Scoring five unanswered times in the late innings, the AppleSox came from behind to wrest Sunday’s game – and the weekend series – away from the Sweets.
Wenatchee sent Walla Walla off with an 8-5 road loss. The Sweets dropped the series despite winning the opener on Friday.
Walla Walla went ahead immediately in the first inning. Back-to-back singles by CF Danny Sinatro (Washington State) and 2B Vinny Capra (Richmond) placed runners on the corners and an errant pickoff throw by C Matt Reitano (UC-Irvine) allowed Sinatro to score the game’s first run.
But Wenatchee answered to tie in the fourth. 1B Adrian Damla (UC-Irvine) doubled to lead off against the reliever RHP Andrew Miner (BYU). A single by 2B Adrian Vela (Whitman) moved Damla over, and an RBI groundout from CF Jordan Prendiz (UCLA) plated the AppleSox’s first run.
Still, the Sweets bounced back with two in the fifth. With two outs, the team got back-to-back base hits from C Dante Faicchio (Pepperdine) and RF Daniel Fredrickson (Gonzaga), who both scored on a two-run single by Sinatro.
In the bottom half, Wenatchee evened it back up. A single by Reitano scored Prendiz and a double from SS Jacob Prater (Seattle) brought Reitano around to score the tying run.
The AppleSox went ahead for good with two more runs in the sixth. Facing RHP Conner Roberts (UC-Santa Barbara), Reitano singled to bring home Prendiz, who had worked a leadoff walk. Two batters later, another double from Prater scored Reitano once more.
Meanwhile, RHP Michael Townsend (UCLA) was absolutely dealing for the home team. He scattered six hits and two earned runs across six innings. At one point, Townsend had retired 14 straight Sweets batters.
And for good measure, Wenatchee tacked on three unearned in the eighth, plated on a single from Prater and a double from Damla.
Yet Walla Walla showed some fighting spirit, rallying for two runs in the top of the ninth. A pinch-hit RBI single from Jake Suddleson (Harvard) brought home DH Ripken Reyes (California) and SS Jacob Blas (Arizona), who had both singled.
But the Sweets stranded two runners in the ninth.
Townsend (1-2) won the game. He worked his strongest start of the summer before handing the ball to RHP Michael Spellacy (Gonzaga), who went the rest of the way.
Roberts (1-3) took the loss.
Walla Walla falls to 8-13 (23-25 overall). Wenatchee improves to 12-9 (27-21 overall). The AppleSox are just half a game behind first-place Victoria, who lost earlier in the day.
The Sweets will next trek across the border for a three-game tilt with the Falcons in Kelowna. Games are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night and all begin at 6:35 p.m.
RHP Kevin Calderhead (Washington State) will start the opener for the Sweets. He will be followed by LHP Haydn King (San Francisco) and RHP Chris Lincoln (UC-Santa Barbara).
by Ben Farber
Audio Highlights -- Suddleson two-run single