WENATCHEE – The Wenatchee AppleSox (0-2), fell 6-5 to the Yakima Valley Pippins (2-0), Saturday night in ten innings, after posting two furious two-out rallies to force extra frames.
Wenatchee scored four runs in the fifth inning, and one run in the ninth to even the score with the Pippins, after Yakima Valley led 5-0 after two innings at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium. Both rallies came with two outs.
The Pippins jumped out to an early lead against AppleSox starter Kyle Blankenship. Five extra-base hits in the first three innings led to RBIs for Jay Schuyler, Chris Ceballos, Derek Molina, and Mitchell Morimoto.
After the rough stretch, Blankenship recovered to retire nine of the next ten batters he faced, while only allowing one baserunner on a walk.
Wenatchee got back in the game in the home half of the fifth inning, while bringing nine batters to the plate. Jordan Rathbone started the inning with a single, and after a strikeout Kolby DeHaas was hit by pitch to put two runners aboard.
Following another strikeout, Steven Machtolf hammered an RBI single to center field that was misplayed off of a hard bounce by Morimoto. Machtolf was credited for an RBI on the single, and DeHaas scored from first on the error. Parker Price and Evan Douglas followed up with RBI singles in the inning.
Ross Clevenger took over in his first relief appearance for the AppleSox in the sixth inning. Clevenger fired three innings of one-hit baseball, while striking out four batters and walking one. Clevenger showcased a curveball-fastball mixture that had batters baffled.
Tanner Simpson left the game after six innings for the Pippins, in line for a 5-4 win. In the ninth inning, the AppleSox ran Simpson’s reliever, Josh Rios, from the contest after he allowed two singles with two outs, following a failed hit and run attempt for the AppleSox and a leadoff walk of Alex Gonzales.
Matthew Fish took over and the AppleSox walked twice, forcing home a run. Sheldon Liikala was the batter who walked to tie the game. Fish got the final out of the ninth to force extra frames.
In the top of the tenth, Yakima Valley faced Jordan McGowan, who took over for Clevenger in the ninth. A leadoff walk and a sacrifice bunt put a runner in scoring position. A groundout to the right side of the infield moved the go-ahead runner to third, and Ryan Garcia drove it in for the lead.
The AppleSox sacrificed leadoff batter, McGowan, to second base in the bottom of the tenth after a leadoff walk, but left him stranded there on a popout and groundout to first base in the next two at bats.
With the win, the Pippins set up an opportunity for a series sweep, Sunday. Garcia, who provided the game-winning RBI for Yakima Valley will toe the rubber against Wenatchee High School graduate Grady Miller. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m., and gates open at 5 at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.