Sweets look to continue on 2018 success vs. the defending WCL Champions
The Walla Walla Sweets commence their 10th season of West Coast League baseball action Tuesday night at historic Borleske Stadium when they open a three-game series against the three-time defending WCL champion Corvallis Knights at 7:05.
This trio of games is part one of a season-opening, eight-game homestand. The Sweets host the Bend Elks Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, then step out of WCL play when they oppose the Highline Bears June 11 and 12.
Walla Walla is coming off a 28-26 showing in 2018, its fourth winning record in the last six seasons. The Sweets – after losing seasons in their first three years of existence – 2010 (18-30), 2011 (26-28), and 2012 (24-30) – were 31-22 during the 2013 regular season – which ended with an eight-game winning streak – and won the North Division title under former manager and current general manager J.C. Biagi. The local nine finished two games ahead of the Wenatchee Apple Sox.
A 28-26 mark in 2014 followed prior to the ushering in of the Frank Mutz era.
Walla Walla edged its way to a 20-19 record through late July 2015, but ended 22-31 after falling in 12 of its last 14 games.
The 2016 Sweets claimed the franchise’s second 30-win season. Walla Walla ended up 30-24.
The Sweets rebounded from a disappointing 2017 season in which they went 25-29 to put up a .500-plus record last summer.
When West Coast League fans think about tradition, the Corvallis Knights immediately come to mind. Last year’s WCL crown was the franchise’s sixth.
Prior to their current championship streak, the Knights climbed the West Coast League summit in 2008, 2011, and 2013.
Corvallis has dominated the all-time series with the Sweets by a 27-15 count, but Walla Walla has made some headway over the previous three seasons. The Sweets are 9-6 against the Knights from 2016-18. They were 4-2 last season, 3-3 in 2017, and 2-1 the year before that. They’ve been particularly strong at Borleske, and hope that the home cooking pays dividends again to start the 2019 campaign.
Walla Walla claimed three-game series both at Borleske Stadium and in Corvallis in 2018. The Sweets nipped the Knights on June 8, 2-0, Corvallis returned the favor with a 2-1 win, and Walla Walla claimed a slugfest in the series finale, 10-9.
The Sweets set a franchise record when they routed the Knights, 18-5, in game one of the Corvallis series on June 30 and followed it up with a doubleheader split. Corvallis won the opener of the July 1 double dip, 3-2, before the Sweets rebounded for a 5-3 triumph in the nightcap.
The Knights won 21 of 27 matchups between 2010 and 2015. Corvallis was 4-2 versus the Sweets in 2010 and 2011, 5-1 in 2012, and went 8-1 the next three seasons (3-0 in 2013, 2-1 in 2014, and 3-0 in 2015).
Tuesday’s game is presented by Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla. Sweets caps commemorating the 10th year of the franchise will be given away to the first 1,000 fans in attendance. The game will be followed by a fireworks show.
CDJR will team up with the Union-Bulletin Wednesday night for a magnet schedule giveaway. Schedules will be handed out to the first 500 fans through the gates. Game time is 6:35.
A special “School’s Out for the Summer/Hookie from Work Day” promotion is set for June 6 when the Sweets and Knights conclude their three-game set. First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 a.m.
The Dog Days of Summer, presented by the Associated Veterinary Clinic, takes place June 8.
Kids Day, presented by Sweet Basil Pizza, unfolds June 9. Youngsters 12 years of age and under will be granted free admission.
Tux Tuesday is June 11. Burgers from Prescott’s world-famous Tuxedo Tavern will be featured.
Fans attending the Sweets-Highline game on June 12 will have the opportunity to save 40 percent off merchandise purchased in the Sweets Borleske Stadium shop.
More information is available at wallawallasweets.com or by calling 509-522-BALL.
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