WENATCHEE - The Wenatchee AppleSox (8-14), started Thursday night off with a dominant pitching performance, but troubles in the seventh inning allowed the Cowlitz Black Bears (9-13), to get back into the game and eventually win 5-4 in extra innings at Story Field in Longview, Wash.
The AppleSox were guided for six superb innings by Grady Miller, who used just 53 pitches over the first six frames, only allowing three hits, while striking out four batters and giving up zero walks.
During the stretch, Wenatchee was hit by pitch five times, and walked four times, while tallying four hits and three runs.
A throwing error at third base scored Otis Statum in the fourth inning, after he got aboard on a walk and stole second base. Wenatchee led Riley Ohl 1-0 after his 4 1/3 innings of work.
The AppleSox added two more runs in the sixth inning off of Chandler Greenfield on a sacrifice fly RBI to center field for Shane Martinez and an RBI double for Matt Fraizer.
Cowlitz knocked Miller out of his groove in the seventh inning after getting a baserunner on an error at first base. A walk set up first and second with nobody out. Weston Hatten then singled to load the bases for the Black Bears.
A Taylor Yaeger sacrifice fly to center field cut the AppleSox lead to 3-1. Later, a 2-RBI single for Toby Johnson tied the game, and an RBI single for Michael Forgione gave the Bears a 4-3 lead.
Michael Toglia evened the score in the eighth inning on an RBI ground-rule-double to left field. It scored Matt Fraizer and came earned off of Devon McKesson.
Tyler Burch and Jake Hawken (1-0), were locked in a pitchers duel for the eighth-11th innings, Thursday. The two went toe-to-toe, continually rolling each half inning over to the opposing team.
Taylor Borchers relieved Burch in the bottom of the 12th inning, still tied at four. A single for Johnson started the frame off with a runner aboard, and a single and a catcher’s interference loaded the bases after a failed sacrifice bunt attempt resulted in out number one.
Morgan McCullough drove in the game’s winning run on a ground ball to shortstop that was bobbled by Ryan Kreidler. The AppleSox shortstop successfully relayed the front end of a double play try to second base, but McCullough beat the return throw to first base, to win the game.
Wenatchee and Cowlitz play game two, Friday night. Ross Clevenger will pitch for the AppleSox at 6:35 p.m.