WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (2-1, 0-0) walked the winning run home Saturday night to defeat the Spokane Expos (8-2), 7-6 in 10 innings at Paul Thomas Sr. Field.
Nick Nyquist drew the free pass, and forced in Keaton Smith, who led of the tenth with a walk of his own.
In total, the AppleSox walked 11 times Saturday, with 10-of-11 coming in the final 4 1/3 innings.
The Expos were led out of the gates by graduating high school senior starter, Ethan LaValley. He held the AppleSox scoreless through the first two frames and tossed a scoreless bottom half of the first.
Spokane drew first blood in the top of the third, when Jonny Krupla came around to score on a Jordan Rathbone RBI single. Rathbone later scored on a Jack Machtolf single, and Machtolf crossed the plate on a Zach Day RBI triple.
Wenatchee answered with one in the home half of the third. Smith scored on an Evan Douglas single, one of Smith’s two runs scored on the night.
Spokane added another run in each of the fourth and sixth innings, to take a 5-1 lead to the bottom half.
Finally the AppleSox broke through offensively, with LaValley’s five-inning, five-hit, one-run night complete. The Sox scored four runs off of Austin Lee, with one of the four earned. There were three walks in the inning, including an intentional pass, and the AppleSox brought ten hitters to the plate.
Keaton Smith slammed a two-run RBI single into left field to bring the game within one run. The AppleSox went on to knot it at five, before Chase Lewallen struck out with the bases loaded in the first of three bases-loaded opportunities down the stretch.
In the seventh, Spokane immediately reclaimed the lead on a Zach Day RBI double, scoring Jack Machtolf from first base.
The AppleSox utilized Colton Loomis to hold the Expos lead to one. Loomis gave up the sixth run at the time, and ended up striking out four over four innings of relief.
Wenatchee added its sixth run in the bottom of the eighth. Douglas singled in Scott Hilpert, who led off the inning with a walk. One of three AppleSox walks in the frame.
Things held with the relief work of Cael McKeirnan, who checked in the game during the sixth inning as a pinch runner, and transitioned to the mound in the eighth.
He held the AppleSox scoreless until the third error of the night for Spokane, coupled with a leadoff walk of Smith in the bottom of the tenth, gave the AppleSox runners at the corners with nobody out. Spokane then walked the bases loaded to face Chase Lewallen, who was pinch-hit for by Kyle Vanderkin. He struck out looking on a borderline strike, before Nyquist worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch, to win the game.
Anthony Contonio, who pitched a scoreless top half of the tenth for Wenatchee, in relief of Loomis and Haggett, picked up his first win of the year.
The loss was charged to McKeirnan.
The two-game non-league series concludes tomorrow at 6:05 p.m. Kyle Blankenship will take to the hill against Jared Smith.
WP: Anthony Contonio (1-0)
LP: Cael McKeirnan (0-1)