BOYD PLAYED 'FOR LOVE OF THE GAME' IN 2018

 Photo via Columbia Basin Herald

Photo via Columbia Basin Herald

College-baseball careers do not typically come to an end in the summer.

Players competing in associations such as the West Coast League are meant to sharpen their skills with a summer-ball team, then return to their university a better player.

For Hunter Boyd, this summer was the end of his playing career.

Boyd, a right-handed pitcher from nearby Moses Lake, is finished playing baseball and will instead pursue a career in law enforcement.

“Just not a big school guy,” Boyd said. “The classes were a lot harder than they needed to be for my career choice for the police. I don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree, so I just wanted to call it done and start my career with the police.”

Boyd would have been entering his senior year at the College of Idaho, but has opted to go a different route. It’s not the atypical route for a college athlete, rather, it’s the route Boyd has chosen.

That he chose to spend one last summer competing speaks to both his love of the game and his love of the Wenatchee AppleSox.

“I love Wenatchee, I’ve got a lot of friends here, a lot of family around,” Boyd said. “It’s nice to play in front of friends and family for a coach who I’ve had for three years.”

After graduating from Moses Lake High School in 2015, Boyd went to Yakima Valley College and experienced early success with his collegiate career. The Yaks won the 2016 NWAC Championship and Boyd went 4-5 with a 3.05 ERA as a freshman.

The next season, Boyd and the Yaks finished runner-up at the NWAC Championship. Boyd punched out 77 batters, 31 more than the previous season. He also tossed seven quality starts, two of which were complete-game shutouts.

Boyd left Yakima Valley to play for the College of Idaho in 2018. Though he put up strong numbers, Boyd did not find the same passion for baseball that he had previously.

“A big part of it was my last school I came from,” Boyd said. “Just kind of lost the love of the game.”

Boyd’s enthusiasm for pitching had been high after spending the 2017 summer with the AppleSox. He said he enjoyed continuing to play for head coach Kyle Krustangel, who was also his head coach with the Yaks.

“He doesn’t play favorites,” Boyd said. “He’s not necessarily a friend, but a coach who is a good idol for me. I love playing for him. He plays the game the right way and he always wants to win, so that’s nice to play under.”

Between juggling classes and baseball, Boyd realized as a junior that baseball was not in the cards for his future. He knew that the spring semester in 2018 would be his last in the classroom.

However, it wouldn’t be the end on the mound.

Instead of getting out of baseball as fast as he could Boyd wanted to return to a place that he loved to pitch at. That made returning to the AppleSox an easy decision.

“As soon as the season ended last summer,” Boyd said, “I think the last day of the season, Krustangel said ‘we’d love to have you back here.’ I said I’d love to come back and here I am.”

Boyd threw five quality starts this summer, including one of two complete games thrown in the West Coast League. In that effort against Portland on July 18, Boyd took a shutout into the ninth inning and matched his season-high with eight strikeouts.

Now that his baseball career is over, Boyd is looking to the future. He’s focusing on his law enforcement career right now, but is open to potentially getting back into coaching.

Regardless of where Boyd ends up, this much is certain: he rediscovered his love of the game in 2018 and ended his career the way he wanted. How many players simply take the field for pure love of the game?

“I came here and have one more fun summer and end it on a good note,” Boyd said.

It’s safe to say that he did.

SEASON ENDS IN KELOWNA WITH LOSS

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KELOWNA, B.C. - The Wenatchee AppleSox (26-28, 15-13 second half) concluded their 2018 season with an 11-3 loss to the Kelowna Falcons on Wednesday night at Elks Stadium.

The Sox dropped their first series of the season in nearly a month and wrapped up their season north of the border.

Evan Williams went 3-for-5 with several stellar catches in center, Kody Darcy reached base three times to score two of the Sox’ runs and J.T. Schwartz hit his fourth home run of the season in the loss.

The Sox led 2-1 entering the bottom of the third thanks to a sacrifice fly by Connor McCord in the first inning and an RBI groundout by McCord in the third. However, the Falcons scored eight runs to take a lead that they would not relinquish.

Despite a late push, the AppleSox finished two games out of first place in the North division for the second half. Wenatchee won 12 of its final 16 games and five consecutive series until this season-ending set.

Full boxscore: http://pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscore.html?gameid=444998

APPLESOX DROP SECOND GAME OF SERIES WITH FALCONS

KELOWNA, B.C. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (26-27, 15-12 second half) dropped the second game of their season-ending three-game series with the Kelowna Falcons, 15-1, on Tuesday night at Elks Stadium.

J.T. Schwartz recorded his second multi-hit game in his last three games by going 3-for-4 with a double and two singles. He also scored the AppleSox lone run thanks to a Dawson Day sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.

Curtis Bafus (4-5), who has been the AppleSox most consistent starter this season, did not toss a quality start for the first time since June 2. All eight of his starts in between were stellar efforts that gave the Sox a chance to win each night.

The right-hander from VCU allowed six runs over 4.2 innings and suffered the loss. The AppleSox scored an average of 3.36 runs in the 11 games that Bafus pitched this season.

Despite suffering the loss, Bafus struck out eight batters and now leads the West Coast League with 72 punchouts this season.  

When the Sox scored in the sixth, the deficit had been cut to five runs, but the Flacons piled on, scoring nine times in the final three innings to pick up a 14-run victory.

The Sox can finish the season series against the Falcons with a tie by winning the series finale tonight. A win would also put the AppleSox at a .500 record overall. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.

Full boxscore: http://westcoast.wttbaseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=444997

SOX OPEN SERIES WITH WIN AGAINST KELOWNA

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KELOWNA, B.C. – The Wenatchee AppleSox moved to half-a-game out of first place with a 7-4 victory over the Kelowna Falcons on Monday night at Elks Stadium.

Thanks to Yakima Valley’s fourth loss in the last five games and the Sox’ fourth consecutive win, Wenatchee is now less than a game out of a playoff spot.

Michael Spellacy (3-1) won his second consecutive start by allowing three runs over seven innings. The right-hander from Gonzaga did not walk any batters for the first time this season.

Offensively, the Sox used two multi-run innings to plate all seven of their runs. The AppleSox collected five of their seven base-hits in the three-run third and a four-run seventh inning. The Sox drew more walks (eight) than base-hits (seven) in the victory.

After the first three batters of the second reached to give Kelowna a 1-0 lead, the Sox took and retained the lead for the rest of the game with a strong third inning. With two outs, Evan Williams walked and Mason Marenco reached on an error to put runners at first and third. Connor McCord singled in Williams and then Jacob Prater found the left-center gap with a 2-RBI double.

A Kelowna solo homer in the fourth cut the deficit to one and then neither team scored again for the next two innings.

Seven Sox batters came to the plate in the seventh inning to plate four runs. Brayden Hamilton led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Kody Darcy. A pair of wild pitches scored Hamilton and then Williams and Marenco went to third and second on a walk and an error, respectively. McCord singled again to plate a run and then Joey Magro hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-2.

The Falcons scored singular runs in the seventh and eighth innings to cut the deficit to two, but for the second straight night, the Sox turned a double play to end the ballgame.

The series continues tonight in the penultimate game of the regular season for both squads. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.

Full boxscore: http://westcoast.wttbaseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=444996

SOX ROUND OUT REGULAR SEASON IN KELOWNA

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APPLESOX (25-26, 14-11 second half)

v.s.

Kelowna Falcons (26-25, 12-13 second half)

August 6-8

Elks Stadium

 

The Wenatchee AppleSox wrap up their 2018 regular season with three games against the Kelowna Falcons to start this week. The Sox are a game-and-a-half out of first place and still in the hunt.

They last played the Falcons on June 16-18 in Wenatchee. Kelowna won the final two games of the series to take the AppleSox’ first West Coast League home series of the season. 

 

Probable Pitchers

Monday

AppleSox: Michael Spellacy (2-1, 3.51 ERA)

Falcons: Stone Churby (1-3, 5.65 ERA)

Tuesday

AppleSox: Curtis Bafus (4-4, 2.21 ERA)

Falcons: Trevor Brigden (3-4, 3.11 ERA)

Wednesday

AppleSox: Hunter Boyd (5-2, 4.07 ERA)

Falcons: James Brooks (4-0, 4.66 ERA)

 

Scouting the Opponent

Like the AppleSox, the Kelowna Falcons’ playoff hopes hang by a thread. However, they enter the final series of the season with much to play for.

The Falcons are fresh off a four-games-in-three-days set with Bellingham. Kelowna split the series and has lost nine of its last 12 games.

Despite the struggles, the Falcons are still fourth in the West Coast League in batting average (.278). However, their 5.21 team ERA is the worst in the league.

 

Playoff Chances

The AppleSox enter the final series of the regular season still in the hunt for a playoff spot, but they need some help. The Sox are currently a game-and-a-half out of first in the North division with three games remaining.

If the Yakima Valley Pippins lose twice this weekend to the Corvallis Knights and the Sox win all three games against Kelowna, the Sox move into a tie with Bellingham for the best record in the second half.

Bellingham would win the second half since they beat the Sox four out of six games. However, the AppleSox would win the second half playoff spot because they would have the second-best overall record in the North division for the 2018 season.

The Sox would not technically win the second half since they would have the same record as Bellingham and the Bells defeated the Sox four times in six games. However, the Bells won the first half and cannot also win the second half. The second-half playoff berth for the North division would then go to the team with the second-best overall record, first and second half combined. 

With a sweep of the Falcons, the Sox would have the second-best overall record from the North division. However, that won't meant anything if the Pippins win two of their final three games, at the least. They would finish 17-10 and thus a half-a-game ahead of the Bells to win the second-half playoff spot.

Other teams can still qualify for the playoffs. Victoria gets in with a sweep of Portland, two Kelowna losses and two Yakima Valley losses. Kelowna gets in with two Yakima Valley losses and two wins over the AppleSox. Everyone in the North division is alive except for Port Angeles.

 

 

APPLESOX END 2018 HOME SCHEDULE WITH SWEEP

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WENATCHEE, Wash. – In their final home regular season game of the 2018 season, the Wenatchee AppleSox (25-26, 14-11 second half) wrapped up their first sweep of the season with an 11-4 victory over the Victoria HarbourCats on Sunday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.

Connor McCord (3-5) allowed one earned run over seven innings to pick up the win. He also batted cleanup for himself and drove in three runs, all in two plate appearances with the bases loaded.

Mason Marenco and Evan Williams both reached base four times apiece as the AppleSox kept pace and remained a game-and-a-half behind the Yakima Valley Pippins for first in the North division.

After the HarbourCats opened the scoring with a run thanks to an error in the second, the Sox tied it up in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Jordan Rathbone singled to extend his hitting streak to a season-high six games. Jake Taylor’s first triple of the season plated Rathbone and made it 1-1.

The next inning, the Sox took the lead. After Marenco and McCord to put runners at first and third. Schwartz grounded out to score Marenco and give the AppleSox a 2-1 edge after three innings.

Victoria tied the game up in the fourth thanks to two more errors. The Sox again responded with a run of their own when Rathbone and Williams singled then Marenco walked to load the bases and McCord was hit by a pitch for a painful RBI.

For the second straight night, the sixth inning proved to be another great inning for the AppleSox. After scoring four runs the night before, Wenatchee plated three this time around.

With one out out, Marenco drove in two runs after Isaac Barrera singled and Williams walked. Then, Jacob Prater singled in Marenco to make it 6-2, AppleSox.

In the eighth, the HarbourCats cut the deficit to two. Each inning the HarbourCats scored in on Saturday night, the AppleSox either matched or better that total in the bottom of the same inning. That held true in the eighth as the Sox scored five runs.

Taylor and Williams singled and then Marenco walked to load the bases. McCord plated two with an RBI single and Prater reached on an error to score McCord. Schwartz followed with a two-RBI single of his own to cap the scoring.

The Sox now hit the road for their final series of the season with a three-game set against the Kelowna Falcons starting on Monday night at 6:35 p.m.

SCHWARTZ AND GOMEZ LEAD SOX TO WIN AGAINST HARBOURCATS

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WENATCHEE, Wash. – Behind a 3-for-4 night from J.T. Schwartz and stellar pitching by Alec Gomez, the Wenatchee AppleSox (24-26, 13-11 second half) won their fifth consecutive series with a 5-2 triumph over the Victoria HarbourCats on Saturday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.

Schwartz reached in all four plate appearances and his three-run homer in the sixth was the difference as the Sox won for the 10th time in their last 13 games. Gomez (2-0) set two season highs with seven innings pitched and seven strikeouts.

Yakima Valley lost for the fourth consecutive time on Saturday night, meaning that the AppleSox are now a game-and-a-half out of first place in the North division for the second half.

After the HarbourCats got the game’s first run in the second thanks to an error and two wild pitches, the Sox answered in the fifth. Schwartz led off with a single and moved to third thanks to a wild pitch and a deep fly out. Brayden Hamilton picked up his first RBI of the season by reaching on an infield single to plate Schwartz.

The next inning, the Sox scored four runs to take the lead. With one out, Mason Marenco reached on a two-base throwing error by the pitcher. Connor McCord singled to center to score Marenco and give the AppleSox the lead. After Jacob Prater walked, Schwartz connected on his third home run of the season, a three-run shot to right.

The Sox have now scored 44 runs in the sixth inning this season. That is their most of any inning this summer.

The HarbourCats got a run back in the seventh, but Brian Marquez faced the minimum, in part thanks to a pair of double plays, and picked up the two-inning save.

The Sox will go for their first sweep of the season when they face the HarbourCats in the home finale on Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

Full boxscore: http://westcoast.wttbaseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=445051

HOMERS BUOY APPLESOX PAST HARBOURCATS

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WENATCHEE, Wash. - Thanks to a seven-run third inning, the Wenatchee AppleSox (23-26, 12-11 second half) defeated the Victoria HarbourCats on Friday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.

The AppleSox hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the third to plate six of the seven runs in the inning and moved to 2.5 games out of a playoff spot with the victory. Connor McCord, Jacob Prater and Dawson Day all consecutively homered in a span of six pitches.

Hunter Boyd won his team-high fifth game of the season by only allowing one unearned run over five innings and Grady Miller tossed four scoreless innings afterwards to pick up his second save of the season.

With the game scoreless entering the third inning, the AppleSox busted out by sending 12 men to the plate. Remarkably, the Sox drew more walks in the inning than they collected base hits.

Nick Seamons, Michael Spellacy and Mason Marenco all drew walks to load the bases with one out. McCord, after just barely missing a grand slam with a long fly ball down the right-field line, plated all three runners with a homer over the fence in right-center. McCord’s blast, his team-high sixth of the season, proved to be the difference in the game.

Prater followed up with an opposite field home run that carried over the wall in right field for his third home run of the season.

After Prater waited three pitches before connecting on the first back-to-back shots of the season for the AppleSox, Day would not wait as long. He slugged a no-doubter on the first pitch of his at-bat to make it 6-0, AppleSox.

The inning wouldn’t end there. Jordan Rathbone singled to left and Seamons reached on a fielder’s choice. After Seamons stole second base, an errant throw allowed him to advance to third and Rathbone to score the final run of the inning.

The HarbourCats would score two in the fourth and another in the fifth, but were held scoreless after that.

The Sox hope to continue climbing the standings and pick up a fifth consecutive series victory when they face the HarbourCats again on Saturday night at 7:05.             

Full boxscore: http://westcoast.wttbaseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=445050

 

 

FINAL HOME SERIES OF 2018 BEGINS TONIGHT

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APPLESOX (22-26, 11-11 second half)

v.s.

Victoria HarbourCats (25-23, 11-10 second half)

August 3-5, 2018

Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium


 

The Wenatchee AppleSox conclude their 2018 home schedule with a three-game set against the Victoria HarbourCats.

Victoria and Wenatchee opened the season against each other in British Columbia. The Sox took two-of-three by winning the first and final game of the series.


 

Probable Pitchers

Friday

AppleSox: Hunter Boyd (4-2, 4.28 ERA)

HarbourCats: Mason Shaw (3-1, 3.46 ERA)

Saturday

AppleSox: Alec Gomez (2-0, 3.15 ERA)

HarbourCats: TBD

Sunday

AppleSox: Connor McCord (2-5, 4.50 ERA)

HarbourCats: Aidan Goicovich (1-1, 9.00 ERA)

 

Promotions

Friday: Wenatchee Valley College Night

Saturday: Pepsi Night

Sunday: Final regular season home game, sponsored by Jiffy Lube

 

Scouting the Opponent

Offensively, home runs and stolen bases have been the names of the game for the HarbourCats. Victoria is second in home runs with 37 longballs and leads the West Coast League with 114 stolen bases.

The HarbourCats have 26 more stolen bases than the next-closest team. They have nine players with five-or-more stolen bases already this summer.

Like the AppleSox, the HarbourCats are on a bit of a roll lately. They have won five-of-their-last-six games and are also trying to use a late run to buoy themselves into a postseason berth.

 

Postseason Hopes Still Alive

It’s slim, but the AppleSox still have a chance at making the postseason. With six games remaining, they are 3.5 games behind first place Yakima Valley.

The HarbourCats did the AppleSox a favor by taking two-of-three from the Pippins. However, the HarbourCats also leap-frogged the AppleSox in the standings while doing so. Victoria is now third in the North division, half a game ahead of Wenatchee.

A series victory over Victoria would be preferred, but the Sox may need a sweep to stay alive in the postseason hunt. They will definitely need at least a couple more Yakima Valley losses as well.

 

Marenco Keeps Hitting

With a 3-for-4 performance on Thursday night, Mason Marenco extended his team-best hitting streak to eight games.

Marenco is batting .382 (13-for-34) during his longest hitting streak of the season. The streak began on July 15 and has now stretched into the final month of the season.

He’s recorded three consecutive multi-hit games in the last three contests and has raised his average from .284 before the streak started to .307 entering the weekend.

 

Spellacy Does It All Against Port Angeles

Whether it was at the plate or on the mound, Michael Spellacy had a huge impact on the past series with the Lefties.

In the series-opener, Spellacy tossed six scoreless innings to pick up his second win of the summer. In the next two games, he went a combined 6-for-8 at the plate and drove in three runs.

Both games were Spellacy’s first back-to-back three-hit games and marked the second time that he’d strung together consecutive multi-hit games this season.

 

APPLESOX DROP SERIES FINALE WITH LEFTIES

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WENATCHEE, Wash. – In a testy series finale with the Port Angeles Lefties, the Wenatchee AppleSox (22-26, 11-1 second half) lost 5-3 on Thursday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.

The AppleSox could not finish off the Lefties with a sweep as Port Angeles rallied to score three times in the eighth to win by two runs over the Sox.

Two Port Angeles coaches were ejected and the benches cleared in the sixth inning, but it was the Lefties who seized the momentum to take the series finale.

Mason Marenco extended his season-best hitting streak to eight games with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate and Michael Spellacy also went three-for-four to record his second straight three-hit game.

An RBI knock with the bases loaded plated two Lefties runs in the second inning. It was the first time this series in which the Lefties scored first and the first time that they held the AppleSox off the scoreboard in both the first and second innings.

However, Marenco’s second single of the game plated Michael Spellacy to cut the deficit to one in the third inning. Spellacy led off with a single, went to second on a passed ball and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored on the second single of the game by Marenco to put the Sox on the scoreboard.

In the fourth, Kody Darcy hit a two-out single and went to third on a single by Brayden Hamilton. Hamilton took off from first during Spellacy’s at-bat and was tagged out, but Darcy stole home before the out was recorded and tied up the game.

The game would remain tied until the sixth, when the Sox struck in an unusual way. After Joey Magro reached on a fielder’s choice and J.T. Schwartz singled to put runners at first and third, a balk was issued and Magro scored.

Right after the run came in and Schwartz went to second, Kody Darcy hit a comebacker that Thomas Ruwe fielded. Ruwe ran towards Schwartz, who was caught in between second and third base. Ruwe flipped the ball to third baseman Tristan Hanoian, who applied what looked to be a physical tag of Schwartz for the out.

The AppleSox dugout, seated adjacent to third base, voiced its displeasure and the two benches briefly emptied. No ejections were issued and the inning concluded a batter later.

After a scoreless seventh inning, Port Angeles struck three times in the eighth to rally to take the lead. The Lefties used a walk, an error, a wild pitch and two RBI singles to score three runs in the inning.

The Sox are now four games out of a playoff spot and will welcome the Victoria HarbourCats to Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium on Friday night for the final home series of the 2018 season. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

Full boxscore: http://westcoast.wttbaseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=445049

SOX STAY HOT, WIN FOURTH CONSECUTIVE SERIES

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WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (22-25, 11-10 second half) picked up their fourth consecutive series victory with a 12-3 win over the Port Angeles Lefties on Wednesday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.

Connor McCord finished a double short of the cycle, Michael Spellacy drove in three runs and Tyler Chipman (1-0) tossed six strong innings to pick up his first victory of the season.

The right-hander from Cashmere struck out four before giving way to McCord, who struck out four in the final three innings to pick up his first save of the season.

With the win, the Sox won for the eighth time in their last 10 games and moved above .500 in the second half. They are now 3.5 games out of a playoff spot after Yakima Valley lost to Victoria.

The AppleSox began the first inning with three of their first four batters reaching base. Isaac Barrera led off with a walk and then Evan Williams and McCord both singled. Kody Darcy hit into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to plate the first run and Spellacy followed with an infield RBI single.

The next inning, the Sox kept the runs coming. Jordan Rathbone singled to lead off the inning and went to third after a two-base error allowed Isaac Barrera to reach second base with one out. Williams second single in as many innings plated Rathbone, but he was thrown out at second for the second out.

However, the Sox weren’t finished and scored three more runs all with two outs. Barrera scored on a wild pitch and Jacob Prater drew a walk with two outs. McCord homered to right-center for his fifth long ball of the summer.

In the fourth, Trey Morgan homered in a two-strike count with two outs to plate the Lefties first run of the game. He would hit an RBI single in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to four.

The AppleSox responded with their second four-run inning of the game in the bottom half of the inning. Jake Taylor led off with a single and Barrera hit one of his own, but was erased after Williams reached on a fielder’s choice. McCord walked to load the bases and Kody Darcy plated the first two runners with an RBI single and Spellacy followed with a sacrifice fly.

In the eighth, McCord tripled and scored on an infield single by Spellacy, who then scored on an RBI double by Dawson Day to conclude the scoring.

Now, the AppleSox can collect their first sweep of the season when they face the Lefties on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.

SPELLACY, HOMERS LEAD APPLESOX PAST LEFTIES

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WENATCHEE, Wash. – Michael Spellacy tossed six scoreless inning and Evan Williams and Jordan Rathbone homered to lead the Wenatchee AppleSox (21-25, 10-10 second half) to a 7-1 victory over the Port Angeles Lefties on Tuesday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.

Spellacy (2-1) tossed his second quality start of the season to lead the AppleSox to their seventh win in their last nine games. Karver Pate tossed the final three innings to pick up his second save of the season, both of which have come in the last two games that he has pitched. Pate recorded eight of his nine outs via strikeouts.

Offensively, the Sox recorded their seventh multi-home run game of the season on the way to victory.

The AppleSox struck first with three runs in the first inning. Williams walked with one out and moved to second a single by Mason Marenco. Though Connor McCord hit into a fielder’s choice to erase Marenco, Jacob Prater was hit by a pitch to load up the bases.

Joey Magro lifted a bloop single into right field to plate two runs. Magro took off from first in a double-steal attempt and was tagged out but not before Prater took home to score the third run of the inning.

In the second inning, Rathbone was hit by a pitch and went to second on a wild pitch before scoring on a Nick Seamons RBI single.     

With one out in the fifth inning, Williams blasted a no-doubter over the left-field fence for his second home run of the season.

The Lefties loaded up the bases and used a wild pitch to get their only run in the top of the seventh.

Rathbone led off the bottom of the seventh with a home run, his second of the season. He has two home runs this season and both have come against Port Angeles. The Sox would then load up the bases thanks to three walks with one out. A wild pitch scored Isaac Barrera to give the AppleSox their second run of the inning.

The Sox improved to 16-6 when collecting multiple extra-base hits and 18-4 when scoring five or more runs. Despite the win, the Sox are still 4.5 games out of a playoff spot because first-place Yakima Valley defeated Victoria, 10-9.

The AppleSox will go for their fourth consecutive series victory when they face the Lefties again on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.

FINAL HOMESTAND BEGINS WITH SERIES AGAINST PORT ANGELES

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APPLESOX (20-25, 9-10 second half)

v.s.

Port Angeles Lefties (20-28, 8-13 second half)

July 31 – August 2

Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium

 

After their first day off in two weeks, the Wenatchee AppleSox begin their final homestand of the season on Tuesday night with the Port Angeles Lefties.

 

Probable Pitchers

Tuesday

AppleSox: Michael Spellacy (1-1. 4.11 ERA)

Lefties: TBD

Wednesday

AppleSox: Tyler Chipman (0-0, 5.85 ERA)

Lefties: TBD

Thursday

AppleSox: Curtis Bafus (4-4, 2.08 ERA)

Lefties: TBD

Promotions

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday

Wednesday: Confluence Health Night

Thursday: Hawaiian Night

Scouting the Opponent

Port Angeles, despite winning back-to-back games for the first time in a week, is last in the North division. However, the Lefties are threatening with the bats despite their poor record.

They lead the West Coast League with 55 home runs, which is 18 more than the next-closest team. Additionally, the Lefties have seven players with five or more home runs.

The Lefties are led by Dalton Harum, who leads the team with eight home runs and a .352 batting average. The Wenatchee native and Wenatchee High School graduate is second in the WCL in home runs.

Harum, who goes to Virginia Tech, played for the AppleSox in 2016. He hit .261 with one home run in six games.

Playoff Race

The AppleSox enter tonight’s game 4.5 game out of first place. The Sox are 6-4 in their last 10 and have put themselves in a stellar spot to conclude the season. However, there is still some work to be done.

With nine games left in the season, every one of them matters. The Sox need to each series and maybe sweep a couple of them. Additionally, they’ll need the first-place Yakima Valley Pippins to falter along the way.

APPLESOX SHUT OUT BY ELKS

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BEND, Ore. – The Wenatchee AppleSox’ (20-25, 9-10 second half) four-game winning streak came to an end with an 8-0 loss to the Bend Elks on Sunday afternoon at Vince Genna Stadium.

The AppleSox did not collect their first sweep of the season but did still capture their third consecutive series victory. They were shut out for the fourth time this season.

Left fielder Isaac Barrea recorded his second consecutive multi-hit game with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate with a double and a single.

The Elks snapped their 13-game losing streak by scoring twice in the second inning, four times in the fourth inning and twice in the seventh. They had not lead at all in either of the first two games of the series, but never trailed once getting on the board on Sunday.

Following an off-day on Monday, the AppleSox are back at home on Tuesday with their final homestand of the season. The six-game stretch begins with three against the Port Angeles Lefties, starting on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.

SOX WIN FOURTH IN A ROW, THIRD CONSECUTIVE SERIES

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BEND, Ore. - The Wenatchee AppleSox (20-24, 9-9 second half) pushed their season-best winning streak to four games with an 11-8 victory over the Bend Elks on Saturday night at Vince Genna Stadium.

The Sox scored 10 runs in the first six innings, including three times scoring three runs in a single inning, to pick up their sixth win in their last seven games. The Sox have now won three consecutive series and are 3.5 games out of first in the North division.

Isaac Barrera reached base four times with a single and three walks. The incoming sophomore at Gonzaga also scored twice, drove in a run and stole a base in the victory.

Jacob Prater and J.T. Schwartz both homered, giving the Sox their sixth multi-home run game of the season. 

For the first time in three days, the AppleSox did not score in the first inning, but they would strike first, plating three in the second inning. Connor McCord doubled and went to third on a Joey Magro single.

A balk scored McCord and then Schwartz homered on the fourth pitch of his at-bat for his second home run of the season to give the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Four singles in the third inning made it 6-0, AppleSox. Barrera led off with his second hit of the game, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on an RBI knock by Sage. After a groundout moved Sage to third, Magro hit an infield single, but it was an error on the first baseman receiving the ball that brought in Sage. Schwartz picked up his third RBI of the game with a hit to plate Magro.

The Sox scored for a third consecutive inning in the fourth when Dawson Day reached on an error and Jake Taylor doubled to put runners at second and third to lead off the inning. Barrera hit a sacrifice fly deep enough to left field to score Day and make it 7-0, AppleSox.

With two outs in the sixth inning, Jordan Rathbone singled to right field and then Barrera walked to set the stage for Prater's second home run of the season, a three-run shot over the left-field fence to five the Sox a 10-0 lead.

However, the Elks wouldn't quit. After being shut out in their previous 37 innings, the Elks finally broke through with seven runs in the sixth. Bend sent 13 batters to the plate despite only collecting four hits in the inning.

The two teams traded singular runs in the eighth inning cap the scoring. After Schwartz was hit by a pitch and Day walked, Barrera drove in Schwartz with a two-out single.

The Sox go for the series sweep of Bend on Sunday at 5:05 p.m.

Full boxscore: http://pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscore.html?gameid=445132

APPLESOX SHUT OUT ELKS IN SERIES-OPENER

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BEND, Ore. - The Wenatchee AppleSox (19-24, 8-9 second half) picked up their second shutout of the season with a 9-0 victory over the Bend Elks on Friday night at Vince Genna Stadium. 

Curtis Bafus and Karver Pate combined to toss the shutout. Bafus fired six scoreless innings in his fourth start of the season with zero earned runs allowed. The right-hander from VCU has a 0.56 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in his last five starts. 

Pate faced the minimum in his three innings and struck out four batters, including the side in the eighth inning. 

At the plate, Evan Williams set the tone as the leadoff batter, going 3-for-5 with a walk and two stolen bases. All-in-all, the Sox swiped a season-high four bases. 

Williams led off the ballgame with a single and scored on a double by Mason Marenco. After a wild pitch put Marenco at third, Connor McCord grounded out to make it 2-0, AppleSox.

The next inning, the Sox scored two more runs. With one out, Kody Darcy doubled to right and went to third on another wild pitch. Nick Seamons walked to put runners at first and third and Williams singled to right on a hit-and-a-run to plate Darcy. Two batters later, Johnny Sage reached on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded to score Seamons.

Cory Meyer plated his first of two runs in the game with an RBI single in the fifth. It came after Jacob Prater singled and stole second base with one out. Meyer came around to score when Kody Darcy singled him in and the AppleSox took a 6-0 lead.

In the seventh, Jacob Prater reached second on an error and scored on another Meyer RBI single. The Sox got their final two runs in the eighth. Sage doubled and went to third on a McCord single. A wild pitch plated Sage and A.D. Pena hit an RBI single up the middle to score McCord.

The AppleSox will go for their third straight series victory on Saturday night when they face the Elks again at 6:35 p.m.

APPLESOX LOOK TO CONTINUE SURGE, FACE ELKS

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APPLESOX (18-24, 7-9 second half)

v.s.

Bend Elks (11-37, 4-17 second half)

July 27-29

Vince Genna Stadium

 

The AppleSox hit the road for the second-to-last time this season as they wrap up the season series with the Bend Elks this weekend. The Elks came to Wenatchee in late June and took two of three from the Sox on the 26-28th.

Probable Pitchers

Friday

AppleSox: Curtis Bafus (3-4, 2.34 ERA)

Elks: Daniel Naughton (0-5, 6.66 ERA)

Saturday

AppleSox: Alec Gomez (1-0, 2.45 ERA)

Elks: Mikey Hooper (1-3, 5.45 ERA)

Sunday

AppleSox: Hunter Boyd (4-1, 3.62 ERA)

Elks: A.J. Atherton (0-4, 8.05 ERA)

Last Game

Thursday night, the AppleSox picked up their second walk-off of the season in as many games when they defeated Cowlitz Black Bears, 6-5, at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium

Jacob Prater hit a walk-off single to center field with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Prater’s RBI, his third of the game, gave the AppleSox the series victory.

Scouting the Opponent

The Elks enter Friday’s series-opener with not only the worst record in the South division in the second half at 4-17, but also the worst overall mark in the entire West Coast League at 11-37.

Their team .310 on-base percentage and .319 slugging percentage are both worst in the WCL. Despite playing four more games than any other team in the league, Bend has still scored the fewest runs (167).

Defensively, the Elks have been sloppy, committing a league-worst 70 errors. They are also tied for the second-most stolen bases allowed with 94.

The Elks’ 5.90 team ERA is worst in the WCL and is 0.53 higher than the next-closest team. All three of their starters this weekend post losing records and ERA’s over 5.00.

#SoxAreHot

Winners of four of their last five and back-to-back series, the AppleSox are in the middle of their best stretch of play this season. The Sox have scored at least six or more runs in all of their victories and have won consecutive series for the first time this season.

The Sox are now 4.5 games out of a playoff spot with 12 games left in the season.

Streaking Sage

Over the last five games, Johnny Sage has been an on-base machine. He has reached base 19 times in his last 25 plate appearances. Sage is raking at the plate, batting .647 (11-for-17), but his eight walks in that span are equally as impressive.

Sage’s patient eye at the plate has paid off. He leads the West Coast League with 27 bases-on-balls and is third in on-base percentage with a .443 mark.

League Leaders

Two AppleSox starters this weekend, Curtis Bafus and Hunter Boyd, are near the top of the West Coast League in a couple of pitching categories.

Boyd and Bafus are third and fourth in the league in strikeouts, with 52 and 51 punchouts, respectively. Bafus is second in innings-pitched with 50.0 and Boyd is right beneath him with 49.2.  

SOX WALK OFF AGAIN, TAKE SERIES FROM BLACK BEARS

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WENATCHEE, Wash. - For the second straight night, the Wenatchee AppleSox (18-24, 7-9 second half) picked up a walk-off victory over the Cowlitz Black Bears, this time with a series-clinching 6-5 triumph on Thursday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.  

With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning of a 5-5 ballgame, Jacob Prater, first-pitch swinging, singled to left field to drive in the game-winning run.

The AppleSox never lead until driving in the game-winning run and rallied to tie the game back up four different times. They have now won back-to-back series for the first time this season and have also won four of their last five games.

Prater went 2-for-5 at the plate and drove in three runs. Johnny Sage reached base four times, finishing 2-for-3 with a couple walks. Isaac Barrera went 3-for-5 and score three times, including the game-winning run in the ninth.

On the mound, Nick Seamons tossed the final 3.1 innings in relief and picked up the victory, striking out four.

Things got off to an ominous start when a leadoff solo homer on the fifth pitch of the game made it 1-0, Black Bears in the first. However, the Sox rallied in the bottom half of the inning. They loaded up the bases and though Connor McCord hit into a double play, he drove in the tying run.

After a scoreless second inning, the two teams traded runs again in the third inning. A walk, a stolen base and then an RBI single made it 2-1, Cowlitz, in the top of the inning before McCord drove in Sage, who doubled with two outs, with an RBI single to right field.

Things picked up significantly in the fourth and fifth innings. Another solo homer and an RBI double in the top of the fourth gave the Black Bears a 4-2 lead.

The Sox did not answer in the fourth but scored two in the fifth. Barrera and Joey Magro hit back-to-back single and Sage walked to load the bases. Prater singled up the middle to plate the first two runners for his first of two base-hits in the game with the bases-loaded.

In the seventh, the Black Bears took their final lead of the game, but the AppleSox once again tied it up. Magro reached on an error and Sage singled to put runners at the corners with one out. A wild pitch during McCord’s at-bat scored Magro and made it 5-5.

The Sox now head to Bend for three straight with the Elks starting on Friday night at 6:35 p.m.

Full boxscore: http://pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscore.html?gameid=445046

APPLESOX WALK OFF BLACK BEARS ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT

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WENATCHEE, Wash. – Using an improbable comeback and terrific performances from a couple relievers, the Wenatchee AppleSox (17-24, 6-9 second half) defeated the Cowlitz Black Bears, 8-7, in 11 innings.

The AppleSox trailed by five runs entering the eighth inning but rallied back to tie it up by sending nine men to the plate. In the 11th, a throwing error with runners at first and second scored the game-winning run and gave the Sox their third extra-innings victory of the season and first at home.

With the game tied 7-7 after a scoreless ninth and 10th innings, J.T. Schwartz led off the 11th with a single to center. It was the fourth consecutive plate appearance in which Schwartz reached base and his third single of the game.

Isaac Barrera put down a bunt to the right side, but the infield could not handle it and fire to first in time. With runners at first and second and no outs, Jordan Rathbone put down a bunt to the third-base side that was fielded and thrown low and away. Rathbone reached and Schwartz scored to pick up the first walk-off victory of the season for the AppleSox.

Connor McCord (2-5) picked up the victory by tossing three scoreless, hitless innings. The southpaw struck out five and retired all nine batters that he faced. As the designated hitter, McCord drove in a pair of runs with two sacrifice flys. He’s driven in nine runs in the last five games.

Grady Miller did not figure into the decision but kept the AppleSox in the ballgame by only allowing one run over four innings. The Wenatchee native struck out three and allowed one hit in relief of Michael Spellacy.

The scoring began in the second when the Black Bears sent 10 men to the plate and scored six runs to take a commanding lead. The Sox got one back in the third inning when Evan Williams singled and McCord’s first sacrifice fly of the game made it 6-1, Black Bears.

In the fifth, a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded re-established the Black Bears’ six-run lead. However, they would get their last hit of the game in that inning. McCord and Miller combined to keep the Black Bears hitless over their final 21 at-bats of the game.

The Sox got another run back in the sixth. After three consecutive singles loaded the bases, Kody Darcy hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it 7-2, Black Bears.

Darcy again came through with an RBI knock in the eighth, when the Sox rallied to tie the game. Schwartz singled to lead off the inning and, after reaching second on a ground out, scored an RBI single by Darcy.

Joey Magro singled and Kody Darcy was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Johnny Sage drew an RBI walk to force a pitching change and McCord followed with another sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to two. Jacob Prater tied the game on a two-RBI single to right-center field.

The AppleSox can win back-to-back series for the first time this season when they take on the Black Bears again on Thursday night in the series finale. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

Full boxscore: http://westcoast.wttbaseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=445045

MCCORD CONTINUES TO RAKE, BUT SOX FALL TO BLACK BEARS

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WENATCHEE, Wash. – Despite leading 3-0 after five innings, the Wenatchee AppleSox (16-24, 5-9 second half) lost to the Cowlitz Black Bears, 6-3, on Tuesday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.

Connor McCord continued his torrid stretch at the plate with a 3-for-5 day. The incoming junior at Western Oregon hit his fourth home run in the last seven days and his third in the last four days. McCord is now hitting .478 (11-for-23) in his last four games with four consecutive multi-hit games.

Johnny Sage also had a productive day at the plate, reaching base four times, going 3-for-4 with three singles and a walk.

In the bottom of the first, Sage singled with two outs, swiped second and scored a single by McCord. The first baseman’s sixth RBI in the last four days made it 1-0, Sox. His seventh run-driven-in came in the fifth when McCord led off with a solo shot just inside the right-field foul pole.

Before that home run made it 3-0, Sox, Jake Taylor blasted his fourth of the season over the right-field fence for the Sox’ second run of the game.

In the top of the sixth, a two-base error with one out put a runner at third. An RBI single by Cole Jones put the Black Bears on the board and two batters later, a two-run homer tied it up.

The next inning, the Black Bears took the lead when eight men came to the plate and three scored on a two-RBI single by Jones made it 5-3 and a sixth run came across on a wild pitch.

The loss puts an end to the Sox’ two-game winning streak. They’ll look to even the series up on Wednesday night when they face Cowlitz again at 7:05 p.m.

Full boxscore: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=445044