WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (11-14, 8-13) lost a late lead agaist the Walla Walla Sweets (12-12, 12-12) and the Sweets walked off 3-2 in nine innings, for a second-straight night at Borleske Stadium.
The AppleSox have now played five-consecutive one-run games, and have a 2-3 record in those games. It was the third time the AppleSox lost in walk off fashion to the Sweets at Borleske Stadium this year.
Wenatchee opened the scoring, Thursday, in Micael Taylor’s first start of 2015. The AppleSox scored in the third inning on a throwing error by the Sweets catcher, after Danny Amaral stole third base. Keston Hiura also walked in the inning and moved to second base on the throwing error. Mitchell Holland drove in Hiura with the AppleSox lone RBI of the night.
Taylor was marvelous for Wenatchee, tossing seven strong innings of one-run baseball on seven hits. The lone run he surrendered was in the fifth inning on an RBI single for Connor Kopach. Taylor recorded three innings of 10 or fewer pitches, and had thrown 84 through seven innings, while holding the Sweets to 1-for-10 hitting with runners in scoring position.
Tony Contonio entered for the AppleSox to pitch in the eighth inning and recorded a rare four strikeout frame, after the third strike on his third strikeout was dropped, and the runner reached first to extend the inning.
In the ninth, Walla Walla broke through, as they have many times this season. A leadoff double for Jon Hechtner, down the left field line put the pressure on Wenatchee. Hiura made a great throw from left field that almost beat Hechtner to the second base bag.
Following Hechtner’s double, Willie MacIver laid down a bunt on the first base side, and instead of taking the out at first, Holland attempted to throw to third, but Hechtner slid under the tag, safe.
With runners at the corners, Parker Coss singled for his first hit of the night, and tied the game at two. Contonio struck out the next Sweets hitter, before intentionally walking the bases loaded. Kyle Nixon then hit a sacrifice fly deep enough into right field to score the winning run for Walla Walla.
The AppleSox have now seen five games this season end in either their, or the opponent’s, final at bat.
Wenatchee returns home Friday for a six-game homestand which includes Fireworks Night, by Edward Jones, Friday July 3. Tickets start at $6 and can be purchased at www.applesox.com/tickets. First pitch, Friday, is at 7:05 p.m. against the Klamath Falls Gems. The Bend Elks will also visit next Monday-Wednesday for a three-game set, coupled with another round of AppleSox Youth Camps. To sign up for next week’s all-skills camp, parents can visit www.applesoxcamps.com.
WP: Max Gamboa (1-1)
LP: Tony Contonio (1-1)