The Sweets take their sixth series win of the year with 13 runs against the Raptors.
The number 13 proved to be a lucky one for the Walla Walla Sweets during West Coast League South Division baseball action Saturday night at the Ridgefield Sports Complex.
Walla Walla built a 5-0 lead after an inning-and-a-half, squandered it in the bottom of the fourth, then rebounded in a big way by scoring four times in the seventh inning and an equal number of times in the ninth as part of a wild 13-9 victory over the Raptors.
The Sweets, who clinched their sixth series win of the season, still possess a one-game lead in the WCL South standings over red-hot Corvallis – which claimed its eighth win in succession on Saturday, a 7-1 triumph over Yakima Valley.
Patrick Caulfield started the pre-holiday fireworks on Saturday night with a lead-off, star-spangled home run to right field on the third pitch from Ridgefield starting pitcher Zach Barnes. Justin Folz followed with a walk, stole second and scored a strikeout and single by Cesar Lopez later on a Jordan Stubbings sacrifice fly to right.
Walla Walla scored three more times against Barnes in the second inning. Caulfield rapped a two-out single, Folz and Chazz Martinez walked, and Lopez crunched a two-RBI double off the right-field wall that scored Caulfield and Folz. Martinez crossed the plate on an infield error to cap the frame’s scoring.
Sweets starter Travis Craven pitched one-hit ball and struck out four over the first three innings.
But in the bottom of the fourth, the Raptors scored a half-dozen times to take a 6-5 edge. The big blow was a game-tying, three-run homer to right by Dusty Garcia.
Meanwhile, Barnes fashioned a stretch in which he retired 13 hitters in a row after a rocky start.
Relief pitcher Wesley Harper entered in the seventh and Caulfield greeted him with a double. Folz singled him to third, then stole second. Lopez was issued an intentional walk one out later. Stubbings then bounced a single up the middle that scored two runs that put the Sweets up 7-6. Parker Price moved Lopez to third and Stubbings to second with an infield out. Ryan Johnston worked Harper for a walk to load the bases. Caleb Farmer and pinch-hitter Emanuel Dean earned bases on balls from reliever Carter Powell to bring in Lopez and Stubbings, respectively.
Walla Walla put up another four spot in the ninth. Price slapped a one-out single, stole second and, after a walk to Johnston, went to third on a lost-in-the-lights single to left by Farmer. The runners moved up on a wild pitch and, with two out, Caulfield ended his second four-hit night of the season with a two-run single to center.
The Raptors scored three times in the ninth to create the final margin of difference.
The series finale is Sunday at 3:05 p.m. The Sweets probable starting pitcher will be Chazz Martinez.
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