WENATCHEE– The Wenatchee AppleSox (19-35, 9-18 second half), led the Bellingham Bells (31-23, 16-11) for most of Sunday night’s contest, however, the Bells won 7-6, in the AppleSox’ season finale at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
Wenatchee took early control of the last game of the season, scoring two runs in the first inning for an early advantage.
Michael Toglia brought a batter home on a sacrifice fly and an RBI triple for Jordan Rathbone. The triple was his fifth of the season, tying him with Toglia for the most triples in the WCL. Toglia also hit his league-leading 40th RBI in the inning.
The AppleSox finished the season with a WCL-best 19 triples.
Bellingham got a run back in the second inning on an RBI double for Matt DiLeo. The run came against Mac Lardner, who also gave up two runs in the fourth inning, including a two-run home run for Christian Jones.
The AppleSox immediately came back with four runs to take a 6-3 lead. Matt Fraizer and Ryan Kreidler, along with two errors to score the other runs.
Wenatchee was done scoring, with Zach Taylor throwing four shutout innings while picking off three batters.
In the sixth inning, Justin Polzin added a run for the Bellingham Bells to trim the deficit to 6-4. The run came off of Lardner.
Blankenship threw a scoreless inning and a third to get Wenatchee to the eighth, leading 6-4. However, Adam Paulson, who had two saves and no losses, allowed a run in the eighth on a walk, two stolen bases, and a wild pitch.
Then in the ninth, Bellingham claimed a lead against Paulson with an RBI single for Gunar Schubert and Austin Shenton drove in the winning run with an RBI single.
The AppleSox got the first two batters of the bottom of the ninth inning aboard against Sam Hellinger, the WCL leader in saves. With Sheldon Liikala trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt, the Bells pitcher threw to third base to cut down the leading runner, and then a strikeout of Toglia and a groundout ended the season for Wenatchee.
Bellingham took momentum into the playoffs, claiming the official title of WCL North Second-Half Champions.
The AppleSox finished their 17th franchise season in front of a supportive home crowd.