Sonoma Valley Sun


 Season opens for Sonoma Stompers 

Posted on May 30, 2023 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Anna Pier | Sonoma Sun

Sonoma’s very own Stompers baseball team opens a two-month season with an in-county rivalry match-up with the Petaluma Leghorns on May 31 at Arnold Field. General Manager Eduardo (Eddie) Mora-Loera is excited to have Orlando León Jr. on the mound for the Stompers. León, a junior at the U of Hawaii Hilo, was an All-Star in the CA Collegiate League last year for the local team. 2022 was the Stompers’ first year in the CACL. “Having college players, not professionals,” says Mora-Loera, “was a learning curve for everyone.”  

One big factor for the players was the rigorous schedule, often six games a week compared to college’s three or four. Players just have to focus on sleep, good nutrition, and hydration. In 2022 the team started with 32 player roster, typical for previous Stompers’ seasons. “But during the season we realized we needed a bigger roster, up to 40 or 42 players.” the GM observed. “Another variable is the bat.” College baseball uses aluminum bats. “The wooden bat is a different animal, as you face 93 mph fast balls.” Player development is at the heart of the Collegiate League, as these players prepare for pro-ball, and a possible chance at “the show.” 

Mora-Loera (above) pointed out a newly-installed Trackman, with radar behind the plate, that will provide data for newly-hired analysts to serve up, for the Stompers to make sense of. He is glad to have Zack Pace back for a third year as field manager or head coach. And we’re thrilled to have Noah Rabín back. He’s a phenomenal hitter.” The Sebastopol switch hitter was at SRJC, and off to Illinois State in the fall. The GM continued, “And I’m really excited about Mikey Bell, who played this year with Cal Poly SLO, in the Big West Conference. He was with us last summer, and failed a lot, and that has made him a much better player.”

“We have fans who care, and they’re excited about this new season too.” For the first time in franchise history, the Tree Fort, sponsored by 3Badge Beverages, is sold out for opening day. And reservations are way up in the Henhouse Beer Garden. We’re really pleased that Jacob’s Restaurant will be catering again. And fans will see a steady inventory of merch.”

After the opener, the Stompers play five more home games, three with the Alameda Anchors and one with the Fresno Athletics. Then, on June 6, 8 and 10 host last year’s Northern Collegiate League champ, the Lincoln Potters. “Coming out to a Stompers game is a great family-friendly experience,” affirms Eddie. “You walk into the stadium, and you are two feet away from a potential big leaguer.” 



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