Saturday’s game at Borleske Stadium was the Sweets’ longest nine-inning game of the year.
Lasting 3:45 in total, the sixth inning alone featured 16 combined runs. The Falcons scored seven times in the top half and the Sweets answered with nine in the bottom.
It was Walla Walla’s season-high for runs in a single inning.
The two sides combined for 17 walks (nine for Kelowna, eight for the Sweets), and the teams combined for 26 hits (11 for Kelowna, 15 for the Sweets).
The Sweets built an early 5-0 lead then saw it crumble when Kelowna ripped off 10 unanswered runs in the middle innings.
But after a furious sixth-inning rally, which lasted for over an hour in and of itself, the Sweets emerged with a 14-11 win over the Kelowna Falcons.
The six-game losing streak is over and the Sweets are out of last place in the WCL North.
1B John Glenn (Cal Baptist) continued to tear the cover off the baseball. He finished 4-for-6 and all four hits went for extra bases.
Glenn smashed two doubles to the opposite field and became the first batter of the season to clear the centerfield fence at Borleske, bopping a first inning fastball over the 412 foot marker in straightaway center.
With 13 hits in his last five games, Glenn has boosted his season batting average to .295.
2B Vinny Capra (Richmond) also had four hits. LHP Isaac Esqueda (Southern California), making his final appearance of the summer, blanked the Falcons over four shutout innings.
In the first inning, Esqueda walked the bases loaded but induced a double play ground ball to escape trouble.
In the bottom half, the Sweets put three runs on the board. Four extra-base hits, including Glenn’s big fly, staked the team to an early 3-0 lead.
Two more runs in the second – a two-run single for RF J.J. Hancock (Washington State) off Falcons starter RHP Carson Dwyre (Western Missouri State) – stretched the home team’s lead to 5-0.
But once Esqueda was removed from the game, Kelowna became ascendant.
They nabbed three in the fifth – a sac fly from RF Trent Tinglestad (Everett CC), a groundout from LF Cole Mueller (UC-Santa Barbara), and a wild pitch – before accumulating seven more in the sixth.
Eleven Kelowna batters came to the plate. They struck for five hits, including a mammoth two-run home run to right field from 1B Alex McGarry (Oregon State). Sweets pitchers walked two, issued three wild pitches, and a costly error in left field extended the inning before McGarry’s blast.
Yet as shaky as Sweets pitching was in their half of the sixth, Kelowna’s staff completely imploded. In a marathon frame, the Sweets nabbed nine runs on just four hits. Kelowna walked six, committed two fielding errors, and allowed 14 Sweets batters to come to the plate. Capra, Glenn, and Hancock provided the RBIs as the Sweets pounded three different Kelowna pitchers for a record-setting offensive inning.
Although Kelowna tacked on a bonus run in the seventh, the Sweets über-rally was too much to overcome.
RHP Kevin Calderhead (Washington State) worked the final three innings out of the ‘pen. As usual, Calderhead dominated, holding the Falcons to one run on three hits and striking out two batters, both on breaking balls.
And the Sweets came away with a 14-11 win in their second-to-last game of 2017.
RHP Matt Amrhein (Cal Baptist) picked up the win (1-3) after finishing the top of the sixth. LHP Jake Roes (Lower Columbia CC) took the loss (1-2). Calderhead (1) recorded his first save. Glenn (2) homered for the Sweets and McGarry (3) went deep for the Falcons.
The Sweets will finish out the season with the series finale, 7:05 p.m. from Borleske Stadium on Sunday night.
LHP Scott Parker (San Francisco) will start for the Sweets opposite RHP Jake Simmons (Western Oregon).
by Ben Farber
Audio Highlights -- Glenn HR
Sweets Scoop -- Isaac Esqueda & John Glenn