WENATCHEE – Dominant pitching and solid defense paved the way for the Wenatchee AppleSox (12-24, 2-7 Second Half), past the Bend Elks (15-21, 5-4), to take the final game of the three-game series 4-1 at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium, Thursday.
The AppleSox were led from the git-go by Justin Blatner (3-1). He stifled Bend from the outset, retiring the first 10 batters to face him in the contest.
Wenatchee plated its first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning thanks to a hard-hit line drive that Ryan Kreidler hit off the glove of Bend’s third baseman, which deflected into foul territory down the left-field line to plate the Sox first run. Kreidler ended up at second with a go-ahead double.
Blatner continued to work the corners of the zone and throw all three pitches for strikes the rest of the night, reaching his average pitch count of 91. His defense also picked him up in the seventh inning, turning a double play to help him get out of the frame. His seven-inning start tied Grady Miller for the AppleSox longest of the season, and the southpaw only gave up four hits.
Kreidler added two more RBI prior to Blatner’s seventh inning. One run was allowed to score with two outs in the sixth, due to a throwing error by Bend’s second baseman. Kreidler singled down the left field line to pick up the insurance runs for Wenatchee. His second and third RBI of the game.
Dylan Riddle pitched a scoreless eighth inning, aided by his defense’s second double play. Wenatcheee was error-free for the fifth time this season.
Tyler Burch threw the ninth inning, and gave up a solo home run after a leadoff out, to break up a 12-consecutive scoreless innings streak dating to June 15. He got the final two outs to secure the win for Wenatchee.
The AppleSox are back in action beginning tomorrow night, when they face the Yakima Valley Pippins at County Stadium for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch in Yakima.