Padres Win for the First Time in Forty Years

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — After being brought out of retirement, the Walla Walla Padres won their first game since 1982. In their first game of a throwback weekend, the Walla Walla Sweets took the field as the Walla Walla Padres, a Minor League baseball team that played at Borleske Stadium from 1973-1982, and defeated the Northwest Star NightHawks 5-2.

The Padres scored the bulk of their runs in the second inning, plating four runs. The three batters got aboard via a double, error and walk. JJ Moran brought the first run home on an RBI fielder’s choice that allowed Kolby Felix to score.

With runners on the corners, the Sweets ran a delayed double steal that got the Northwest Star defense focusing on Moran swiping second which allowed Logan Meyer to score from home. Another walk and error loaded the bases again.

A passed ball scored Moran and moved the other two runners into scoring position. The fourth and final run was scored off a Kennedy Hara RBI groundout that brought home Joel Esparza.

In total, the Padres brought home four runs off just one hit, which was the leadoff double. The rest of the action came from defensive miscues with two errors, two walks, and a passed ball.

Northwest Star responded with two runs in the top of the third, but that was all the scoring they would do Friday night.

The Padres added one final run in the fifth off two doubles from Meyer and Moran. For Moran, it was his second RBI of the night, the most on the team.

Sweets pitching shined in their third non-league game of the season. Luke Stutesman made his first start of the season, tossed seven innings and struck out seven. With only two runs allowed, it was a quality start for Stutesman, the second straight for a Walla Walla pitcher. Stutesman got credit for the win, making him 2-0 in non-league games.

Zach Hangas pitched the eighth. After walking the first two batters, Hangas worked three straight outs, including a strikeout, to get out of the jam.

In the ninth, Josh Aribal took over on the mound. Aribal sat down all three batters he faced with just 13 pitches. That earned him his first save in non-league play. More importantly to the fans, the three strikeouts gave Padres pitching 11 on the night, which earned everyone at Borleske a free scoop of ice cream from Pine Cone Creamery.

With the win, Walla Walla improves to 3-0 in non-league. The Padres return to action Saturday night in game two of their weekend series with the Northwest Star NightHawks. First pitch is set for 6:35 and Padres’ coverage of the game can be found on their YouTube channel.

By: Cooper Huskey

Date: July 6, 2024