The Sweets matched their season high for single-inning offensive output.
The team scored eight runs in the top of the 12th inning in Gresham, rallying for a 12-4 win on Tuesday night at Oslund Field.
Seven hits in the inning, capped off by C Joe Zimmer’s (Whitman) first home run of the season – a two run moon-shot to dead center – propelled the Sweets to perhaps the unlikeliest of their victories.
Walla Walla got off to a hot start. A three-run longball from 3B Nick Nyquist (Gonzaga) in the first inning off of Gresham starter LHP Zak Baayoun (Long Beach State) staked the Sweets to an early 3-0 lead.
And in the sixth, an RBI triple from LF Danny Sinatro (Washington State) plated 2B Vinny Capra (Richmond), who had walked to lead off.
Meanwhile, Sweets starter RHP Chris Lincoln (UC Santa Barbara) was dealing. Scattering just five hits and one run across five-plus innings while striking out six, the reigning WCL Pitcher of the Week continued added another link to his chain of dominant outings.
But Gresham chipped away. They got a solo home run from 2B Jake Cosgrove (Seattle) in the sixth. Two more in the seventh – a sac fly for Cosgrove and an RBI hit from C Jackson Thoreson (St. Mary’s) – brought the GreyWolves to within one at 4-3.
Dramatically, the tying run scored in the bottom of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Jake Palmer (UC-Irvine) scored on a sacrifice fly to deep right from CF Aaron Simpson (San Diego). Suddenly, the Sweets found themselves thrust into their fifth extra-inning game of the summer.
Deadlocked, the two sides played into the 12th. Four shutout innings from LHP Ryan Mets (Oregon State) neutralized the Sweets bats. But when closer LHP Carter Buuck (Linfield) entered the fray, it was game on for the Sweets bats.
The go-ahead run scored on an RBI single over the middle by Nyquist. Then, Capra, 1B Tommy Henderson (California), SS Jacob Blas (Arizona), and DH Cameron Deere (Brown) followed with ribbies of their own.
Zimmer’s deep shot was but sweet, sweet insurance.
RHP Milo Mincin (Whitman) finished out the game, ending the three-game losing streak and sending the Sweets to a season series split with the GreyWolves.
RHP Andrew Miner (BYU) made his Sweets debut. Deere hurled three scoreless innings of relief.
CF Ryan Johnston (UC-Irvine), batting leadoff, finished 4-for-5 with two walks. He reached base six times.
Zimmer, starting his first game at catcher since he was 15 years old, caught all 12 innings and did so with aplomb.
LHP Dylan Riddle (UC-Irvine) earned the win (3-1) by striking out all three batters he faced in the 11th. Buuck (0-1) took the loss. Nyquist (2) and Zimmer (1) went deep for the Sweets. Cosgrove (3) homered for Gresham.
The Sweets return home to Borleske for a pair of non-league games Wednesday and Thursday nights against the Highline Bears. RHP Conner Roberts (UC Santa Barbara) will start the first match and RHP Travis Ulvestad (Seattle) will follow for game two.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. both nights.
by Ben Farber
Audio HIghlights -- Nyquist RBI single
Sweets Scoop -- Chris Lincoln