WALLA WALLA – The Wenatchee AppleSox (18-31, 8-14 second half), fought back from a 4-1 deficit to win 6-4 Tuesday night at the Walla Walla Sweets (26-23, 11-11), in an important game for the Sweets’ 2016 playoff hopes.
Wenatchee utilized a five-run sixth inning to complete a stellar comeback, and also dialed up a game-winning 6-3 double play to put an end to the Sweets’ comeback hopes in the ninth inning.
The AppleSox scored first Tuesday, on a two-out double for Jordan Rathbone in the second inning. It was all that Sweet starter Bobby Ay (1-3) would give up until a disastrous sixth.
The Sweets responded with two runs of their own in the second on a suicide squeeze, executed to perfection to score two runs. Walla Walla tried another suicide squeeze in the inning that was failed and resulted in a frame-ending double play.
The Sweets added two more runs against Mac Lardner (2-2), in the third and fourth inning on Nick Nyquist’s second double of the game and a solo home run for Nick Vigo.
Lardner’s offense got him the runs back in the sixth inning, bringing 11 batters to the plate, while loading the bases on two singles and a walk against Ay. Michael Toglia doubled home two runs on a single, and re-tied himself for the WCL RBI lead at 37.
Another single allowed by Ay reloaded the bases, before he proceeded to walk home a run and hit a batter by a pitch to tie the game at 4-4.
The Sweets called on their bullpen, but AJ Carkner also walked and hit a batter to force home two more earned runs against Ay, and give Wenatchee a 6-4 lead. Ay allowed a season-high six earned runs, and Wenatchee is the only team to score three or more runs off him this season.
Lardner pitched a 1-2-3 sixth, before Adam Paulson took over in relief for the third time this summer, and retired an additional six in a row in the seventh and eighth innings.
in the ninth, Walla Walla threatened against Paulson with a single, a balk, and another single, around a groundout to third base. With runners at the corners and one out, Paulson induced a game-winning 6-3 double play to Ryan Kreidler at shortstop. Kreidler stepped on the bag for one, and threw to first to secure the series-opening win for Wenatchee and Paulson’s second save. It was Wenatchee’s seventh come-from-behind win of the season.
Game two is Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m., and Grady Miller (3-3) will pitch for Wenatchee.