WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (14-17, 11-16) used a four run ninth inning to get within one of the Bend Elks (25-5, 25-5), but the Elks stranded the bases loaded for an 8-7 win and series sweep at Paul Thomas Sr. Field, Wednesday night.
The Elks opened up with mighty scoring power in the first two innings. Bend landed six runs on seven hits and worked a couple walks off of AppleSox starter, Gage Burland (1-1).
The AppleSox were able to answer in the bottom of the second with their first run of the game. Kyle Vanderkin dropped in an RBI single to score Mitchell Holland, who got aboard via a double earlier in the inning.
In the top of the fifth, Brian Gadsby took over with one out, and a run already home on an Elks RBI single. He struck out each of the first two batters he faced out of the bullpen to open his relief appearance.
The AppleSox added a run back in the bottom half of the fifth on an RBI triple for Joey Jansen. His hit to right center field rolled all the way to the fence and was the second of three hits on the night for the redshirt junior outfielder.
The Sox also struck for a run in the sixth on Keston Hiura’s second home run of the season. He pulled it over the left field center fence for his first Paul Thomas Sr. Field home run. The AppleSox put together three-straight singles after the blast and loaded the bases with no outs. This pushed Patrick McGuff (5-0) out of the game, but reliever Mack Gaul saved his starter, retiring the next three batters on a pop up and back-to-back K’s.
The Elks got their only run off of Gadsby in the top of the seventh. A two out RBI double made the score 8-3 and Bend looked to have the game in control. Gadsby was extremely effective, outlasting his starter with 4 2/3 innings of work, and he struck out 8 batters during his stint.
Wenatchee waited until the bottom of the ninth to launch its final comeback bid. Down five runs entering the inning, Jansen started the inning with a single. An error on a dropped grounder at first base aided Danny Amaral, who won a foot race to the bag to place runners at first and second with nobody out.
Hiura then struck out in the next at bat, but an E2 on an attempted putout of a dropped third strike, scored a run (following a wild pitch), and the AppleSox had runners at second and third with the score 8-4. Wenatchee then flew out and struck out before generating some more offense. Nick Nyquist walked to load the bases and Vanderkin smoked a 2-RBI single to cut the Bend lead to 8-6. The RBI were Vanderkin’s second and third of the game.
Erik Sauve worked a walk to reload the bases, and Sheldon Liikala was hit by a pitch to make the score 8-7. The Elks lifted Jeff Albrecht at this point, and brought in Janson Junk, looking for the final out.
He found it as Jansen came back to the plate for the second time in the inning and struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
Wenatchee was swept for the third time at home this season. They have swept two opponents at home this year as well.
Thursday, Wenatchee heads to southwestern Washington to visit the Cowlitz Black Bears at Story Field in Longview. Hunter Wells will get the start for the AppleSox in the first game of the early weekend series.
First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.
WP: Patrick McGuff (5-0)
LP: Gage Burland (1-1)