WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (13-14, 10-13) blanked the Klamath Falls Gems (5-18, 5-18) in a 4-0 Fourth of July win, Saturday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Field.
AppleSox starter, Hunter Wells (4-0), was masterful once again, tossing wight shutout innings. He struck out six Gem batters, to bring his season total to 33 – one behind Yakima Valley pitcher Darrion Simons for the West Coast League lead.
Wells is just the second pitcher to reach four wins in the WCL, along with Patrick McGuff of Bend.
The AppleSox spread their scoring across four separate innings, and had four different hitters collect RBI.
Scoring started in the first inning when Mitchell Holland drove in UC Irvine teammate Keston Hiura for the game’s first run.
In the third inning, Hiura returned the favor, driving in Joey Jansen for a 2-0 lead. Jansen turned around in the fourth and plated Kyle Vanderking on another RBI single, and Evan Douglas did the same in the eighth, to give Wenatchee a 4-0 advantage, scoring Hiura for the second time in the game.
Michael McCall (1-2), the Gems’ starter, settled in nicely during the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, retiring the side in order in each of the frames. He left the game in the eighth having retired ten-consecutive batters.
Still, Wells and the AppleSox were too tough. Sean Sparling entered in relief in the ninth inning for Wells, who was sitting on 107 pitches. In the ninth, Danny Amaral stayed with a long fly ball to center field off the bat of Ty Wyatt and made the catch of the season, diving – full extension – to make an acrobatic catch on the fringe of the warning track.
Amaral almost turned two to end the game on the play. His throw – relayed through Kyle Vanderkin – was just late to catch a runner back at first base, who believed the line drive had no chance of being caught.
The AppleSox go for the sweep Sunday at 6:05 p.m. It’s Spaghetti Sunday, and fans can get a plate of spaghetti and a slice of garlic bread for $7.50 from the time gates open at 5 p.m., up until first pitch. Zach Haggett will be on the mound for Wenatchee.
WP: Hunter Wells (4-0)
LP: Michael McCall (1-2)