The Wenatchee AppleSox (12-24, 2-7, 4-8 North), fifth place in the North Division are visiting the Yakima Valley Pippins (21-15, 6-3, 12-9) to complete the final portion of the pre-All Star schedule...the AppleSox salvaged a game in the three-game series against Bend...the AppleSox are playing their 17th franchise season (12th in the WCL) and are led by second-year skipper, AJ Proszek (40-55) (.421), who is in his 4th season with the Sox...Proszek is assisted by Kyle Hunt and Colton Loomis, both in their first seasons.
LAST NIGHT - APPLESOX 4, BEND 2
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)...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, 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.
FOR A SECOND TIME
The AppleSox are hoping the second time is a charm against the Yakima Valley Pippins...the Sox and Pippins met to open the 2016 season, and Yakima Valley swept the series three games to none...only 10 of the AppleSox current roster players saw playing time in the first three-game set against Yakima Valley.
COMFORTABLE AWAY FROM HOME
Wenatchee has been playing well on the road in the all-time series with the Pippins...despite a 3-9 record against the Pippins in Wenatchee, the AppleSox are 6-3 at County Stadium.
MILLER’S SECOND OUTING
Grady Miller is making his second start against the Yakima Valley Pippins...he is a quite different pitcher than the last time Yakima Valley faced him...emerging as one of the AppleSox top starters, since giving up 7 earned runs to the Pippins, June 5, Miller has only allowed 7 earned runs over his next five league starts...he has won two games over that span and has not suffered a loss since his outing against the Pippins to start 2016.
Last night, Wenatchee nearly tossed its third shutout of the season...a one-out home run for Bend’s Billy King upended the bid last night and ended reliever, Tyler Burch’s consecutive scoreless innings streak at 12.0 innings.
Justin Blatner threw seven scoreless innings last night and matched Grady Miller for the longest start on the summer for the AppleSox...Miller lasted seven innings in Wenatchee’s second win of the year against the Corvallis Knights, June 12...those shutout innings did lead to one of Wenatchee’s two shutouts on the season.
Over the last five and ten games, the AppleSox offense has been quiet...the team is hitting just .216 over the last ten games, and .201 over the last five outings.
BEEN HERE BEFORE
In 2014, before the AppleSox headed to the All Star Break at Klamath Falls, the Sox swept the Yakima Valley Pippins in three games at County Stadium...that year, the teams were both in the WCL East, and Wenatchee used the games to trim a six-game deficit in the division’s second-place slot to just three games...the Pippins went on to win the division in their first franchise season.
In the first meeting with the Yakima Valley Pippins, the AppleSox were outscored 23-6 by the Pippins...Wenatchee will look to show a different offense at County Stadium tonight.