WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox (17-12, 2-0 second half) were able to stake out an early first-place spot in the WCL North second half, with a 9-3 win over the first-half champion Kelowna Falcons (17-15, 0-5 second half) Saturday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
The big AppleSox inning came in the fifth, when Wenatchee broke a 1-1 tie. The AppleSox scored first on an Evan Johnson RBI single in the first inning, to bring home Jacob Prater, who doubled to get the offense going.
After Kelowna tied the game with a single run off of starter Steen Fredrickson (no-decision) in the top half of the inning, Johnson delivered a go-ahead RBI single to score Cole McKenzie who was aboard on an error.
Johnson now has 38 RBI to lead the West Coast League. He is just 10 shy of tying Mitchell Gunsolus’ 2012 single-season record 48 runs batted in.
After one of Jake Taylor’s three walks on the night, Josh Zamora came to the plate with two outs, a 2-1 lead, and the bases loaded.
Zamora got all of the second pitch in his at bat, and hit a Grand Slam to left field to give the AppleSox plenty of breathing room, and a 6-1 cushion. It was Zamora’s first league home run, after he hit two in non-league play last week.
The Grand Slam was also the AppleSox second of the season. Connor McCord (3-1) was handed the big lead and worked the next 3 1/3 innings, only surrendering a two-run home run to Kelowna’s Alex McGarry in the eighth.
Wenatchee tacked on single runs in the sixth, on Jack Machtolf’s first WCL home run, a solo shot to right field (second home run on the summer – non-league), and in the seventh on a throwing error.
One more run crossed in the eighth on an RBI single for Prater, who enjoyed a three-hit night.
Michael Spellacy got the final outs of the game, tossing a quick 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Wenatchee has now jumped to 2-0 series leads in each of its five home series. The AppleSox are a combined 10-0 in games one and two at home, and now are 11-3 in home WCL games (14-3 at home, overall), which is the league’s best home record.
The AppleSox play for the sweep on Spaghetti Sunday, when gates open early at 5 p.m., for the 6:05 p.m. first pitch. Collin Maier (5-1), the West Coast League’s wins leader, will be on the mound for Wenatchee.