WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (25-21, 10-9 second half) couldn’t convert for multiple runs in two late bases-loaded situations and fell 5-4 to the Walla Walla Sweets (23-23, 8-11) in the first game of a three-game series at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium, Friday night.
Trailing 5-2, the AppleSox loaded the bases in both of the eighth and ninth innings against Walla Walla reliever Cameron Deere. In the eighth, with no outs, Evan Johnson hit into a 6-4-3 DP and the AppleSox only got one run back for a 5-3 deficit.
In the ninth with one out, the AppleSox popped out on the infield, and could only score a run on an error at third base by former AppleSox third baseman Nick Nyquist.
The game ended on a debatable strike three call that was ruled to have crossed the zone at Jacob Prater’s chest, for the loss.
Wenatchee was held at bay for three innings by former pitcher Dylan Riddle (4-1). One run scored off the 2016 reliever in the fourth inning on an error at second base on a dropped fly ball in shallow right-center field.
The AppleSox first run of the night was on an RBI groundout in the second inning for Jake Taylor, following a leadoff double in the inning by Jalen Garcia. The AppleSox chased Walla Walla starter Darius Vines after just three innings, with just the lone run against him.
Garcia (2x4) and Michael Spellacy (2x4) were the only AppleSox hitters to get hits, Friday, off of the Sweets.
Walla Walla plated two runs off of Steen Fredrickson (1-3), on RBI singles in the second inning. They also scored three off of Fredrickson when he walked home a man in the fifth inning with the bases loaded, and exited before reliever Cameron Kurz allowed two more RBIs, which were his responsibility.
Kurz ended up throwing the final 3.1 innings in relief and struck out four batters without allowing a run of his own. The performance kept the AppleSox offense in striking distance.
Victoria won Friday, and Bellingham lost, in other WCL games. Wenatchee and Bellingham are now each 1.5 games behind the HarbourCats for first place in the Second Half playoff race.
Game two of the series is set for Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Alek Jacobs, an incoming Gonzaga freshman, will make his AppleSox debut.