WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (16-12, 1-0 second half) opened their second half of play with a bang, by erasing a 5-2 deficit in the eighth, and continuing on to beat the Kelowna Falcons (17-14, 0-4 second half) 6-5 to open the series, Friday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
The AppleSox took the early lead for starter Jacob Price (no decision), on an RBI double for Jake Taylor in the third inning off of James Brooks (no decision).
Brooks turned in a solid seven innings for Kelowna and only allowed a second run in the fourth inning on an RBI single for Dugan Shirer. That single tied a 2-1 score, after Kelowna scored a pair in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI triple and RBI single.
The Falcons cashed-in a two-run home run in the fifth inning off of Mike Townsend to break the 2-2 tie. It was the first home run of the season for Matt Bottcher.
Taylor Wright clubbed his WCL-leading eighth home run to deep right field in the seventh inning off of Cam Kurz. Kelowna led 5-2 through seven innings.
Wenatchee mounted its comeback in the eighth inning, on singles for Josh Zamora and Michael Spellacy, that got them in position to score on a two-out 2-RBI triple for Jordan Prendiz. That cut the deficit to 5-4, and Prendiz ended up scoring later on a wild pitch to tie the game at 5.
With runners on the corners and two outs, following an error, Kelowna called on Shea Barry to strike out Evan Johnson to keep the game tied.
Wenatchee turned to red-hot reliever Connor Leedholm in the ninth inning. He fired a scoreless frame, and matched the effort in the 10th to complete 14 hitless innings of relief to start his summer.
He was pitching in relief of Michael Spellacy, who was a position player originally, which required Leedholm to hit to lead off the bottom of the tenth. He drew a five-pitch walk to get aboard, and moved first-to-third on a Jordan Prendiz single to left-center field.
After one more pitching change, Cole McKenzie, who was a late replacement for Dugan Shirer, knocked the first pitch from Chase Wiger into left field for the game-winning single. It completed the comeback and the AppleSox first win of the WCL second half.
Leedholm earned the win, to improve to 3-0 with 2 saves on the season.
The AppleSox also won a ninth-straight series-opening game, and are now 9-1 in game ones this year.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 7:05 p.m, at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.