The Sweets losing streak reached a season-high six straight games with a 10-7 loss to the Kelowna Falcons on Friday night at Borleske Stadium.
Kelowna scored six times in the third and four more times in the fifth inning to break the game open.
And although Walla Walla chipped away at the deficit, Kelowna was too far in front for the Sweets to run down.
Again, Walla Walla scored first. A leadoff single from 1B John Glenn (Cal Baptist) and a fielder’s choice ground ball from 2B Ripken Reyes (California) put two on with two out. Then, back-to-back base hits by C Ryan Shaw (Richmond) and CF Ryan Johnston (UC-Irvine) put the Sweets ahead 2-0.
But in the third, Kelowna accosted Sweets starter LHP Dylan Riddle (UC-Irvine). A three-run home run from SS Taylor Wright (Maryland), his 11th, gave the Falcons a 3-2 lead. Later, a two-run double from RF Trent Tinglestad (Everett CC) was followed by an RBI single from LF Chris Arpan (Portland) and pushed Kelowna’s margin to 6-2.
The Sweets got a run back in the fourth. Facing Falcons starter RHP James Brooks (Concordia-Portland), SS Jacob Blas (Arizona) doubled. And with two away, Shaw singled him home. It was Shaw’s second two-out RBI of the contest.
Still, Kelowna re-asserted itself with a four-run fifth. 3B Cole Mueller (UC-Santa Barbara) tripled to lead off. He was plated on a sac fly by 1B Alex McGarry (Oregon State). Then, Arpan and CF Davis Todosichuk (Okanagan College) walked and singled to load the bases.
A bases-loaded walk to 2B J.T. Williams (UC-San Diego) preceded an RBI base hit from C Matthew Scheffler (Pierce College), which preceded another bases loaded walk by Wright. By the time RHP Andrew Miner (BYU) worked out of the inning, Kelowna held a 10-3 lead.
The Sweets would score two in the fifth (an unearned run plus an RBI double from Glenn) and two more in the seventh (an unearned run plus an RBI single from Reyes). But they still found themselves on the wrong end of a 10-7 final score.
The two bright spots in this game were Glenn, who finished 4-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored, and RHP Milo Mincin (Whitman).
Mincin turned in his finest performance of the summer, hurling four scoreless innings of relief. He scattered two hits while walking none and striking out two. Mincin’s longest, and finest, relief appearance of 2017 was a terrific way to punctuate what’s been a summer of noticeable development for the junior sidearmer.
Brooks (2-4) wins. Riddle (4-2) loses. RHP Anthony Garcia (Lower Columbia CC) saved (3). Wright’s home run (11) was his eleventh. The only WCL hitters with more longballs than Wright are C Chase Illig (West Virginia) of Bellingham and RF Jordan Qsar (Pepperdine) of Corvallis.
The Sweets and Falcons will play the second game of their series tomorrow night. LHP Isaac Esqueda (Southern California) will oppose RHP Jake Simmons (Western Oregon).
First pitch will be 7:05 p.m. from Borleske Stadium.
by Ben Farber
Audio Highlights -- Shaw RBI single
Sweets Scoop -- Milo Mincin