WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (14-6, 11-6) were able to bring home two insurance runs in the eighth inning of a 3-0 win over the Corvallis Knights (9-8), courtesy of a Trenton Brooks two-run pinch hit home run.
Brooks, who knocked home the decisive go-ahead run a night earlier, came up big one more time as he was called upon to hit with runners at first and second with one out.
Brooks said he was just looking to hit a ball hard and generate a quality at bat with two runners on, however, things got a little tougher as an AppleSox runner was caught trying to take third base on a ball in the dirt. Brooks wasted no time making up for the lost base runner as he slammed what he believed to be a fast ball 345 feet over the right field fence for his second home run of the season.
The 3-0 lead was enough for Colton Loomis, who entered the game an inning earlier, as he held on in his second inning of relief to pick up his first save on the season and give the AppleSox their first shut out of a league opponent in 2014.
The pitching staff worked as a team on Tuesday night. Brandon Bailey got the start and was able to chalk up five innings of work, even with a limited pitch count looming overhead, designed to help minimize his innings this summer (Tommy John surgery).
While it looked like Bailey might have to settle for a no decision and the game was headed to the bottom of the fifth in a scoreless tie, his offense got him the one run he needed. Sam Brown, who led off the bottom of the frame with a walk, was later brought around to score on a Michael McCann sacrifice fly to left field.
The one run would’ve been enough to secure the win, however, Brooks added the security in the eighth. The defense behind the AppleSox pitchers also played a hand in the victory. Three double plays, including one to end a bases loaded jam in the top of the second, helped erase some of the Knights’ best scoring opportunities. Caleb Wood, Mike Livingston and Nick Brooks combined for all three of the two-for-one deals.
Shaun Vetrovec made his first appearance for the AppleSox on Tuesday night. He worked for two innings out of the bullpen, prior to Loomis, and allowed no runs on two hits.
Evan Cassolatto and AJ Alcantara also made their first starts of the season. They each went 2-4 and collected their first hits of summer, after seeing time on Monday in game one of the series as baserunning and defensive substitutes.
Game three and a chance for the sweep is Wednesday night, with a first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Griffin Canning will face off against Angel Landazuri as the AppleSox look to push their winning streak to five.
COR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 3
WEN 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 x 3 9 2
WP – Brandon Bailey
LP – Chris Haddeland
S – Colton Loomis