WENATCHEE – The Wenatchee AppleSox (3-7), won a third-straight game behind stellar pitching and a breakout performance for Jordan Rathbone in a 5- 1 win over the Walla Walla Sweets (5-5), Tuesday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
Rathbone finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and 2 RBI, in his first multi-hit game of the season. He backed a stellar combined performance on the mound for Matt Young (1-0) and Ross Clevenger (1 SV), in which the duo only allowed 4 hits. Clevenger didn’t allow a hit in four innings of work.
The four hits allowed are the fewest to an opponent in 2016, and the lowest total allowed dating to July 5, 2015 in a victory at home against the Klamath Falls Gems.
Wenatchee opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning after loading the bases on Walla Walla starter Connor Cannon (0-1), with one out. Otis Statum walked on four pitches for Wenatchee to force home the game’s first run. It was Statum’s first RBI of 2016.
In the third, Walla Walla answered with an RBI triple from Ryan Johnston, but the tie was short-lived, as Wenatchee broke the 1-1 score in the bottom half of the frame when Matt Fraizer scored from third on a balk.
It was the second of two runs scored on the night for Fraizer, who was plated on the Statum walk in the first.
Wenatchee added to its lead in the sixth inning, facing Zach Weisz. He was one of three Walla Walla outfielders called on to pitch in relief, Tuesday.
Rathbone brought home Michael Toglia with an RBI single to make it 3-1, AppleSox. Toglia was aboard on a double off the center field wall in his debut.
In the eighth, Wenatchee got two more runs off of Ryan Johnston. With one out, Ryan Murkle singled, setting up a run scoring play on a Jordan Rathbone RBI triple. It was Rathbone’s first extra-base hit of 2016, and it placed the AppleSox ahead 4-1.
Haydan Hastings followed it up with a double down the left field line to give Wenatchee it’s 5-1 final score.
All of the added runs came in support of reliever Ross Clevenger, who earned his first save of the season, offering four innings of no-hit baseball. He and Young each struck out five Sweet hitters in the winning effort.
After starting the season 0-7, Wenatchee is now riding a 3-game winning streak. The AppleSox have outscored opponents 14-4 over the last three nights.
Game two of the series is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch, Wednesday night. Jimmy Dobrash (0-2) will look for his first win, up against Walla Walla’s Bobby Ay, who is making his 2016 WCL debut.