LONGVIEW, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (14-19, 11-18) scored three runs on two hits, and tossed eight shutout innings, but the Cowlitz Black Bears (16-18, 13-16), still executed a ninth-inning comeback to win 4-3, Friday night at Story Field.
Friday’s game was off to a slow start – pushed back 30 minutes to 7:05 p.m. – after umpires got stuck in a traffic jam on their way to the park.
Wenatchee struck first in the third inning, with a 2-RBI double from Mitchell Holland, following walks of Jake Hirabayashi and Danny Amaral to open the inning. The double was one of two hits on the night for Wenatchee, which was enough for much of the game.
Layne Bruner settled down and pitched well for Cowlitz, meanwhile, Zach Haggett did the same for Wenatchee. It wasn’t Haggett’s sharpest start of the summer, but he was able to toss seven shutout innings, while holding Cowlitz to six scattered hits and an 0-for-8 mark with runners in scoring position. ‘
The AppleSox hit Cowlitz for another run in the eighth. The Black Bears expended four pitchers in the inning, and Jake Hawken (2-1) got the final out of the inning after a wild pitch scored the AppleSox third run. Wenatchee was walked three times in the eight and hit by a pitch en route to the run.
Tony Contonio (0-4), threw a scoreless eighth inning, before Cowlitz was able to work him into some tough situations in the ninth. The first batter in the inning walked, and then AJ Graffaino hit an infield single, and reached second on a throwing error. The lead runner, Bowen Ogata advanced to third on the play.
Contonio struck out the next two batters, without a run coming home to score. Then Cowlitz strung together three consecutive singles, including a game-winning single from Isaac Benard, which gave Cowlitz its second one-run win in as many days.
The series wraps up Saturday night at 6:35 p.m., as Chris Carns takes the mound for Wenatchee. The AppleSox will wrap up a string of 12-consecutive games played.
WP: Jake Hawken (2-1)
LP: Tony Contonio (0-4)