YAKIMA, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (3-1, 1-1) and the Yakima Valley Pippins (1-1, 1-1) found themselves locked in a tight 2-1 ballgame headed to the ninth, but the score wouldn’t hold as the AppleSox ran away late while rattling off 5 earned runs with two outs in the top half of the inning.
The once one run game ended 7-1 at Yakima County Stadium. While the scoreboard tends to point towards the offense, pitching ended up being pivotal for the Sox on Saturday night.
AppleSox starter Colton Loomis pitched six innings of one run baseball out of the gates for the guys from Wenatchee. He gave up just three hits through the first six frames.
Hunter Wells was just as impressive, coming out of the bullpen to start the seventh for the Sox. He would carry the torch all the way to the end, picking up the save over three innings of work. He allowed no hits over his three innings, walked two and struck out four.
Altogether the one-two punch that was Loomis and Wells combined for nine strikeouts and left the Pippins frustrated for most of the night. The lone run for Yakima Valley came thanks to a sixth inning triple for Taylor Snyder. He was brought home on an infield groundout later in the inning.
After the first two batters were retired in the top of the ninth for the AppleSox, Sam Brown worked a tremendous at bat off of Pippins reliever Hugo Lemus. The Pippins elected to walk the AppleSox number three hitter, Trenton Brooks and face an under-the-weather Tanner Nishioka who took over as a pinch runner for Nick Brooks in the eighth.
Nishioka sent a clutch single over the head of the Pippins first baseman and Brown came around to score, giving the Sox a 3-1 cushion. However, they weren’t done in the ninth.
Ty Jackson sent a long double off the glove of Jake Roberts in center field. That scored T. Brooks and Nishioka. Cooper Elliott followed the extra base hit with the AppleSox first home run of the season, when he lifted one over a 20 foot wall in right field. Suddenly, the Sox had a 7-1 lead.
Wells stayed on and finished things in the ninth as the AppleSox won their first WCL game of the season.
Andrew Woods was a tough luck loser Saturday, after only surrendering one run and four hits over six innings of work.
The rubber match of the series is set for Sunday night at 5:05p. Brandon Williams will take to the mound for the Pippins, while the AppleSox counter with Ian Buckles.
WEN 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 7 11 1
YAK 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 5
WP – Colton Loomis
LP – Andrew Woods
S – Hunter Wells