WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (12-14, 9-13) used a big sixth inning to hand the Klamath Falls Gems (5-16, 5-16) a game one loss, 8-2 on Fireworks Night, Friday at Paul Thomas Sr. Field.
The AppleSox received six strong innings from Gage Burland (1-0), who was the only AppleSox pitcher yet to record a decision entering Friday’s game.
Burland struck out a new AppleSox league-high 11 batters, and got eight of the 11 swinging.
Klamath Falls scored first in the fourth inning, with back-to back hits. A double from Gunner Pollman and a single from Jordan Abernathy gave the Gems a short-lived 1-0 lead.
The AppleSox answered in the bottom of the inning with a Mitchell Holland RBI double, after Keston Hiura walked to open the inning. The game was tied through five innings of play.
Garrett Alvarez (0-2), ran into trouble in the sixth inning. 12 AppleSox batters came to the plate in the inning and the AppleSox received RBI from Hiura (triple), Holland, Ryan Crowe, Jake Hirabayashi, and Joey Jansen. With a wild pitch, the AppleSox brought home six runs in the inning to claim a 7-1 lead.
Evan Douglas added a solo home run in the seventh inning for good measure, off of reliever Jordan Horak. It was Douglas’ sixth home run of the year, tying him for the WCL lead with Dan Mayer of Medford.
Kyle Blankenship pitched the final three innings and struck out three, earning the save by way of length of appearance.
The AppleSox face Klamath Falls in game two at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night. Hunter Wells, the team’s leading pitcher will take the mound.
WP: Gage Burland (1-0)
LP: Tony Contonio (0-2)
S: Blankenship (1)