Sweets Make Their Biggest Comeback of the Year

WENATCHEE, Wash. — Walla Walla fell into a four run hole after just one inning, but the resilient Sweets fought back and won the game, beating the Wenatchee AppleSox 8-5. It was the biggest comeback of the season so far for the Sweets.

The first five batters for the AppleSox all reached base safely via three singles and two walks. Once the Sweets finally got three outs to end the frame, the AppleSox were on top 4-0.

That’s where the Wenatchee dominance ended though. Over the next four innings, starter Heitaro Hayashi only allowed one walk while retiring the other 12 batters he faced. The lefty from Japan found his groove as he went on to toss a season high five innings while striking out three.

The Sweets’ comeback began in the fourth inning. With a runner on first, Andrew Graham unloaded on a ball to left center and racked up his first triple of the season. Cort MacDonald scored on the triple. A couple of at bats later, Stevie Hom brought Graham home on an RBI single. For Hom and Graham, the two hits increased their hit streaks to seven games.

The Sweets loaded the bases in the fifth but were tagged out between third and home to keep the score at 4-2.

In the sixth, Walla Walla finally broke through. The Sweets sent nine hitters to the plate and brought home three runs, all with two outs. Hom got the rally started with a walk. Luka Ruljancich and Hayden Driggs followed that up with back-to-back singles, with Driggs’ scoring Hom. After a Logan Meyer walk, Davis Mauzy tied the game with an RBI single bringing home Ruljancich. David Mysza drew the third walk of the frame which gave the Sweets their first lead of the game.

Wenatchee didn’t trail for long initially, scoring a run in the sixth to tie the game at five.

That didn’t tamper the energy of the Sweets though. Walla Walla came back in the next frame and scratched a run across the board with Andrew Graham scoring on a wild pitch.

Less than 24 hours after blowing a 6-5 lead in the ninth, the Sweets learned from their mistakes and scored two insurance runs in the top of the ninth to secure their lead. Ruljancich laid down a sacrifice bunt to bring home JJ Moran for the first run. Meyer then got his first hit of the game, slapping an RBI single to centerfield to bring home Hom.

In the bottom of the ninth, Wenatchee got the tying run up to the plate, but couldn’t bring anybody home as the Sweets won 8-5.

On the mound, DJ Ricard was the first pitcher to relieve Hayashi, and pitched in his college home park as a visitor for the first time. Despite giving up the tying run in the frame, He got his first win of the season as the Sweets scored the winning run in the next frame.

Bridger Clontz pitched the seventh and eighth and did a good job at holding the game, only allowing two baserunners and striking out a season high three batters.

Josh Aribal got the save in the ninth, getting three flyouts around a hit and a walk.

Coming back down four runs is the biggest comeback of the season for the Sweets. Friday night was also the first series opener win for Walla Walla in 2024.

Just like Thursday night, the Sweets poured on 13 hits at the plate. Seven of the nine batters had at least one hit in the game and six of them had multi-hit games.

With the win, Walla Walla improves to 6-12 on the season. They will look to clinch their first series of the season Saturday. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. Sweets’ coverage of the game can be found on Mixlr.com.

By: Cooper Huskey

Date: June 22, 2024