KELOWNA, B.C – The Wenatchee AppleSox (20-15, 5-3 second half) fought back for a 7-4 win in 11 innings over the Kelowna Falcons (19-19, 2-9), after losing a 4-1 lead in the eighth inning, Saturday night at Elks Stadium at Kelowna, B.C.
The AppleSox took the lead back for good, in the top of the 11th inning on a 3-RBI double for Jacob Prater, a Wenatchee native. Prater came to the plate in the inning with the bases loaded and two outs, after he was unable to get the AppleSox a lead in the top of the ninth with two outs and runners on first and second.
Prater wouldn’t miss in his second try. He hammered a 2-2 pitch to the left-center field gap, and was able to place it off the wall to give Wenatchee the late lead. The eventual game-winning RBI came off of reliever Shea Barry.
Hugh Smith (1-3) earned the win for the AppleSox, and tossed a gutsy 3 2/3 innings on two days rest. Although he gave up the game-tying run in the eighth inning, Smith recovered and didn’t allow a hit in the ninth, or extra innings.
The game ended on a 4-6-3 double play, and the victory ensured the AppleSox a series win and also tied Wenatchee for first in the WCL North Second Half playoff race with Victoria. It was the third 4-6-3 double play the AppleSox had turned Saturday night.
Kelowna tied the game in the eighth inning by scoring two runs off of Mike Townsend, and then collecting one more RBI single off of Smith. The Falcons were trailing 4-1 entering the frame, and had been stymied by AppleSox starter Collin Maier (no decision) in the first six innings.
Townsend also threw a scoreless seventh inning after Maier’s start. Maier registered a personal single-game best six strikeouts, while scattering seven hits.
Wenatchee took the lead in the third inning on a 2-RBI single for Evan Johnson. He delivered again in the fifth inning, after a run-scoring error, with an RBI single for a 4-1 lead.
Johnson now has 44 RBI on the season and is four away from tying Mitchell Gunsolus’ (2012) team-record 48 single-season RBIs. Additionally, he needs just seven RBI to tie the WCL record for single-season RBIs, set by Vince Fernandez in 2014 for the Yakima Valley Pippins.
The AppleSox never trailed in the game, but were tied with Kelowna for four total innings. In those four innings, the AppleSox only allowed one hit.
Wenatchee is now 5-0 versus the Falcons in 2017 and has a chance Sunday for its second sweep of Kelowna in the last week.
Left-hander McKabe Cottrell (0-1) will get the start for the AppleSox at Elks Stadium at 6:05 p.m., Sunday.