WENATCHEE - The Wenatchee AppleSox (10-21, 0-4 Second Half), played a tight 6-4 contest with the Gresham GreyWolves (15-16, 4-0), but couldn’t get past strong relief pitching in the loss at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium, Saturday.
Gresham jumped on AppleSox starter Justin Blatner for two runs in the first inning, in what was a high-scoring frame. Back-to-back RBI singles for Ryan Rodriguez and Ryan Smith had the Wolves out in front early.
Wenatchee answered back immediately in the bottom of the first, hitting for a team cycle in the half inning. Shane Martinez started the barrage with his first home run of the season, a leadoff solo shot to left field. Ryan Kredler followed with a double, and Michael Toglia tripled him home for a 2-2 score.
Toglia’s triple was the 14th of the season for the AppleSox, setting a new team record for triples in a season (previously held by the 2011 and 2015 AppleSox), with still 23 games left to play in the league regular season.
Jordan Rathbone followed the triple with an RBI single to put the Sox up 3-2 into the second inning.
Blatner settled down and the defense helped him out with inning-ending double plays in the second and third innings. Blatner kept Gresham off the board again until the top of the fifth. An error scored Dylan Doherty, who was aboard earlier in the frame on a single to tie the game 3-3.
Again, Wenatchee had a quick answer, this time in the bottom of the fifth, on Toglia’s second triple of the night, which scored Kreidler from first base for a 4-3 lead. With two triples in the same game, Toglia accomplished a feat not attained by an AppleSox player since Brent Wyatt hit two triples at Bellingham, August 1, 2006.
Eli Thornquist (2-1) and Chris Brown (1-2) battled into the sixth inning, but after a 1-2-3 frame, Thornquist gave away the Sox lead on Smith’s second RBI single of the night. With the game tied 4-4, Gresham added two more runs in the eighth after Thornquist left with one out and the bases loaded. Following an infield fly forced by Tyler Burch, a wild pitch and an error brought home the go-ahead and insurance runs for Gresham, and a 6-4 lead.
Brown was nearly untouchable for the GreyWolves. He mowed down nine Wenatchee batters out of the bullpen, and allowed just one hit over four innings of shutout relief.
Game two of the series is Sunday at 6:05 p.m. Grady Miller (2-1) will pitch for the AppleSox