WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (14-16, 11-15) overcame three deficits Tuesday night, but still fell to the Bend Elks (24-5, 24-5), in 12 innings, 8-7 at Paul Thomas Sr. Field.
Early on in Tuesday’s contest weather was a factor. Light rain and windy conditions marked the contest from the beginning.
Bend took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a Devin Kopas RBI triple. The AppleSox answered back with extra-base hits of their own in the third. Danny Amaral led off the inning with a double off the left field wall, followed by a Keston Hiura 2 RBI double to the fence in right field, to give Wenatchee a 2-1 lead.
Bend tied the game in the fourth on a Derrick Chapman RBI single, and the AppleSox again answered quickly, scoring two in the bottom half on a 2 RBI double for Jake Hirabayashi; his first extra-base hit of the season.
Rain really started to pick up in the top of the fifth, and as the Elks scored two runs on a Tyler Davis double, a brief lightning storm passed over the valley, delaying the game for 30 minutes, just before the bottom of the 8 p.m. hour. The game was suspended with one out in the top half of the inning, tied at 4.
After the delay, the Elks immediately struck for a 5-4 lead. Cooper Hummel knocked home Davis on a double, and was later doubled up at second base after Amaral made a great running catch into the right center field gap for the second out of the inning. Hummel was sure it would get to the gap, and was a sitting duck back at second after Amaral showed his range.
The AppleSox had to wait until the sixth inning to even the score, courtesy of a Joey Jansen RBI single to left field. It brought home Sheldon Liikala, who stole second base before the hit.
The 5-5 score held through five innings and the game went to extras; the third game in WCL play Tuesday night to go past nine innings.
Bend looked to put the game away in the top of the tenth, with two runs off AppleSox reliever Sean Sparling, however, Wenatchee’s offense had an answer in the home half. Mitchell Holland, Evan Douglas, and Nick Nyquist (all previously hitless) rattled off three-consecutive singles to load the bases, before Drew Helmstadter was hit between the shoulder blades by Sam Boone (4-1), the Elks reliever. The score was 7-6, and Sheldon Liikala used a fielder’s choice play on the infield to tie the game at 7.
Kyle Blankenship (0-2) entered after Sparling twirled four innings, and gave up a lead in the top of the 12th. Cadyn Grenier delivered his first RBI of the game on a single to score Chapman, who would prove to be the game’s winning run.
The AppleSox got the tying run aboard in the form of Keaton Smith in the bottom half, but a groundout to third for Helmstadter ended the game. Daniel Bies faced the AppleSox in the final inning for the second time in as many nights.
Helmstadter was 2-for-5 with an RBI. He was the only AppleSox hitter to get multiple hits.
Tuesday’s game was upwards of four hours and saw five lead changes and four tied scores. Bend improved to 3-0 in extra-inning games, and the AppleSox fell to 2-4. The game featured five lead changes and four ties.
The AppleSox and Elks finish the series Wednesday night and it’s Kid’s Day at the ballpark, sponsored by Fred Meyer. Fans can pick up vouchers at the East Wenatchee Fred Meyer customer service counter, which will admit any child, 12 years of age or younger, to any Wednesday home AppleSox game this season. Gage Burland will be on the mound for Wenatchee. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
WP: Sam Boone (4-1)
LP: Kyle Blankennship (0-2)
S: Daniel Bies (1)