APPLESOX (18-24, 7-9 second half)
Bend Elks (11-37, 4-17 second half)
Vince Genna Stadium
The AppleSox hit the road for the second-to-last time this season as they wrap up the season series with the Bend Elks this weekend. The Elks came to Wenatchee in late June and took two of three from the Sox on the 26-28th.
AppleSox: Curtis Bafus (3-4, 2.34 ERA)
Elks: Daniel Naughton (0-5, 6.66 ERA)
AppleSox: Alec Gomez (1-0, 2.45 ERA)
Elks: Mikey Hooper (1-3, 5.45 ERA)
AppleSox: Hunter Boyd (4-1, 3.62 ERA)
Elks: A.J. Atherton (0-4, 8.05 ERA)
Thursday night, the AppleSox picked up their second walk-off of the season in as many games when they defeated Cowlitz Black Bears, 6-5, at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium
Jacob Prater hit a walk-off single to center field with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Prater’s RBI, his third of the game, gave the AppleSox the series victory.
Scouting the Opponent
The Elks enter Friday’s series-opener with not only the worst record in the South division in the second half at 4-17, but also the worst overall mark in the entire West Coast League at 11-37.
Their team .310 on-base percentage and .319 slugging percentage are both worst in the WCL. Despite playing four more games than any other team in the league, Bend has still scored the fewest runs (167).
Defensively, the Elks have been sloppy, committing a league-worst 70 errors. They are also tied for the second-most stolen bases allowed with 94.
The Elks’ 5.90 team ERA is worst in the WCL and is 0.53 higher than the next-closest team. All three of their starters this weekend post losing records and ERA’s over 5.00.
Winners of four of their last five and back-to-back series, the AppleSox are in the middle of their best stretch of play this season. The Sox have scored at least six or more runs in all of their victories and have won consecutive series for the first time this season.
The Sox are now 4.5 games out of a playoff spot with 12 games left in the season.
Over the last five games, Johnny Sage has been an on-base machine. He has reached base 19 times in his last 25 plate appearances. Sage is raking at the plate, batting .647 (11-for-17), but his eight walks in that span are equally as impressive.
Sage’s patient eye at the plate has paid off. He leads the West Coast League with 27 bases-on-balls and is third in on-base percentage with a .443 mark.
Two AppleSox starters this weekend, Curtis Bafus and Hunter Boyd, are near the top of the West Coast League in a couple of pitching categories.
Boyd and Bafus are third and fourth in the league in strikeouts, with 52 and 51 punchouts, respectively. Bafus is second in innings-pitched with 50.0 and Boyd is right beneath him with 49.2.