WENATCHEE, Wash. – Using an improbable comeback and terrific performances from a couple relievers, the Wenatchee AppleSox (17-24, 6-9 second half) defeated the Cowlitz Black Bears, 8-7, in 11 innings.
The AppleSox trailed by five runs entering the eighth inning but rallied back to tie it up by sending nine men to the plate. In the 11th, a throwing error with runners at first and second scored the game-winning run and gave the Sox their third extra-innings victory of the season and first at home.
With the game tied 7-7 after a scoreless ninth and 10th innings, J.T. Schwartz led off the 11th with a single to center. It was the fourth consecutive plate appearance in which Schwartz reached base and his third single of the game.
Isaac Barrera put down a bunt to the right side, but the infield could not handle it and fire to first in time. With runners at first and second and no outs, Jordan Rathbone put down a bunt to the third-base side that was fielded and thrown low and away. Rathbone reached and Schwartz scored to pick up the first walk-off victory of the season for the AppleSox.
Connor McCord (2-5) picked up the victory by tossing three scoreless, hitless innings. The southpaw struck out five and retired all nine batters that he faced. As the designated hitter, McCord drove in a pair of runs with two sacrifice flys. He’s driven in nine runs in the last five games.
Grady Miller did not figure into the decision but kept the AppleSox in the ballgame by only allowing one run over four innings. The Wenatchee native struck out three and allowed one hit in relief of Michael Spellacy.
The scoring began in the second when the Black Bears sent 10 men to the plate and scored six runs to take a commanding lead. The Sox got one back in the third inning when Evan Williams singled and McCord’s first sacrifice fly of the game made it 6-1, Black Bears.
In the fifth, a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded re-established the Black Bears’ six-run lead. However, they would get their last hit of the game in that inning. McCord and Miller combined to keep the Black Bears hitless over their final 21 at-bats of the game.
The Sox got another run back in the sixth. After three consecutive singles loaded the bases, Kody Darcy hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it 7-2, Black Bears.
Darcy again came through with an RBI knock in the eighth, when the Sox rallied to tie the game. Schwartz singled to lead off the inning and, after reaching second on a ground out, scored an RBI single by Darcy.
Joey Magro singled and Kody Darcy was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Johnny Sage drew an RBI walk to force a pitching change and McCord followed with another sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to two. Jacob Prater tied the game on a two-RBI single to right-center field.
The AppleSox can win back-to-back series for the first time this season when they take on the Black Bears again on Thursday night in the series finale. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.