Padres Drop Non-League Game

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — The Walla Walla Padres lost to the Northwest Star NightHawks Saturday night, 5-3. The Padres had a tough time getting things going at the plate, only collecting two hits through the first seven innings.

The NightHawks lit up the scoreboard at historic Borleske Stadium first, scoring two runs in the opening frame.

The Padres got a run back in the bottom half of the frame, with Davis Mauzy scoring on a passed ball.

The comeback was cut short however with David Mysza being caught in a pickle between third and home on what was supposed to be a double steal. The caught stealing was out number two and then a groundout a few pitches later ended the inning.

The NightHawks added two more in the top of the second which would prove to be enough at the end of the night. They brought home their fifth and final run in the fourth inning.

In the middle frames, not much was happening at the plate for both teams. On the mound for the Padres, middle relievers Otho Savage and Landon Salvesen dominated, striking out a combined 13 hitters. Savage struck out eight of those, which is a career high for him summer ball. Salvesen got five, which was also a career high for him in his first season in summer ball.

Starter and closer Rex Solle and Nate Naccarato each got a strikeout themselves to give the Padres 15 K’s on the night. That is a season high for the pitching staff, passing the previous high by two strikeouts.

Unfortunately, the Padres’ hitters were struggling just as much as the NightHawks. Walla Walla only had two hits through the first seven innings.

In the eighth, the Padres broke through and got back on the board. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with nobody out. A wild pitch brought home Mauzy for his second run of the game, and RBI single from Joey Winters scored another run with Mysza crossing home plate. It was Winters’ Walla Walla debut, joining from Ottawa University, also home to Joel Esparza, Zach Hangas, Logan Meyer, and Naccarato.

The Padres had runners on the corners with nobody out and the tying run at first. Alas, just like the first inning, a caught stealing stopped all the momentum for the Padres.

Winters was caught at second trying to advance to scoring position. A strikeout and a popout quickly ended the frame with the NightHawks still ahead by two.

In the ninth, the Padres went 1-2-3 to end the game.

With the loss, the non-league series is now even at one game apiece. Sunday’s game will serve as the deciding rubber match between the two teams. Walla Walla has never lost a series to the NightHawks since they first played them in 2021. First pitch is set for 6:05 and Padres’ coverage of the game can be found on their YouTube channel.

By: Cooper Huskey

Date: July 7, 2024