WENATCHEE, WA - In a game that featured four lead changes, the Wenathee AppleSox fell to the Walla Walla Sweets, 7-6, on Saturday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
Cole McKenzie extended his team-best hitting streak to eight games with two base hits, but he and his AppleSox teammates could not overcome striking out 11 times, six times looking, along with 12 men left on base.
The AppleSox struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Detloff, Johnny Graham and McKenzie all walked to knock Sweets starting pitcher Bryson Spagnuolo out of the ballgame. After the pitching change, Dylan McPhillips singled in a run with one out and then Brett Gillis hit a sacrifice fly to score another run.
After the Sweets scored three runs and sent eight men to plate in the third inning, the Sox tied the game in the bottom half of the frame thanks to a couple Walla Walla errors. Graham led off with a single and went over to third when McKenzie reached on a two-base error. Two batters later, Sweets first baseman Jordan Stubbings couldn’t pick a throw from third and his error allowed Graham to score.
The back-and-forth game continued with the Sweets scoring twice on a two-RBI single by Patrick Caulfield, the WCL leading in batting average, in the top of the fourth inning.
The Sox tied the game with two in the fifth and took the lead in the sixth. First, McKenzie led off with a double and McPhillips reached on error to put two aboard. A throwing error by Sweets third baseman Justin Folz scored McKenzie and then pinch hitter Quinn Ayers hit a sacrifice fly to plate McPhillips.
The next inning, Graham was hit by a pitch with two outs. After McKenzie singled and Graham went to third, Graham scored on a wild pitch. It would be the last AppleSox lead of the game. After the leadoff batter was retired to start the seventh inning, the next four batters all reached base and the first two scored on a two-RBI single Folz for his third and fourth RBI of the game.
In both the eighth and ninth innings, the Sox stranded the game-tying and game-winning runs on the base paths.
The Sox look to salvage the series on Sunday at 5:35. The first 400 fans into the ballpark receive a free AppleSox rally towel. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.
Full boxscore: http://pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscore.html?gameid=501879