BEND, Ore. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (7-7) jumped to an early 7-3 lead over the Bend Elks (6-5), but faltered late for a 10-9 loss, Thursday night at Vince Genna Stadium.
The Elks used a late home run from Niko Holm to claim a 10-9 advantage. Holm hit his two-run shot over the wall in left-center field in the bottom half of the eighth inning with one out off of Collin Maier (2-1).
The AppleSox jumped to two early advantages. After the top half of the first, Wenatchee led 3-0, following an RBI double for Evan Johnson, a wild pitch, and an RBI single for Reagan Teegarden.
Bend answered right back in its half of the first, with three runs of its own off of AppleSox starter Gerald Hein, on three walks, an RBI single, wild pitch, and sacrifice fly.
Hein struggled, allowing four runs on four hits in the first four innings. He also walked four batters during his outing.
The offense lifted the AppleSox up with a four-run second to claim a 7-3 lead. Jacob Prater and Adrian Vela each cashed in single RBIs, while Parker Price delivered a 2-RBI double for the advantage. Wenatchee added another run in the fourth, on an error against Bend’s catcher. Johnson, aboard on his second double, was able to score on the play.
Bend began its comeback in the third. The fourth run off of Hein was on a solo shot to right-center field for Bend’s Rocco Ferrari.
The AppleSox tried to turn to Collin Maier in the fifth, with a four run lead. Maier was scheduled to be tomorrow’s starter, but came in to pitch in place of a thin bullpen. Maier allowed two runs in his first inning, on an RBI single and double.
The Elks scored again in the sixth on an RBI single, and once more in the seventh on an error at second base.
Wenatchee took the lead in the top of the eighth on a perfectly placed and timed suicide squeeze bunt from Parker Price. It scored Johnson, who was originially aboard on his third hit of the night.
With the lead, Maier allowed a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to Holm. Bend’s Khalil Rivera (1-1) held on in the ninth, despite a one-out double from Adrian Vela.
The Bend bullpen only allowed one run after the fourth inning, to back a difficult outing for starter Kyle Cantu.
Game three decides the series, Friday night. The AppleSox plan to start Matthew Young for the 6:35 p.m. first pitch at Vince Genna Stadium.