Sweets Drop Heartbreaker in First Extra Innings Game of the Year

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — The Sweets had the tying run on first with nobody out in the bottom of the eleventh, but a double play and strikeout dashed the hopes of the fans at Borleske Stadium. Walla Walla dropped their series finale to the Bend Elks Thursday night 8-7.

Thursday night was the most back and forth game of the season for the Sweets with five different lead changes and two ties.

Bend struck first in the opening frame for the first time this series, bringing home two runs. Walla Walla tied it up in the next inning with back-to-back RBI singles from Kolby Felix and Hayden Driggs, both with two outs.

After Bend pulled ahead by a run in the fifth, the Sweets got their first lead of the game with a two RBI double from Andrew Graham in the bottom half of the inning.

Elks put two on the board in the top of the sixth to take a 5-4 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Walla Walla moved in front with another two run frame. Again, it was back-to-back RBI singles doing the job, this time from Graham and JJ Moran. For Graham, that gave him a season-high three RBIs in the game, matching a career-high of his from July 4 of last year.

The Sweets took their one-run lead into the top of the ninth, but the Elks battled back and scored one to tie the game. Jessiah Zamora, who got the Sweets out of a bases loaded jam in the series opener, allowed base runners early, and the tying run scored on a single and an error.

Bend worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to send the game into extras for the first time this season for the Sweets.

In the 10th, new pitcher Conner Marshall got tossed and the deep end but would up floating as he worked a 1-2-3 inning to keep the game tied at six.

Walla Walla’s best chance to win the game came in the tenth. The Sweets had two runners in scoring position with only one out. Bend intentionally walked Logan Meyer to load the bases and set up a force play at the plate. Unfortunately, the Elks didn’t need that force out as they turned a double play to get out of the inning still tied.

In the 11th, Bend struck for two against Marshall, putting the pressure on the Sweets.

The bottom half of the frame started with a Davis Mauzy double. He was brought home on the next at bat with David Mysza dropping a single in left field. For Mysza, that was his third hit of the game, a season-high for him.

Walla Walla had the tying run on first with nobody out, but another double play in an extra inning halted all momentum for the Sweets. A strikeout in the next at bat sealed the game for the Elks, who won 8-7.

Fittingly, it was the longest game innings-wise on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It was also the first game to go to extra innings for the Sweets since July 22, 2023, when the Sweets lost to the Corvallis Knights 11-8 in 13 innings.

Walla Walla racked up 13 hits Thursday night, their second highest total of the season. Everyone in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit in the rubber match with the Elks.

The Sweets are on the road for the next three games, taking a short road trip up to Wenatchee to take on the AppleSox. It is the first time since 2022 the Sweets will play the AppleSox, Wenatchee is currently in first place in the North Division with a 13-5 record. The three games with the AppleSox wraps up a 13-day stretch for the Sweets without an off day.

Sweets coverage of the series can be found on Mixlr.com.

By: Cooper Huskey

Date: June 21, 2024