WENATCHEE – The Wenatchee AppleSox (14-28, 4-11 Second Half), used two big innings to beat the Kitsap BlueJackets (12-30, 4-11), 6-3, Friday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium, close a three-game home series.
Despite falling behind 3-0, early, the AppleSox had all the answers in the third game of the series. Mac Lardner was making his first start of 2016, and did give up a first-inning two-RBI double to Marten Pauwels, and a second-inning run to Luke Stampfl on a sacrifice fly, but that was all the BlueJackets would get.
Lardner finished a five-inning start retiring 12 of the final 13 batters to face him, including seven-in-a-row, to help out an AppleSox offense that connected on a big inning in the fourth to tie the game at three.
Wenatchee was patient at the plate, waiting out Kitsap miscues, which included a bases-loaded balk by starter Jake Prizina. The play brought home Sheldon Liikala, and Haydan Hastings and Otis Statum followed with RBI in the frame on a fielder’s choice groundout and sacrifice fly.
Prizina held things scoreless into the seventh, while Taylor Borchers (1-2) also threw two scoreless innings for Wenatchee. In the seventh, again, Kitsap was in trouble when reliever Garrett Smith (0-1) allowed the bases loaded and started a 1-0 count to Michael Toglia.
Kitsap called on Jordan Knoll to try to end the jam, but Knoll completed a four-pitch walk to bring home the go-ahead run for Wenatchee. Sheldon Liikala singled a 3-2 pitch over the second base bag in the next at bat to give the AppleSox their final 6-3 score.
The cushion worked out beautifully for Borchers and Nick Hoefling, who picked up his team-leading third save. The defense was stout behind them as well, playing an error-free game for the seventh time this season.
The AppleSox hit the road Saturday night to start a three-game series with the Bellingham Bells. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.