WENATCHEE – The Wenatchee AppleSox (4-0, nonleague), were guided from seven strong innings from Matt Young in a 3-2 win against the Alaska Goldpanners at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium, Saturday night.
With his innings count taken off for the non-league contest, Young tossed his longest outing of 2016, after previously working five innings in five starts. For Young it was his fourth total win of the summer, but will not count towards his WCL total.
The AppleSox scored first in the third inning, using small ball to plate a run. Evan Douglas led off the inning, hit by a pitch and then Sheldon Liikala delivered a bunt single to put runners at first and second. A successful sacrifice bunt by Dalton Harum set runners up at second and third with one out.
A sacrifice fly for Taylor Borchers brought home the game’s first run. It was the first of two RBIs for Borchers on the night.
In the fourth inning, Kevin Connolly drove home a run for the Alaska Goldpanners to tie the game 1-1. Justin Harrer scored unearned, and was aboard on an error at shortstop earlier in the inning.
Matt Young recovered with 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth, while retiring seven-straight batters. Meanwhile Wenatchee got him the lead he needed with an RBI single from Borchers in the fifth, and an RBI bases-loaded walk for Sheldon Liikala in the sixth.
The Goldpanners’ starter, Phil Trujillo worked two scoreless innings, and reliever Alex Torson was tabbed the losing decision, giving up all of the AppleSox runs.
In the seventh, Alaska made things interesting with a fielder’s choice RBI with the bases loaded for Dustin Woody. The AppleSox nearly turned an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play for Young, but couldn’t complete the back end.
Tony Contonio pitched the eighth and the ninth innings for the AppleSox, after pitching for the AppleSox all summer in 2015. In his first outing for Wenatchee since Aug. 2, 2015, Contonio gave up one leadoff single in the eighth, but came back with a flyout and inning-ending 1-6-3 double play.
In the ninth, he retired the Goldpanners in order, and got some great defensive help from Sheldon Liikala on the game’s final out, when Liikala jumped for a line drive on the warning track and made the catch before hitting the wall back first.
Game three of the series is Sunday at 6:05 p.m. Luke Mattson will pitch for the AppleSox in the series finale.