The Wenatchee AppleSox (9-17, 3-8 North), fifth place in the North Division host the Kelowna Falcons (13-13, 7-7 North) in a rubber-match game three of a WCL North series at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium...last night, Wenatchee scored the final five runs in the game, but couldn’t tie the contest...the AppleSox are playing their 17th franchise season (12th in the WCL) and are led by second-year skipper, AJ Proszek (38-47) (.447), 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 5, FALCONS 6
WENACTHEE – 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...AJ Sawyer hit a two-run home run to put Kelowna ahead 5-0 in the third...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..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...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.
MILLER’S GREAT REBOUND
Grady Miller will be key to the AppleSox success in trying to pick up a series win over the Kelowna Falcons, Tuesday...after a rough first start, allowing 7 runs, all earned, Miller has rebounded to throw some of the AppleSox best baseball on the mound...in the last three league starts for Miller, he is 2-0, while allowing an average of 2.33 runs per start...each of his starts have lasted at least six innings, and he turned in Wenatchee’s longest start of the summer at 7 innings, June 12 versus the Corvallis Knights...Miller’s 3.6:1 strikeout to walk ratio is tied with Matt Young for best on the AppleSox pitching staff.
THE WCL FIRST HALF
Wenatchee is locked into a fifth-place finish in the first half of the WCL standings in the North Division...the standings reset for the AppleSox tomorrow night when the team takes to the road to play the Corvallis Knights for a three-game stretch.
Four of Wenatchee’s five runs driven in last night came with two outs...56 of the team’s 103 RBI have come with two outs this season...Michael Toglia is the team leader with 11...he added two last night on his home run.
Last night, Michael Toglia hit his team-leading third home run of the season...it was the AppleSox’ 8th home run of the season, tying them for second in the WCL for second in home runs with the Bellingham Bells...Wenatchee also allowed a home run to AJ Sawyer...the AppleSox are now 2-3 when they hit a home run, but a very telling 0-8 when the opponent cashes in on a long ball.
Kelowna was barely able to hold off a late Wenatchee charge last night...the AppleSox fell by a single run for the fifth time this season, and the Sox are now a total of 2-8 in games decided by two runs or fewer.
THE WORST STRETCH
Wenatchee hasn’t played a worse ten-game stretch than this current span...the AppleSox are 2-8 in their last ten games, but have a chance to get back another series win on the season.
2016 SERIES PLAY
Wenatchee has won four series, and lost four series in 2016...the AppleSox are not playing well in the final games of series...standing at a total of 1-7...Grady Miller pitched the only rubber-match game three for the AppleSox this season, and helped Wenatchee to a 3-0 shutout win over the Corvallis Knights...it was Wenatchee’s first shutout of 2016.