WENATCHEE, Wash. – For the first time in twelve years, the Wenatchee AppleSox (34-24, 30-23), will not be headed to the postseason, as the Yakima Valley Pippins (34-19), extinguished the final playoff flame for Wenatchee with a 7-6 win in ten innings on Saturday.
The Pippins jumped out to a first inning lead, Saturday, as Shawn Wardian and Mitch Skaggs combined for the opening run on two singles and the Skaggs RBI.
In the third, AppleSox starting pitcher Tyler Frost helped out his cause and evened the score at one, with a big solo home run to right field.
It was Vince Fernandez that ended up stealing the home run show on Saturday, though. Fernandez sent a two-run home run over the center field wall for his eighth of the season.
He wasn’t done, as he’d rise up for an encore in the sixth with a solo shot to dead center for a 5-4 Pippins lead. The second tie-breaking home run was his ninth on the year and it ties the WCL single season record for most home runs in a summer.
The AppleSox previously evened the score at four in the home half of the fifth, as a Sam Brown 2-RBI single and a Ty Jackson RBI ground out gave the AppleSox three runs.
In the seventh, the AppleSox took back the lead in the see-saw battle, as two runs came home to score on a Michael McCann bunt single and subsequent throwing error to first.
The AppleSox would be done scoring though, as the Bend-Klamath Falls score went final. With the Elks beating the Gems 10-2, the AppleSox knew they had to beat Yakima Valley to keep a final night of playoff hopes alive.
Yakima Valley would douse those hopes in the eighth inning, as a Ryan Yamane sacrifice fly brought in the tying run.
The 6-6 tie would hold until the tenth inning, when Yamane brought in another run on a second sacrifice fly, again to left field.
The AppleSox went quietly, one-two-three in the bottom of the tenth as Kenny Rosenberg completed his win.
With the loss and the Bend win, Bend will face Bellingham in the divisional playoffs and Corvallis will take on Yakima Valley. The AppleSox will miss the postseason for the first time in WCL history and the first time in the last twelve years.
The AppleSox conclude their season with “Community Appreciation Day,” Sunday. Host families and the best fans in the WCL will be at Paul Thomas Sr. Field for the final 2014 showing for the Boys of Summer.
First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and Brandon Bailey will take the mound for the AppleSox.
YAK 1 0 0 2 1 1 0 1 0 1 7 9 4
WEN 0 0 1 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 6 8 1
WP – Kenny Rosenberg
LP – Nathan Hadley