WENATCHEE– The Wenatchee AppleSox (19-34, 9-17 second half), won an offensively-powered game 9-6 over by the Bellingham Bells (31-22, 16-10) to even the season’s final series, Saturday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
The AppleSox looked like a team in trouble early, allowing two runs in the first inning to the Bellingham Bells, who locked up a WCL Playoff spot a night earlier.
However, Wenatchee had a big answer for its starter Luke Mattson (2-7) in the bottom of the first. The AppleSox brought 11 batters to the plate, and Ryan Kreidler started a bases-loaded opening to the game with a single and a walk of Evan Douglas, and a hit by pitch of Sheldon Liikala loaded the bases for Michael Toglia.
Toglia delivered a 2-RBI single through the right side to get the game back to even, and net his 37th and 38th RBIs on the season, making him the WCL leader.
Jordan Rathbone hit in a go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice, and a Dalton Harum single and a wild pitch gave the Sox a 5-2 advantage after one inning. They chased Joey Matulovich (3-5) after an inning and a third.
Mattson settled down to score four scoreless innings in the second through the fifth, while his offense got him another four-run backing in the fourth.
The runs were important, as Mattson fell into some trouble in his sixth and final inning. With two runners on, and a run already home on an error, the Bells connected on a three-run blast from Landon Riker to make the score 9-6.
The AppleSox bats fell silent late, with the game’s final 11 batters retired in order for Wenatchee, but that posed no problem for the bullpen that protected the lead.
Nick Hoefling and Miceal Taylor each tossed two scoreless innings, and Taylor’s were mighty impressive. The senior-to-be at Central Washington wrapped up his fourth year pitching at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium, only allowing one hit in his final two collegiate summer league innings, while earning his second save.
The AppleSox play for the series, Sunday at 6:05 p.m. Mac Lardner will be the starter for Wenatchee.