WENATCHEE - The Wenatchee AppleSox (9-17), rallied late for five runs in the seventh and eighth innings against the Kelowna Falcons (13-13), but fell 6-5 on Independence Day at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
Early on, Justin Blatner (2-1) struggled in his start for the AppleSox. The left-hander was hit for a three-run first by the Falcons, and gave up three doubles in the frame. The third, for Brendt Citta scored the third run for Kelowna.
The Falcons cashed in for 8 extra-base hits of the 13 total, Monday night. AJ Sawyer had the team’s sixth extra-base hit on a two-run home run to put Kelowna ahead 5-0 in the third. It was Sawyer’s first home run of the season, and the third for the Falcons.
Sawyer’s night wasn’t done, however, as he drove in Daniel Nist on an RBI single in the fifth inning.
After only getting three hits and no runs off of Jake Simmons (4-1), the AppleSox finally broke through against the Kelowna starter in the seventh inning. A sacrifice fly to center field for Haydan Hastings gave Wenatchee its first run, and an RBI single for Otis Statum made it 6-2 after seven.
Okeefe Hall came in for Kelowna in the eighth, and ran into trouble in the form of Michael Toglia. He crused a two-run home run over the right field fence for a 6-4 score. It was Toglia’s third home run of the season, and good for his 17th and 18th RBI on the season. He is now the WCL North leader in runs batted in.
Jordan Rathbone contributed a key two-out single later in the inning, to cut the deficit to one.
Trying to complete their largest comeback of 2016, the AppleSox couldn’t get past final Falcon reliever Jared Morton, who picked up his fifth save.
Morton picked up the final out of the eighth, when the Falcons caught Rathbone trying to move to third on a pitch in the dirt.
In the ninth, Morton struck out the first two to face him, and then Alex Gonzales singled to get the tying run aboard. Shane Martinez lined out to center field to end the game, and even the series with the Falcons.
Tuesday night, the AppleSox and the Falcons will play for the series win. Grady Miller (2-1) will be on the mound for Wenatchee and first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.