The Wenatchee AppleSox (15-28, 5-11, 5-8 North), fifth place in the North Division are visiting the Bellingham Bells (22-18, 7-6, 7-6) after beating the North second-half leaders last night...Wenatchee lost a three game series to the Bells last year 2-1 at Joe Martin Fieldis playing at the former minor league park of Ken Griffey Jr. on his Hall of Fame Induction weekend...the AppleSox are playing their 17th franchise season (12th in the WCL) and are led by second-year skipper, AJ Proszek (43-59) (.422), 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 6, BELLINGHAM 1
BELLINGHAM – The Wenatchee AppleSox (15-28, 5-11 Second Half), brought down the Bellingham Bells (22-18, 7-6), 6-1, in a series-opening win, Saturday night at Joe Martin Field...Grady Miller (3-2) gave the AppleSox the lift they needed early, facing the minimums in his first three innings of work against the Bells...meanwhile, Wenatchee stockpiled a lead for their lefty, scoring once in the second on a Ryan Kreidler RBI single, and again in the third on a Michael Toglia RBI double...Bellingham got its lone run in the fourth inning on back-to-back doubles off of Miller...offensively, Hanon had a standout night for Bellingham, going 3-for-4...the AppleSox expanded their lead off of Connor Johnson in the fifth inning with an RBI triple for Toglia, who scored Sheldon Liikala following Liikala’s third hit of the night...Toglia scored in the next at bat on a failed suicide squeeze and a pitch in the dirt that bounced off of Bellingham’s catcher, ahead of a play at the plate...Toglia received credit for stealing home...Liikala finished 4-for-4 with a walk, and Toglia picked up his WCL-leading fifth triple and his North-leading 26th and 27th RBI...Wenatchee’s pitching was nearly lights-out the rest of the way, blanking the Bells...Miller finished with seven one-run innings, earning his team-best fifth quality start of the season...it was also his third start of seven-or-more innings...Jimmy Dobrash covered the last two innings for the AppleSox...the AppleSox offense added two insurance runs in the sixth inning, which came unearned on a pair of errors and a Liikala walk and Alex Gonzales single.
Michael Toglia continues to make waves in his first season of WCL Baseball...after last night’s win, (double, triple, RBI, SB), Toglia is now the WCL leader in the following categories...home runs: 5 (tied)...triples: 5...extra-base hits: 17...total bases: 68 (19 singles (19), 7 doubles (14), 5 triples (15), 5 home runs (20))...and slugging percentage: .527.
BEATING THE BEST
Wenatchee beat a WCL-North leading team for the first time in 2016 last night...Wenatchee is now 1-3 against leaders of the North and 2-8 against leaders of the South...3-11 overall.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
With the victory last night, Wenatchee has tied it’s mark for most consecutive road wins (2)...the AppleSox have won back-to-back on the road two other times this season, and are gunning for their first 3-game road winning streak this season.
Grady Miller certainly has been impressive for the AppleSox in 2016...the freshman left-hander has tossed a team-leading 6.46 innings-per-start, while recording a team-best five quality starts (next closest: Justin Blatner, 2)...last night he also improved his record to 2-0 when following a losing outing.
Wenatchee is now trying to race the top division teams in the WCL North...the Sox are just 3.5 games back, trailing all other four North opponents, who are tied atop the WCL North second-half standings
NORTH ROAD SERIES
The AppleSox are going for their first divisional road series win since July 28-30, 2015 at Kelowna (2-1)...359 days ago.
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
Bet you didn’t know that when the AppleSox began their season 17 years back, it was in Bellingham at Joe Martin Field...June 2, 2000...a 2-1 AppleSox win.
Since the WCL series between Bellingham and Wenatchee began in 2005, the teams have played over a third of their games to a one-run finishes...23-of-64...35.9 percent...last season the AppleSox lost two games of a three-game set to Bellingham 5-3 and 5-4...Wenatchee won the third game 5-1.
Wenatchee is done playing opponents from the WCL South in the 2016 regular season...after the Kitsap series, the AppleSox wrapped up their record vs. the South at 10-20.
Bellingham and Wenatchee will see each other plenty of times to finish the 2016 season...five of the AppleSox final 11 regular season league games this year will be against the boys from Whatcom County.
A TALE OF TWO TIMES
Wenatchee was 16-4 in the first 20 meetings between the two franchises...Bellingham was 14-6 in the last 20 meetings, coming into last night’s game.