30 p.m. – Former major leaguer Travis Blakley will return to the mound for his third appearance for the Diamonds.  Blakley was every effective in his two starts against the Stompers, shutting them out in his five innings of that first appearance. He will be looking to get the Diamonds off to a good start in the second half.

Wednesday, July 19, Vallejo, 6:30 p.m. – Starting pitcher to be determined.

Thursday, July 20, Vallejo, 6:30 p.m. – Starting pitcher to be determined.

Hello Vallejo!! – Scheduling quirks, driven largely by the need of some teams to share their baseball stadium, created a number of oddities this year. Perhaps the strangest of them all is that Pittsburg did not play a game at Vallejo the entire first half of the season. The Diamonds make their first trip to the City of Opportunity hoping to do as well against the Admirals here as they did at home.

Diamonds’ Home Sweet for Stompers – If you think that last sentence was a cheap way to segue into this next bit, you are correct. The chart below shows you the Diamonds were 8-4 against Vallejo, all of the games at Winter Chevrolet Stadium.



As you can see the Diamonds’ home was sweet for Sonoma where the Stompers went undefeated. Pittsburg – which has primary access to its stadium – played 24 home games and just 15 away games in the first half. Now, that situation and relative advantage will be reversed with 24 road games upcoming.

A Living Tribute to His Dad – The Diamonds were happy to give a warm welcome back to Yiecok Calderon last week.  In the midst of the championship race, the friendly right-fielder with the bright smile was suffering through one of life’s most difficult times: the death of his father. The team gave Calderon a ticket to fly home and be with his family for the services and mourning. Upon his return, Calderon said he wanted to play baseball to honor his father and one of his goals in life now is to work to inform the public about Alzheimer’s Disease.  That night, he hit a homerun.

It’s Easy to Find These Diamonds – The Diamonds are rapidly becoming Pittsburg’s reality TV show with expanding coverage of their games streaming online. Of course, the best way to catch the action is to come on down to Winter Chevrolet Stadium and enjoy a summer evening in the covered grandstand. $7 tickets are available at www.DiamondsProBall.com. All games can be heard live on www.Mixlr.com with Tony Schultz and Scott Macdonald calling all the action. The pre-game show “Runs!Hits!Aaron!” featuring Diamonds manager Aaron Miles can be heard ten minutes before the scheduled first pitch each day. A link to the “live broadcast” can be found on the Diamonds’ home page. Friday and Saturday home games are shown live on Delta TV which can be found at Comcast Channel 24, Uverse Channel 99 and also streamed on the City of Pittsburg website (search “Diamonds”). Sunday games and other games are streamed live by www.BayAreaSports.tv. That schedule can be found on their website.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Six walks in the eighth inning blow open tight game



            Three Diamonds pitchers delivered seven walks in the eighth inning allowing Sonoma to explode for five runs on the way to a 7-1 victory.  Pittsburg starter Corey MacDonald had held the Stompers in check and the Diamonds were trailing by one run heading into the bottom of the eighth.

            MacDonald allowed a hit and a walk and was pulled for Angel Lara. Lara would give up five walks – one intentional – and one hit before giving way to Ricky Shafer who also walked a batter before ending the inning. The Stompers scored five runs, three driven in by walks.

            B.J. Guinn doubled in Ordomar Valdez in the fifth inning for the Diamonds only run.  Daniel Baptista homered for Sonoma in the third.

            Stompers starter Taylor Thurber (2-0) got the win and lowered his ERA to 1.42. MacDonald (3-4) was charged with loss.

            The game ended the first half of the Pacific Association season with the Stompers (28-11) as champions and Pittsburg (21-18) in second place.

            The Diamonds will open the second half – with all teams starting 0-0 – at Vallejo Tuesday night.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sonoma’s Stacy Piagno mows through Diamonds

In a performance for the ages, Sonoma’s Stacy Piagno – the league’s only female pitcher – gave up just one run in seven innings tonight as the Stompers crushed the Pittsburg Diamonds 16-1. The 5-9, 165 pounder out of the University of Tampa allowed four hits and struck out four in earning the first pitching victory ever by a woman in the Pacific Association.

Piagno was joined in the lineup by the Stompers second female player Kelsie Whitmore who started in left field and went one for five.

Diamonds starter Dennis Neal (2-2) has been pitching beautifully recently but took the loss tonight, lasting just three innings, giving up seven hits, four walks and seven runs, though only three were earned.

With the game out of hand the Diamonds allowed a long list of players to experience positions they don’t usually play.

The final game of the series – and of the first half of the Pacific Association season – is Sunday at 6 p.m. at Sonoma’s Arnold Field.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quartet of Diamonds pitchers shutout Stompers

Three relievers combined with Pittsburg starter Tyler Stirewalt to collect nine strikeouts, give up only two hits and – most importantly – allow no runs as the Diamonds won in a 2-0 shutout.

Wes Wallace drove in Jose Garcia in the sixth inning for the Diamonds first run and Vinny Guglietti hit a solo homerun in the ninth inning to provide an insurance run.

Michael Gunn, Joe Lewis and Jordan Brink worked their own scoreless magic in relief of Stirewalt (4-3) who got the win and tied Stompers starter Tyler Garkow for the league lead in victories. Brink earned his eighth save.

Garkow (4-1) pitched a beautiful game -- striking out 12 and giving up only an unearned run -- but he was given the loss.

The two teams resume the series Saturday at 5 p.m. at Arnold Field in Sonoma.

4½ hour game yields 39 hits, 31 runs; Diamonds Lose 17-14

In a wild game that took nine pitchers and four and a half hours, the Pittsburg Diamonds saw their late inning comeback effort against Sonoma fall short 17-14.

Down 16-11, the Diamonds scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and had the bases loaded but could not bring any more runs across.

The Stompers were led by second baseman Scott David who had four hits in six at bats with six runs batted in. Catcher Chad Highberger had four hits in five at bats and one RBI for Pittsburg.

Michael Jackson, Jr. (3-1) started for Sonoma and only survived three innings but got the win. Zach Wendorf got his first save. Diamonds starter Sam Agnew-Weiland (1-1) took the loss.

The two teams begin a three-game series in Sonoma Friday night.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wild finish dooms Diamonds to 6-5 loss, Sonoma wins 1st half

Baserunning errors in the ninth and allowing runs without the benefit of a hit in the tenth ended the Diamonds hopes of capturing the first half championship in the Pacific Association. They went down with a fight, but they did go down, 6-5 to Sonoma who clinched first place with the victory.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth with a tie score and one out. Jose Garcia swung and missed for strike three. The ball got away from the catcher but because there was a runner at first already Garcia was just out and had no chance to beat a throw to first. Still he ran to first and other baserunners were clearly confused about whether they needed to run to the next base. That lead to Yiecok Calderon getting caught in a rundown and he was tagged out to end the inning.

Starting with men at first and second under the new extra inning rules, the Stompers scored three runs in the top of tenth on the strength of two walks, one hit batter and a fielder’s choice.

The Diamonds scored two in the bottom of the tenth but left the tying run at third and lost 6-5.

Stompers starting pitcher Scott Plaza (4-1) got the win and Jacob Cox earned his second save. Jordan Brink (1-2) took the loss.

Game three of the series will be played Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Winter Chevrolet Stadium in Pittsburg.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Diamonds can’t score, fall to Stompers 1-0



            

The Diamonds are at the precipice.

Pittsburg could not overcome a first-inning solo homerun by Sonoma slugger Joel Carranza and lost to the Stompers tonight 1-0. The defeat puts the Diamonds four games back of the Stompers with five to play in the first half of the season. That means Pittsburg must go 5-0 in the final games to win the first half championship.

Sonoma can clinch first place with just one more victory.

Tyler Thurber (1-0) and Jacob Cox combined to shut out the Diamonds. Thurber earned his first win of the season, Cox got his second save. Corey MacDonald (0-2) gave up the first inning home run and took the loss.

Pittsburg had opportunities to score throughout the game but couldn’t bring any runners home. In the bottom of the ninth, Vinny Guglietti and Yiecok Calderon both singled and moved up to second and third base. But Sonoma third baseman Eddie Mora-Loera made a good play on a chopper off the bat of Gilbert Bautista that ended the game.

The two teams will meet again Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Winter Chevrolet Stadium in Pittsburg.

Diamonds in the rough - Series notes, July 11, 2017


After Gaining Four Games in Five Days, Diamonds Are Ready for The Final Push for First Place with Six Straight Against Sonoma

Riding their longest winning streak of the year (5) to their best winning percentage of all time (.606), the Pittsburg Diamonds sit three games behind league leader Sonoma with six games to play before the first half Pacific Association champion is crowned. It is fortunate for Pittsburg that all six final games are against the first place Stompers, three at home and three in Sonoma.

The starters:
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Winter Chevrolet Stadium, Pittsburg:  It was Corey MacDonald (2-2) who got the latest winning streak going by starting against Sonoma July 5 and showing the way to victory. The righthander gave up just two earned runs in six innings of pitching but did not get a decision in Diamond’s 5-4 win.

Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Winter Chevrolet Stadium, Pittsburg: He gave up five hits and five walks in his debut against the Stompers July 6, but most importantly, Travis Blakley allowed no runs in his five innings of work that night. The Diamonds would take their second straight victory over Sonoma 6-5. The former big leaguer will be making his second appearance on his effort to return to the major leagues.

Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Winter Chevrolet Stadium, Pittsburg: To Be Determined

Diamonds Have Stake in First Half Individual Titles at the Plate …. -- First baseman Vinny Guglietti has been at or near the top of the batting average (.419) and runs-batted-in (34) leaders all season. His closest competitor now in those two races is Diamonds’ centerfielder Wes Wallace (.347 and 30). The two are also among the leaders in homeruns. San Rafael’s Jake Tayler has 10. Wallace after two homeruns on Sunday is tied for second at 8 and Guglietti has 5 homeruns.

… and on the Mound – With credit for three wins, Tyler Stirewalt is tied for second in that category behind Sonoma’s Tyler Garkow who has four wins. Corey MacDonald is in striking distance to grab the ERA title. His 2.90 earned run average has him second behind the Stompers Juan Espinosa at 2.54. Stirewalt is fourth at 3.11 and Dennis Neal has the seventh lowest ERA at 3.58.

With Dramatic Walk-Off Homerun Is This a Team of Destiny? – The five-game winning streak the Diamonds have built has been filled with heart stopping moments. Three one-run victories followed by two games decided by just two runs have been nail biters. But one stands out. Friday night the Diamonds had fallen behind by two runs and things looked bleak when San Rafael got the second out in the bottom of the ninth. The tying runs were on base and J.J. Wagner worked the count to 3-1. To see what happened next go to DiamondsProBall.com and click on “Wagner Walk-Off Homerun.”

How to Catch the Next Dramatic Moments in This Title Chase – If you can’t make it out to Winter Chevrolet Stadium for the critical three-game series this week, there are a number of ways to follow the action. All Diamonds games – home and away -- are available via the internet and Mixlr.com. The three home games against Sonoma – Tuesday through Thursday -- will also be streamed live on BayAreaSports.TV. Wednesday’s game will be carried by KLSN-FM, Classic Hits 92.9. KLSN will also carry the final two games of the first half of the season on Saturday and Sunday from Sonoma.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sonoma loses to Vallejo, Diamonds now three games back

Behind the stellar pitching of Marquis Hutchinson, the Vallejo Admirals tonight defeated the first place Sonoma Stompers 4-0. The Stompers loss, in combination with the victory earlier today for Pittsburg, means the Diamonds have climbed to within three games of the league leaders with six games left in the first half of the season.

The fight for the first half championship will be joined Tuesday night at Winter Chevrolet Stadium in Pittsburg where the Stompers and Diamonds will begin a three-game series. On Friday, the two teams will move to Sonoma for the final three games of the first half.

The Diamonds have picked up four games on the league leaders as they put together a five-game winning streak.

Wallace two homers, five RBI lead Diamonds to fifth straight

Led by centerfielder Wes Wallace’ two home runs and five runs-batted-in the Pittsburg Diamonds kept the pressure on Sonoma today by beating San Rafael 8-6. The victory gave the Diamonds the series sweep and was their fifth win in-a-row.

Pittsburg is now 3½ games behind the first place Stompers who they will meet in all six of the games remaining before a first half Pacific Association Champion is crowned.

Dennis Neal (2-1) pitched a strong six innings for Pittsburg and got the win. Justin Martinez pitched a scoreless ninth inning and earned his first save of the year. James McReynolds (1-2) took the loss.

The Diamonds will send Corey MacDonald to the mound Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. for the first of three home games against Sonoma.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Bautista leads Diamonds to fourth straight win



Gerald Bautista – acquired in a trade last week from Vallejo – powered the Pittsburg offense tonight with a double with the bases loaded and a sacrifice fly to drive in four runs. He also walked and scored two runs of his own as the Diamonds took a big lead and then squeaked by San Rafael 7-5 for their fourth straight win.

Combined with Vallejo beating league-leading Sonoma 6-5, Pittsburg moved to within four games of first place with seven to play.

Tyler Stirewalt (3-3) spread out four runs over six innings of work and got the win for the Diamonds. Jordan Brink pitched a scoreless ninth inning and got his sixth save of the year.

Jake Taylor hit a two-run homerun, his tenth of the year for San Rafael. Max Beatty (0-1) gave up five runs in the first inning and then calmed down but he took the loss.

The start time for the final game of the series at Winter Chevrolet Stadium in Pittsburg has been moved up to 11 a.m. Sunday because of the intense heat in the area.

Friday, July 7, 2017

J.J. Wagner’s three-run walk-off homer gives Diamonds dramatic win


Inserted in the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, third baseman J.J. Wagner launched a two-out three-run walk off homerun in the bottom of the ninth to give the Diamonds an 8-7 victory that keeps them five games behind Sonoma with seven to play for the first half of the season championship.

Down by two runs – with knowledge that the Stompers had already won – Vinny Guglietti opened the ninth with a line drive single. One out later, Javier Marticorena got a walk. The second out of the inning seemed to dim the Diamonds hopes. But then Wagner drove the ball deep into the night sky over the left field fence. He was greeted at home plate by a delirious mob of teammates and a dousing with a huge bucket of water.

Joe Lewis (2-0) got the win for the Diamonds. Eric Thomas (1-3) took the loss.

The two teams will continue their series Saturday at Winter Chevrolet Park at 5 PM.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Never-say-die Diamonds force extra innings, explode and hold on 6-5

Back-up third baseman Kori Melo made the most of his starting opportunity with a two RBI double that tied the score in the seventh, allowing Javier Marticorena, Wes Wallace and Vinny Gulietti to drive in runs in the 10th inning as Pittsburg held on to beat Sonoma 6-5.

The second one-run victory in a row pulled the Diamonds to five games behind the Stompers with nine to play before the first half Pacific Association champion is crowned.

Former major leaguer Travis Blakley started for the Diamonds pitching five rocky innings but gave up no runs. Jordan Brink (1-1) earned the victory in relief.

The game featured three runners thrown out at home plate, two for Sonoma.
The Stompers came on in the bottom of the 10th to score three runs but on a 3-2 count, with runners at first and second and two out, Marcus Bradley swung and missed and the Diamonds had won.

Ryan Richardson (2-1) took the loss for Sonoma.

The Diamonds will start a three-game series Friday night in Pittsburg before playing the final six games of the first half against Sonoma.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Bullpen shuts down Sonoma, Diamonds hold on for big win

With the first half championship on the line, Pittsburg relief pitchers Joe Lewis and Jordan Brink mowed down the last seven Sonoma batters – striking out the final six – to preserve a desperately needed 5-4 victory for the Diamonds.

A two out seventh-inning rally punctuated with RBI’s by Wes Wallace and David Whiteside gave Pittsburg a lead they would not relinquish.

Corey MacDonald started for Pittsburg and pitched a strong six innings giving up just two earned runs. Justin Martinez (2-0) got the win in relief. Brink earned the save. Pat Lemmo (1-2) – in relief of Scott Plaza – got the loss.

The victory puts the Diamonds six games behind the Stompers with 10 games left to play for the first half championship in the Pacific Association.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Diamonds scoreless streak reaches 25 innings as they fall to Sonoma 5-0



Failing to score in 25 consecutive innings at the most critical part of the season has the Diamonds on the verge of being eliminated from any chance at the first half championship in the Pacific Association.

Sonoma Stompers starter Juan Espinosa threw the second straight complete-game shutout against Pittsburg, winning 5-0 and putting Sonoma seven games ahead of the Diamonds with just 11 games left to play.

Joel Carranza hit a two-run homerun in the first inning for the Stompers. That was all the offense they needed, but they added three insurance runs in the eighth.

Espinosa improved his record to 3-0 and lowered his earned run average to 2.15. Dennis Neal (1-1) was the third Diamonds starter in a row to pitch an excellent game and still take the loss.

The two teams will continue their series at Arnold Field in Sonoma on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Diamonds in the rough – series notes, July 4, 2017


Diamonds Have A Big Hole To Dig Out Of But With Nine of the Last 12 Games
Against First Place Sonoma They Have the Opportunity

            The race is on. Six games out. Twelve games left. Nine of those games head-to-head against first place Sonoma. The Pacific Association’s first half champion will be crowned July 16. When the three-game series begins Tuesday night in Sonoma it will be the first game between the two clubs since the first series of the year. The Stompers swept those first three games and were launched on a wildly successful first half campaign.
Pacific Association    W        L         PCT    GB      STREAK       LAST 10
Sonoma Stompers     21          6         0.778   -              1W                 8-2
Pittsburg Diamonds  15        12        0.556   6              2L                 6-4

The Pittsburg starters:
Tuesday, July 4, 6 p.m.: Dennis Neal was a late addition this season to an already strong starting staff. He will be charged with giving the Diamonds a good start on their pressure-filled season ending run. He has pitched twice against the Vallejo Admirals with remarkably similar results. Here are his season statistics:
Season            W        L         ERA   G         GS       SHO    SV       IP        SO       BB       H
Summer 2017 1         0          5.14     2          2          0          0          14        11        4          13

Wednesday, July 5, 6 p.m.: Another late edition, Corey MacDonald, will get the call in game two. The right-hander has started four games and pitched once in relief, all against Vallejo. And he has been outstanding, leading the Pacific Association with the lowest earned run average in the league. His season statistics:
Season            W        L         ERA   G         GS       SHO    SV       IP        SO       BB       H
Summer 2017 2          2          2.88     5          4          0          0          25        17        11        22

Thursday, July 6, 6 p.m.: The newest Diamond, ex big-leaguer Travis Blackley will take the mound for Pittsburg. The Australian left-hander has had long stints in the major leagues with teams including the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants. Blackley lives in the Pittsburg area in Brentwood. He will be starting a new effort to get back to the majors.
Blackley’s career statistics can be found here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/blacktr01.shtml

Now You See Two Runs, Now You Don’t: With the Diamonds fighting for any opportunity to gain ground on Sonoma, it was particularly painful – and bewildering – to see two runs taken off the scoreboard in their first game 1-0 loss on Sunday. In the fifth inning, with the bases loaded, Jose Garcia hit a line drive to right center. Miles Williams made a full-out run and stretch trying to make the catch but umpire Gary Freeders ruled the ball was not caught and two runners had scored. Williams and Pacifics manager Matt Cavanaugh argued vehemently with the umpire who then changed the call to rule Garcia out and erase the two runs. Attempts to find anyone who has ever seen an umpire reverse such a call without evidence have been unsuccessful.

A Long Time Ago in a Series Far, Far Away: They were the first three games of the season. Opening weekend with the Stompers visiting Pittsburg. No one could have known how the series would set the tone for the first half of the season. Games Friday and Saturday were close with Sonoma winning 7-5 both times with the first game going 11 innings. Sunday was a blowout, Sonoma won 13-1. Suddenly the Diamonds were looking up at first place Sonoma, already with a significant three game lead. Only Pittsburg would keep a reasonable pace the Stompers after that, but the initial three game deficit has doubled to six.

Okay Pittsburg Fans, How about Some Good News?: One preview provided by that first series:
Vinny Guglietti went 5 for 11 with three RBI’s. Like the Stompers, he hasn’t slowed down. He leads the league in hitting with a .433 batting average. Teammates Wes Wallace (.350) and Jose Garcia (.325) are second and sixth. Wallace is tied for second in homeruns with six, Guglietti has five. Guglietti is number one in runs batted in with 33. Pitcher Tyler Stirewalt leads the league in earned run average at 2.68. Corey Macdonald is third with a 2.88 ERA and Skylar Shaw-Fuss is seventh at 3.86.

Don’t Miss One Championship Chase Moment: There are lots of ways to catch Pittsburg’s professional baseball team in action. The best way is to get up close and personal at Winter Chevrolet Stadium. Tickets available on www.DiamondsProBall.com.  If you can’t be at the game, on Friday and Saturday when the Diamonds are home, the game is televised on Delta TV. That’s Comcast 24, U-verse 99 and it is streamed live on the City of Pittsburg website. Just search Diamonds. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday games, both home and away, are carried live on KLSN-FM. Classic Hits 92.9. All of the games are on the internet which can be accessed via the Diamonds’ website or Mixlr.com. The radio and internet broadcasts will start 15 minutes before the scheduled first pitch with “Runs!Hits!Aaron!” the Diamonds pre-game show featuring manager Aaron Miles. BayAreaSports.tv (BASTV) is streaming many more of the Diamonds games. You can check their website www.bayareasports.tv for information.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Chase for first half pennant to heat up

After 27 games in the Pacific Association the Sonoma Stompers have claimed the title "team to beat" posting a 21-6 record. Pittsburg Diamonds (15-12) sit six games back with 12 games to play in the first half. With nine head-to-head matchups between the clubs things could change quickly in the chase for the first half pennant.

On paper the teams seem to match up well; both have players atop the league leaders in every category. Pittsburg has the top two hitters in the league in triple crown candidate Vinny Guglietti (.433 avg, 5 HR, 33 RBI) and Wes Wallace (.350). Three others, Jose Garcia, Yiecok Calderon and Javier Marticorona, are amongst the top nine.

Marcus Bradley is the top Stompers hitter posting a .323 average. Four of his teammates can be found in the top 12 in hitting which has contributed to the brilliant start of the season in Sonoma.

Michael Gunn leads Diamonds
pitchers with 33 strikeouts
Starting pitching is another spot where the teams are seemly strong with seven of the top eight in ERA leaders from either Sonoma or Pittsburg. Tyler Stirewalt leads all pitchers with a 2.68 ERA in a league-high 40.1 innings, but his tough luck win-loss record at just 2-3 after six starts. Corey MacDonald (2.88) and Skyler Shaw-Fuss (3.85) have also each won two games for Pittsburg so far.

Leading the Stompers starters has been Juan Espinosa (2-0; 2.83 ERA) who has struck out 28 batters while walking just 12 in 28.2 innings. Tyrelle Harris (2-1; 3.07 ERA), Tyler Garkow (4-0; 3.75 ERA) and Scott Plaza (3-0; 4.45 ERA) give Sonoma four of the top eight league ERA leaders.

With six games separating the two clubs the difference might be found in the bullpen. Sonoma has had consistent performances while Pittsburg have seen many large leads disappear later in games. DJ Sharabi and Ryan Richards have nine appearances each for the Stomper with an ERA under 2.00 and excellent strikeout-to-walk ratios.

Pittsburg relief pitcher Justin Lawrence has been solid so far is striking out seven while walking two, posting a 1.92 ERA in 9.1 innings pitched. Other middle relief has been good at times, while poor at others. Dylan Hecht (0-1; 6;13 ERA) and Wes Tramble (5.58 ERA) have shown they can do the job when called upon, as has closer Jordan Brink, who does have four saves, but a 5.72 ERA. Recently re-signed Joe Lewis, who began the season in the American Association, could help this group once he finds his form.

With so many games between the two teams coming up fans will find out soon if the Diamonds are indeed contenders.

This week's schedule:

Tuesday at Sonoma, 6 PM
Wednesday at Sonoma, 6 PM
Thursday at Sonoma, 6 PM
Friday vs San Rafael, 6:30 PM
Saturday vs San Rafael, 5 PM
Sunday vs San Rafael, 1 PM

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Diamonds doubleheader disaster


In hugely different circumstances, Pittsburg failed to score in both games of a doubleheader, handing shutout victories to San Rafael 1-0 and 2-0. Tuesday, the Diamonds will play the first of nine games against first-place Sonoma in the two weeks before the first half champion is determined.

Shortstop Jose Garcia figured prominently in two controversial calls in game one. In the fourth inning with the Pacifics leading 1-0, Garcia was on second when Javier Marticorena singled. Garcia raced around third to home plate where catcher Rich Gingras stood and blocked the plate as he caught the throw from Miles Williams and prevented Garcia from scoring the tying run.

In the fifth inning, with the bases loaded, Garcia hit a line drive to right center. Williams made a full-out run and stretch trying to make the catch but umpire Gary Freeders ruled the ball hit safely and the Diamonds lead 2-1. Williams and Pacifics manager Matt Cavanaugh argued vehemently with the umpire who then changed the call to rule Garcia out. An umpire changing such a call without the aid of video or some other evidence is highly unusual if not unheard of.

A great performance by starter Angel Lara (2-2) – giving up one run in 5 1/3 innings pitched – was wasted and he took the loss. Patrick Conroy (1-3) had difficulty – two hits and two walks – in relief for San Rafael but got the win. Jake Pintar earned his first save.

In the nightcap, Pacifics starter Dakota Freese (2-1) pitched his second complete-game shutout against the Diamonds in as many tries. Freese struck out six while scattering three hits and three walks.

It was also the second time Freese ruined a terrific pitching performance by Tyler Stirewalt (2-3) who also pitched a complete game striking out five.

Because it was a doubleheader, under Pacific Association rules, both games were seven innings in length.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Diamonds get sixth win in seven games, gain ground on Sonoma

An array of Pittsburg hitters had big nights and the pitching staff struck out 15 San Rafael batters on the way to an 11-7 victory, the Diamonds sixth win in the last seven games. First place Sonoma lost to Vallejo allowing the Diamonds to pull within 4 ½ games of the lead.

Among the offensive stars for Pittsburg: Javier Marticorena was 4 for 5 with 3 RBI’s and 2 runs scored; Vinny Guglietti was 3 for 5 with two RBI’s and a run scored; Wes Wallace was 2 for 3 with an RBI; Alex McKeon was 2 for 4 with a homerun and Zach Rapacz was 3 for 4 with a run scored.

Skylar Shaw-Fuss started for the Diamonds and gave up four runs in four innings. Justin Lawrence (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings in relief and got the win. Pacifics starter Yohailys Millord (2-4) gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings and took the loss.

The two teams will play a doubleheader Sunday at Albert Field in San Rafael. First game at 11 a.m.