Contreras is the third former Sweet to debut in 2022; 10th overall
WALLA WALLA, WA – The tenth former Walla Walla Sweet has made it to the big leagues.
Outfielder Mark Contreras got the call this past Tuesday, May 10 by the Minnesota Twins. Contreras is the third former Sweet to make it to the major league level in 2022, preceded by 2014 Walla Walla teammate Cooper Hummel and 2017 alum Vinny Capra.
Contreras, who attended the University of California Riverside, was selected in the ninth round (256th overall) by the Twins in the 2017 MLB Draft. He has spent five seasons in the Minnesota farm system prior to his big league call up.
In 2014 with the Sweets, Contreras appeared in 22 games and collected 16 hits, with two doubles, two triples, and a home run. He also added eight RBI and nine stolen bases on the season.
Contreras, who was an infielder during his time in Walla Walla, follows former Sweets alums Matt Hall, Taylor Jones, Eric Yardley, Cody Poteet, Jay Flaa, Jarren Duran, Justin Bruihl, Hummel, and Capra to make it to the major leagues.
Contreras made his big league debut on Wednesday, May 11 against the Houston Astros in Minnesota as a defensive replacement for Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton in the 4th inning of the game. He later collected his first major league RBI on a sacrifice fly in the 5th inning of the same game.
Capra becomes the second Sweets' alum to make the majors this season; ninth overall
WALLA WALLA, WA – Welcome to The Show, Vinny Capra!
The Toronto Blue Jays announced on Friday the promotion of the 25 year old infielder to their active roster. Capra, a member of the Sweets 2017 team, becomes the second former Sweets player to make it to the Major Leagues during the 2022 MLB season. Cooper Hummel of the Arizona Diamondbacks was named to their 26 man roster prior to the start of the league season.
Capra, who attended the University of Richmond, was selected in the 20th round (596th overall) by the Blue Jays in the 2018 MLB Draft. He has spent five seasons in the Toronto farm system prior to his big league call up.
In 2017 with the Sweets, Capra appeared in 48 games, hitting .291 with one home run, eight doubles, 30 runs scored, while driving in 25. He also added eight stolen bases on the summer.
This season in Triple AAA, Vinny was hitting .304 in 18 games for the Buffalo Bison’s, adding three doubles, three homers, and 10 runs batted in.
Capra becomes the ninth Sweets alumni to make the Major Leagues, joining Matt Hall, Taylor Jones, Eric Yardley, Cody Poteet, Jay Flaa, Jarren Duran, Justin Bruihl, and Cooper Hummel.
The Blue Jays start a three game home series this Friday, April 29 against the Houston Astros.
Sweets announce Peter Abinanti and Brandon Vial to join Brandon Van Horn’s staff this summer.
WALLA WALLA, Wash- Peter Abinanti and Brandon Vial are joining Brandon Van Horn’s coaching staff this Summer in Walla Walla. Both Abinanti and Vial are bringing a youthful energy to an already young staff with manager Van Horn.
Abinanti joins the staff as the Sweets hitting and first base coach. Abinanti hails from West Hills, CA, and played collegiately at San Diego in his grad year and spent two seasons at St John’s University in New York. Abinanti received his bachelor’s in sports management from St. John’s. During his playing career with the Red Storm, he hit .252 with a slugging percentage of .277 and a .412 OB%.
“I’m looking forward to having a great impactful summer with the team and organization.” said Abinanti “I’m very excited to be in Walla Walla this summer, and it’ll be very exciting to watch our guys compete every pitch.”
Brandon Vial is the Sweets pitching coach for the 2022 season. While Vial is young, he does have a lot of experience. Vial is currently an assistant coach at Lewis and Clark State College and previously was the Director of Player Development Initiatives at Georgia Gwinnett College, where he won the 2021 Avista NAIA World Series.
“Vial is a tireless worker and has been grinding away to put the roster together. He also brings experience when it comes to handling a pitching staff for a whole summer and doing it at a high level” said Sweets Manager Brandon Van Horn.
Vial played collegiately at Austin Peay State, where he had a career 5.09 ERA with 73 career strikeouts and a 5-7 record.
Manager Van Horn says the biggest advantage for the staff is their youth.
“I couldn’t be more pumped for the two guys joining the staff this summer. Our youth as a staff is a huge advantage over other clubs when it comes to building relationships with players” said Van Horn. “My biggest priority is developing the boys mentally, physically, emotionally, and I have complete confidence our staff will be able to do that at a high level.”
The Sweets begin the 2022 season on the road against the Ridgefield Raptors on Friday, June 3. The Sweets home opener is scheduled for Friday, June 10, with a 7:05 scheduled first pitch. Tickets are on sale now at Sweetstickets.com
Catching Up With Past and Current Sweets Players in College Baseball
Hey Sweets fans, it’s been a while.
Welcome to a late edition of the Weekend Wrap Up for March! We’ve got you covered on all things Sweets, past and present, across the college baseball landscape.
So without further ado, here is who stood out in March (and early April!) in this edition of the wrap up.
Leo Rivera, So Hot Right Now
On fire, en fuego, however you want to say, Leo Rivera is just that right now at the plate.
The incoming Sweet and Whitman College shortstop had a March to remember. After batting just .158 through the month of February, Rivera has since gone 29 for 80 at the dish for a .363 average over his last 19 games. He also has two homers, seven doubles, two triples, and 19 runs batted in during that time span.
Rivera has also had a flair for the dramatic, delivering in clutch situations for the Blues when they’ve needed it most. Against Willamette on March 26, he provided the game winning single to walk off the Bearcats for a 7-6 comeback win.
He provided more heroics this past weekend against in-conference opponent Pacific Lutheran, delivering a walk off two run home run to win the game and clinch the series win for Whitman.
🚨 WALK OFF🚨
Leo Rivera with the pinch-hit, walk off 2-run HR to give Whitman the W in game 2 of today's DH vs PLU.
— WA Baseball (@Washington_BSB) April 11, 2022
Rivera and the Blues finish off regular season play in their conference this weekend on the road at University of Puget Sound with a chance to clinch a berth in the Northwest conference tournament
Get Out the Mustard and Rye Bread, Grandma!
The late, great Dave Neihaus would have enjoyed watching Will Fuenning play this past weekend.
Quite simply put, Fuenning put on a show during West Texas A&M’s series against Angelo State. In four games, the incoming Sweets outfielder was 7 for 13 at the plate, driving in 12 runs with one double and four home runs.
Of those four home runs, two were grand slams for Fuenning (yes, TWO grand slams!).
Fuenning’s second grand slam proved to be the eventual game winning hit. His feat was so…grand…that it left the broadcast booth almost at a loss for words.
— WT Baseball (@WTAMUBaseball) April 10, 2022
The Aggies would win the game 7-3 as they took three of four games on the weekend from the Rams.
Fuenning continues his stellar season, where he is batting .362 with seven home runs, 10 doubles, two triples, and 45 runs batted in for West Texas A&M, who now sit 30-7 on the season.
Richards Among The Best In NWAC
Coby Richards is putting together a very impressive 2022 spring season.
The Yakima Valley College freshman has been the steady hand for the Yaks all year on the mound. The right hander is 4-0 in seven starts in conference play, striking out 32 batters in 42 ⅓ innings of work and posting an outstanding 1.70 ERA.
His most impressive outing came in a March game against Southwest Oregon, where Richards went six innings, striking out nine while allowing just one run on two hits. The performance helped Yakima to a 6-2 win on the day.
Richard’s 1.70 ERA currently ranks fifth in the Northwest Athletic Conference among eligible pitchers. He is also ranked in the top 10 in the conference in walks, allowing just eight free passes in conference play.
Richards is solidified as one of the top arms in the rotation for the Yaks, who currently sit at 17-11 on the year. Conference play continues this week against Walla Walla Community College, where Sweets fans have the chance to see the incoming Sweet on Saturday when Yakima visits the Warriors for a double header on Saturday, April 16.
Around The Diamond
Hummel becomes the seventh former Sweet to make a MLB roster
WALLA WALLA, WA – Cooper Hummel has made The Show.
The 2014 Sweet alum learned Wednesday that he will be making the opening day roster for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hummel becomes the seventh Sweet to make it to the major leagues, joining former alumni Matt Hall, Taylor Jones, Cody Poteet, Jay Flaa, Jarren Duran, and Justin Bruihl.
Hummel, who attended the University of Portland, was selected in the 18th round (531 overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2016 MLB Draft. He spent five seasons in the Brewers minor league system before being traded to the Diamondbacks during the 2021 season.
Hummel, who plays outfield and catcher, hit .284 for the Sweets in 2014, with seven doubles, one home run, 12 RBI, and 14 walks.
This past season in the minors, he posted a .311 batting average, while hitting 12 homers and 52 RBI.
The Diamondbacks open at home against the San Diego Padres today, April 7.Read Less
Four Fireworks Nights, Postgame Concert Highlight the Summer
WALLA WALLA, WA – The Walla Walla Sweets today announced the release of their 2022 promotional schedule. There are 32 home games this summer at Borleske Stadium, stretched out over June, July, and August.
The Sweets first home game is Friday, June 10, where the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Sweets Flag, courtesy of Columbia REA. A postgame fireworks show will take place at the conclusion of the game. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.
Walla Walla will host its Independence Day celebration on Sunday, July 3 with special patriotic uniforms worn by the Sweets players for the game. Postgame fireworks will take place at the conclusion of the game, sponsored by Walla Walla Toyota. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.
Saturday, July 9 will see a throwback tribute to the Walla Walla Padres of the 1970s and 80s. Sweets players will wear throwback uniforms during the weekend series, including a bobblehead giveaway to the first 1,000 fans presented by Legends Casino. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.
Local Walla Walla band Whiskey Creek will play a special postgame concert at Borleske Stadium on Saturday, July 23, presented by Pepsi. All fans who purchased a ticket to the day’s game are permitted to attend. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.
Fan Appreciation night is Thursday, August 4. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a special Sweets hat courtesy of P1FCU. Post game fireworks show will take place at the conclusion of the game. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.
Tickets are now on sale for all 32 games. Visit SweetsTickets.com to grab your seats today!
Sweets add two outfielders with JUCO roots to the squad for 2022.
WALLA WALLA, Wash– Will Fuenning and Joseph Craig are set for their summer in Walla Walla.
The Walla Walla Sweets on Thursday announced the signing of both outfielders to the 2022 squad. Fuenning and Craig both come from JUCO roots. Fuenning previously attended Paradise Valley CC, and Craig is currently attending Glendale CC.
Craig is a freshman center fielder at Glendale CC in California. Craig comes from the cornhusker state of Nebraska, where he played high school ball at Omaha Central. The freshman outfielder is gearing up for his first year of playing collegiate summer ball and is excited to be joining the high talent level of the WCL.
“I’m glad to hear that the goal of the summer is to get better and get reps, and obviously if I’m getting high-quality reps and high-quality competition, that’s the goal,” said Craig. “It’s not just going to make you a better player; it’s also going to help you come back and help your team wherever you may end up.”
At Glendale CC, Craig is out to a fantastic start to his college career. Craig is batting .461 with five home runs, 17 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases which all lead Glendale.
“I’m a super confident player, I know when I step up to the plate I’m 0-0 with a chance to help the team,” said Craig. “The key to my game is to adapt and adjust on a daily basis and I’m confident I can do that.”
Fuenning is another outfielder with Arizona roots. The Scottsdale native will be making his first trip to the Pacific Northwest by way of West Texas A&M. Fuenning also comes initially from JUCO roots attending Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, Arizona before his junior year at A&M.
“I’ve always heard about the West Coast League so I always wanted to play over there. The first team I reached out to was the Sweets and they immediately reached back out and built a connection and now I just couldn’t be more excited,” said Fuening.
Fuenning on the year at West A&M has also been fantastic. Fuenning is top five in every offensive category for the Buffs. He is batting .354 with two home runs and 32 RBIs. Fuenning also had a career day in a game on February 20, batting 4-5 with 7 RBIs against Cameron University in a series where he faced off against soon-to-be Sweet Tyler Cornett. On the series versus Cameron, Fuenning was electric, going 7/17 with 10 RBIs, four doubles, and a home run in the sweep over the Aggies.
Sweets add a Pitcher-Catcher duo from outside of Washington for the upcoming season.
WALLA WALLA, Wash- Tyler Cornett and Nick Strong get set to spend their summer in the Pacific Northwest. Both Cornett and Strong come from outside of the Pacific Northwest. They also will be spending their first seasons in Walla Walla and the West Coast League.
Cornett is a big 6’2, right-handed pitcher from Cameron University in Oklahoma. However, he is initially from near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line, from Shallowater, Texas. Cornett has a few hobbies such as fishing, hunting, bowling, and roping.
The Texan is ready to bring his southern swag to the Sweets.
“I definitely bring the accent, that’s for sure” said Cornett. “I do have a little swag to myself: I do wear boots, I got plenty of belt buckles, plenty of hats.”
Cornett says the most important thing about him is his competitiveness.
“I love to win; I play the game hard.” said Cornett “I bring my own energy to the field and I think people could tell. Especially this year, guys are chirping me from the other dugout and I love that stuff, it gets me going. But honestly, I’m just a big go-getter.”
Nick Strong is a catcher from Vacaville, California, just outside the Bay Area. Strong attends San Joaquin Delta College and this year is putting up impressive numbers at the NJCAA level. In 2022, Strong is batting .258 with a .597 slugging percentage, as he has five home runs and 20 RBIs. In 62 at-bats, he has 16 hits and 11 of them going for extra bases.
“I’m looking forward most to the competition, being around several Division I guys and competing with some of the best guys around from different colleges and meeting new people; that’s what it’s all about,” said Strong.
Strong now joins a strong group behind the plate, as he is now the third catcher announced on the roster, joining Shane Gipson from Richmond and Kevin Spear who will be attending Gonzaga.
“I think it could be good I’m kind of in between the both of them,” said Strong “I can learn from the older catcher Gipson a bit and with the kid coming in, both of us can help him and mentor him in a way,” said Strong.Read Less
Sweets add two Southern California high school teammates for 2022.
WALLA WALLA, Wash– Julian Alvarez and Jordan Andrade will be sporting the red and blue this summer in Walla Walla. Alvarez is a freshman outfielder for Riverside City College and Andrade is a sophomore middle infielder from UNLV. Both Andrade and Alverez played together in High School at Yucaipa High School however, this is the first time the two have played on the same team since.
Alvarez is a true center fielder from San Bernardino, California, and Riverside City College. Alvarez previously attended Cal Baptist before transferring to Riverside City College. On the season at Riverside, Alvarez is batting .308, with a .436 SLG% and 19 RBIs. In high school, Alvarez earned first-team honors in the Citrus Belt League and had the most stolen bases in the CIF Southern Section.
“You are going to get a centerfielder and a leadoff hitter who goes out there and plays hard every day,” said Alvarez. “(I’m) very aggressive and passionate towards the field. That fields everything to me; I put my heart into it”.
Andrade is a middle infielder from Yucaipa, California, and San Bernardino County. Andrade is a sophomore at UNLV and is gearing up for his first year with the Sweets. On the season at UNLV, he is batting .320, with a .524 SLG%, and .391 on-base percentage. In high school, Andrade was named to the all-state team and the All-CBL first team as a sophomore and junior. Andrade was also a 2019 Perfect Game All American.
The two former Thunderbirds will join forces again in the Pacific Northwest, and they couldn’t be more excited to join the Sweets this summer.
“We’ve known each other for about ten years now, we’re close like brothers literally,” said Alvarez “it’s crazy we never thought we’d play together again and look at us now; it’s sick.”Read Less
Sweets add UCSB pitcher and Yakima Valley College utility for the upcoming campaign.
WALLA WALLA, Wash– Hayden Hattenbach and Danny Burns get set to sport the red and blue this summer. Hattenbach is a freshman currently attending UC-Santa Barbara, while Burns is a sophomore attending Yakima Valley College. It will be the first time both players will be playing as a Sweet.
Hattenbach is a big 6’7 southpaw, hailing from San Rafael, California. Hattenbach is currently listed as a true freshman with the Gauchos, however is in his second season athletically with UCSB. In his first year with the ‘Chos, Hattenbach made nine appearances with eight strikeouts and 6.75 ERA in eight innings pitched. On the 2022 campaign, he is out to a very strong start with 1.17 ERA in 7 ⅔ innings pitched, while matching his eight punch-outs from a season ago.
“The thing that makes the experience in playing in the West Coast League is having a big group of guys that you spend your whole summer with and get to know really well,” said Hattenbach.
This will be Hattenbach’s second stint in the West Coast League as he previously played for the Bend Elks. Hattenbach appeared in five games with two saves, 12 strikeouts, and a 4.32 ERA.
Danny Burns is a sophomore utility player at Yakima Valley College. He will not be the only Yak joining the Sweets, as he is joined by Jace Hanson, Rowan Ramsey, and Coby Richards. Burns is typically seen in the infield, however he is a guy who can truly do it all, as he’s played outfield and pitched with Yakima.
“I take pride in being an infielder. I can play anywhere in the infield; I can even play first base if you need it. Really I can play wherever you need me to,” said Burns. “I think I’ll be a good piece to the whole team.”
Burns played 26 games with YVC in 2021 and batted .261, with a .393 OB% and 10 RBIs. This year the Yaks are 3-5, with Burns having 2 RBIs and 3 runs in 6 games played on the young campaign.Read Less
Two utility players from the NWAC join the Sweets for the 2022 campaign.
WALLA WALLA, Wash- Dylan Matsuoka and JJ Gerarden will be joining Sweets Country this summer. Matsuoka and Gerarden come from the North West Athletic Conference with Matsuoka currently attending Everett CC and Gerarden formerly attending Edmonds CC. This summer will be the first time both players will be suiting up for the red and blue.
Matsuoka comes to Walla Walla by way of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. The freshman utility player is a do it all guy for the Trojans, working as a right fielder and a starting pitcher this year. Matsuoka previously attended Spokane CC where he primarily worked as an infielder.
“I think as far as baseball, I’m going to bring a competitive spirit,” said Matsuoka. “I believe everyone there is relatively talented. I think it’s going to come down to having good team comradery, and wanting to have a good summer and I think I can offer that.”
Currently, at Everett, Matsuoka has a .182 batting average with a .400 on-base percentage. On the hill, Matsuoka has yet to get a start in 2022. In 2021, the Sammamish, Washington native had two appearances and 1.2 innings of work for the Trojans.
Jalen Gerarden, also known as JJ, comes from Point Loma Nazarene in San Diego, California. Gerarden is an infielder who primarily works up the middle at second base and shortstop. Gerarden and the Sea Lions are out to a 13-1 start on the young season. Gerarden has appeared in six games, starting four for the Sea Lions, where he is batting .214 with 2 RBIs.
“I’m a team player, I’m going to support the guys around me,” said Gerarden. “I can do a little bit of everything. I can drive the ball in the gaps a little bit, drive some runs in, I can lay down a bunt and get the game in motion, as well as just be that solid defensive guy.”Read Less
Catching Up with Past and Current Sweets Players in College Baseball
College baseball is back!
This past month, college baseball programs across the country officially started their 2022 seasons. With that, 50 former Walla Walla Sweets players were on opening day rosters, along with 15 players who will be joining the Sweets this upcoming summer.
Who stood out in February among the bunch? Find out below in the first edition of this years wrap up.
Martinez Comes Out Firing
Talk about making a good first impression.
2019 Sweets alum and Oklahoma Sooners left hander Chazz Martinez could not have started any better this season. The redshirt sophomore has begun his 2022 campaign on fire, pitching 11 ⅔ innings in two starts, striking out 19 hitters while only giving up one walk and surrendering just one unearned run.
Martinez is 1-0 on the young season for the Sooners.
His best outing came this past Sunday against Northwestern State. Martinez went seven innings, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out an astounding 14 batters!
— Oklahoma Baseball (@OU_Baseball) February 28, 2022
The southpaw will look to continue his hot start to the season this Friday, when the Sooners take on the LSU Tigers at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros.
Farmer Shines In February
Continuing the trend with 2019 Sweets alumni..
Former Sweets infielder Caleb Farmer is having a dream start to his senior season. Through 12 games, the power hitting righty from San Jacinto, California is batting .438, with seven homers, four doubles, two triples, and 21 runs batted in. He has started all 12 games for Colorado Mesa, helping them to a 9-3 record to start the year.
His best game arguably came in the season opener at Azusa Pacific. Farmer went three for four, with two home runs and six runs batted in, including a grand slam in the seventh inning. His big day helped the Mavericks destroy Azusa Pacific 28-4, and eventually sweep the four game series.
Colorado Mesa resumes action this Friday, March 4 at home against Adams State University to open up conference play.
Price Paves the Way
Northwest Nazarene infielder and former Sweet Parker Price is starting to heat up.
The senior, a member of the 2019 and 2021 Walla Walla Sweets teams, is leading the way for the Nighthawks at the plate. The Boise, Idaho native has steadily improved each game to start the 2022 campaign, finishing the month with a .333 batting average, two home runs, eight doubles, 17 RBIs, and six walks.
His best stretch of games came against the College of Idaho in a four game series, where Price went 7-17 at the plate, with two doubles, nine RBIs, and scored four runs. His efforts helped the Nighthawks sweep the Yotes in all four games on the weekend.
Congrats to Parker Price on earning NNU baseball's fourth GNAC weekly honor of the season!
— NNU Nighthawks (@NNUSports) February 28, 2022
NNU, who sit 8-8 on the year, open up conference play in the GNAC this Friday at Central Washington in Ellensburg.
Across The Diamond
2021 Sweets alum Evan Harmon finished the month of February with 5 appearances, going 7 ⅓ innings and striking out 12 and sporting a 2.45 ERA.
In two starts, 2021 Sweets alum Jacob Dahlstrom is 1-1 in eight innings of work. The right hander from Bellevue College has a 2.25 ERA on the year, with 13 strikeouts.
Central Washington left hander Brayde Hirai is back on the mound this year after recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2021. In four innings of work, the former Sweet has allowed just three hits and one run while striking out three, and has recorded a save in his return this season.
Also with Central Washington, Sweets alum Zac Berryman is batting .308 in 15 games played, with two doubles and two home runs and 10 runs batted in for the Wildcats.
Right hander Trent Sellers is 4-0 to start the 2022 season. The Sweets alum also has notched a save in his 27 ⅔ innings of work for Lewis-Clark State College, striking out 33 batters against just seven walks and posting a season ERA of 0.98
Staying with LCSC, 2019 alum Bryson Spagnuolo has had a solid start to his junior year. He is 2-0 with a save in four appearances, striking out eight and walking just one in eight innings of work.
Mason Kokodynski has been solid in relief for Loyola Marymount to start the season. The junior right hander sports a 1.35 ERA in three relief appearances, with seven strikeouts in 6 ⅔ innings.
Montana State Billings junior infielder Carson Green appeared in 14 games for the Yellow Jackets in February. The 2019 Sweets alum is batting .275 with three doubles, three triples, a home run, and 10 RBIs. Green also has two stolen bases on the young season.
Former West Coast League Pitcher of the Week winner Brandon Llewellyn is off to a good start with Pepperdine in 2022. The right hander has struck out seven hitters in 11 ⅔ innings of work, with a 2.31 ERA in two starts.
2021 Sweets alum Seth Ryberg is now batting .319 on the young season for Point Loma Nazarene. The sophomore infielder has 10 RBIs, two doubles, and a home run to his name in 14 games this spring.
Former Sweets outfielder Pat Caulfield is now at the University of Nevada, Reno for the 2022 campaign. The senior is batting .280 with three runs scored and two RBIs in seven games played.
2021 First Team All-WCL member Caden Kaelber has not allowed a run in his 4 ⅓ innings of work on the season. The lanky right hander has a save and two strikeouts on the season, giving up just one to start the year.
Incoming Sweet and Yakima Valley College right hander Coby Richards impressed in his first start of the season. The freshman went seven innings in a winning effort this past Sunday, striking out seven and allowing just two hits in the Yaks 8-1 win over Clark.
Infielder Derek Gellos has started his 2022 season off strong as well. The incoming Sweet and Seattle University sophomore is batting .379 in seven games this season for the Redhawks, with three RBIs.Read Less
Sweets add an experienced college pitcher and a promising upcoming freshman to the roster this summer
WALLA WALLA, Wash- Pitchers Ben Jacobs and Stu Flesland III will join an already loaded pitching staff in Walla Walla this summer. Both pitchers will be playing with the Sweets for the first time this season. Flesland will be returning to the West Coast League for the first time since 2019.
Flesland is a big 6’5 southpaw from Colbert, Washington, just over 3 hours from Walla Walla. Flesland plays collegiately at the University of Washington, where he posted a 5.59 ERA in 29 innings of relief for the Huskies in 2021. Flesland previously attended Boise State, where he appeared in 4 games with two starts posting a 1-1 record with a 3.38 ERA, before the COVID-19 shutdown.
Flesland brings a focused approach to the Sweets staff, filled with a ton of energy and big personalities.
“I would say I have high intensity… I’m more quiet and focused so I’d say I have more of a focused intensity.” said Flesland “Ever since I came to college I go in with the mindset of telling myself I’m better than the hitter and I’m going to go out there and beat him ever time.”
Flesland will be returning to the West Coast League after playing for the Badland Big Sticks of the Expedition League last summer. Flesland previously played for the Yakima Valley Pippins in 2019.
Jacobs is another left-hander out of Huntington Beach, California. Jacobs is the number 6 LHP in California and will be attending UCLA next year. While not the biggest pitcher, the soon-to-be Bruin makes up for it with sound mechanics and a strong arm.
Jacobs will be one of three upcoming freshmen joining the Sweets this summer. While young, he feels ready for the challenge of playing against some of the best in the WCL.
“I don’t think there’s gonna be too much pressure, I think summer ball is meant to have fun,” said Jacobs “I’m just gonna focus on having fun this summer and balling out”.Read Less
Sweets announce additions of a pitcher and first baseman from Nevada to the roster this summer.
WALLA WALLA, Wash- Derek Decolati and Jaxon Woodhouse will be joining the Walla Walla Sweets this summer. Decolati and Woodhouse both play collegiately at Nevada and will bring their strong college chemistry to the Sweets this June.
Decolati is a right-handed pitcher from Las Vegas, Nevada, playing his high school ball at Cimmaron Memorial High School. Decolati is currently in his junior year at Nevada after previously attending South Mountain College in Pheonix, Arizona. During his time with the Cougars, he amassed a 4.30 ERA in 46 innings pitched and 33 strikeouts. Decolati also worked at the plate a bit his freshman season at SMCC, batting .276 with 10 runs, a double, two home runs, and four RBIs on the year.
Something Decolati is looking forward to is bringing his big personality to Sweets Country this June.
“Definitely going to be fun. I love the fans and I love summer ball because of how you can interact with the fans,” said Decolati. “Tons of kids, they all love it and look up to you so it’s nice to be able to be a role model.”
Decolati is joined by friend and teammate Jaxon Woodhouse. Woodhouse is a first baseman from Vancouver, Washington who played high school ball at Union High School.
Woodhouse is very familiar with the West Coast League previously playing for the Portland Pickles last season. The Vancouver, Washington native grew up less than 45 minutes from Portland and is excited to have the chance to play in front of friends and family once again this summer.
“I’m excited to meet some new guys and go home when I can and vice versa they’ll come to me so I’m stoked,” said Woodhouse.
Woodhouse appeared in 4 games during the Pickles series’ with Bend and Bellingham in early August.
“When it comes to summer ball, I love it. I feel there’s a lot less pressure,” said Woodhouse. “The energy is light, people are playing loose, the fans are in there, and it makes a huge difference.”
The Wolfpack start their season this Friday, February 18 vs Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.Read Less
Sweets add two Bethune-Cookman pitchers for 2022 campaign
WALLA WALLA, Wash- Bethune-Cookman teammates Knickolas Billings and Alec Mendez will be sporting red and blue this summer as members of the Walla Walla Sweets. Both Billings and Mendez join the Sweets from south Florida and will be playing in Walla Walla for the first time this summer.
Billings resides in Miramar, Florida, just north of Miami. The south Florida native was a standout at Somerset Academy Charter high school in Pembroke Pines. Billings was named to the 2019 5A District 14 team and 2019 All Broward County second team his senior year at Somerset, where he posted a 4-0 record and a 1.21 ERA, with 59 strikeouts in 40.1 innings pitched.
Billings briefly played with the Savannah Bananas of the Coastal Plains League. Savannah is one of the most famous summer ball teams, with a unique twist on entertainment and fan experience. The Bananas are known as the first-ever and world famous Baseball Circus. Billings said he had to learn dances in the locker room and perform shirtless during his time with the Bananas, but claimed it made him a better player.
“If there was one way to describe that program, it would be different but in a good way. You’ll never see any type of baseball like that. Savannah does it completely different than anything I’ve ever seen before,” said Billings. “Overall it does make you play better baseball and have more fun because you are not so focused and not so tense.”
Billings is joined by fellow Wildcat Alec Mendez, which he says is a great opportunity.
“It’s going to be exciting. I’ve been with Alec since my freshman year so it’s been about three years I’ve got to be around him,” said Billings. “He knows what I can do and I know what he can do so I mean we have a common goal of showing what we do down here up there.”
During his time at BCU, Mendez turned into a reliable southpaw starter. He posted the team’s second-highest innings pitched total, going 59.2 innings in his freshman year when he transitioned from reliever to starter. In his senior year of high school, he went 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA over 30.1 innings, and also earned a save. He posted a .449 batting average for the Wolverines.
Mendez is coming off Tommy John surgery and did not play baseball in 2021.
Both pitchers are south Florida through and through and will look to bring that energy to Walla Walla on and off the field.
“We are gonna bring energy. I got the same thing as Knicko (Knickolas). We have unlimited energy, we have swag, we bring a different game out there, we make people want to come out to the game,” said Mendez. “We show people why we are the best in the country.”Read Less
Sweets announce three young outfielders to join the team in Walla Walla for the 2022 campaign
WALLA WALLA, Wash- Cooper Cross, Devan Ornelas and Josh Williams will be heading to Walla Walla this summer to join the Sweets.
All three outfielders come from or will be attending NCAA Division I programs. Both Ornelas and Williams are entering their freshman seasons at Loyola-Marymount and UC-Santa Barbara, respectively, while Cross will be attending Virginia Tech. All three outfielders come from the western United States and will all be heading north for the first time to join the Sweets.
Cross joins the Sweets by way of Reno, Nevada. The 5’11 lefty brings a combination of speed and power to Walla Walla. Cross is a very athletic outfielder who primarily sees himself working in center field. Cross is currently attending IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Cross is the youngest of the three outfielders and the only one to not play collegiately. Cross plays at one of the strongest athletic programs in the country, so he is no stranger to playing top-tier competition at a young age.
“I think I’ve gotten a little hint of that at IMG (because) we do play baseball every day,” said Cross. “So I think that having that background will help me a lot going into the summer league.”
While Cross is one of the younger members on an already youthful Walla Walla squad, he says he’s not bothered by the possible age gaps in the West Coast League.
“I think I’m going to go in there trying to prove it. Age isn’t really something I’m concerned with; I know I can compete with the older guys,” said Cross. “I think it’s going to come down to who’s more competitive and who’s putting the work in.”
Williams joins the Sweets from the Golden State of California. Williams is from Fresno County city of Clovis and plays collegiately at UC-Santa Barbara. Williams is in his freshman season at Santa Barbara and will start his regular season at San Francisco on Feb. 18. Williams played high school ball at Buchanan High School, where he was a two-year member of the school’s varsity program that has won 12 conference titles and two national titles. The 6’2 outfielder also played basketball for the Bears.
Most recently, Williams played summer ball for the Medford Rogues of the Golden State Collegiate Baseball League. Williams said his experience in Southern Oregon was incredibly valuable looking toward playing with the Sweets.
“I’ve dealt with it playing with the Rogues this summer, granted I only played for a month due to my high school season getting backed up. But for the month I did play for the Rogues, it was baseball 24/7 and I’d say I really liked that,” said Williams.
The Rogues previously were a member of the West Coast League from 2013-2015.
Ornelas is also a California native, joining the Sweets from just outside of Los Angeles in Chatsworth. The 5’10 outfielder at Loyola Marymount is a transfer from TCU, but he didn’t appear in any games for the Horned Frogs. Ornelas played at Notre Dame High School, which is when he made the transition to the outfield, where he says he’s become more comfortable on the baseball field.
Ornelas has previously played summer ball up in Alaska as a member of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots of the Alaska Baseball League. Ornelas had 13 hits and 8 RBIs and valued the experience playing away from home.
“You want to be the best player that you can, but when you have that opportunity to play somewhere, even if it’s somewhere far from home, I think it’s a great opportunity that someone should take,” said Ornelas. “It was fun. I learned a lot about the game and a lot about myself.”
Two Division I catchers will be joining the Sweets this summer
WALLA WALLA, Wash- Kevin Spear and Shane Gipson will be spending their summer in the Pacific Northwest as members of the Walla Walla Sweets. The two catchers are very different, especially in age: Spear will be entering his freshman year at Gonzaga next fall, and Gipson will be entering his junior season at Richmond this spring as a graduate transfer. Both will join the Sweets for the first time.
The 6-foot-tall Spear will be one of the youngest Sweets come this summer, joining by way of Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle. Spear started and lettered for Blanchet all four years, serving as captain over the past two seasons. Spear also earned First Team All-League honors and a selection to the 2021 Area Code Games over the spring. Spear is a great athlete who can play multiple positions as he also appeared at shortstop for the Braves. Spear was ranked No. 23 in the state among 2022 prospects by Baseball Northwest.
“My pitching coach at Gonzaga gave me a call and told me I would be heading to the WCL and playing for the Sweets and I was stoked,” Spear said. “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to since I was a little kid and I’m gonna use this offseason to really get prepared and see some great competition this summer.”
Spear isn’t the only Bulldog joining the Sweets this summer, as he will be joined alongside pitcher Kolby Soloman. The two met during Spear’s official visit to Gonzaga and together will look to be a big part of the Zags program in the coming years.
“He’s a great guy (Soloman). He accepted me with open arms, and I’m excited to build some chemistry going into my freshman year at Gonzaga,” said Spear. “That pitcher-catcher chemistry is a huge thing in baseball. It’s one pitch that can turn a game around, and once he told me he was going out to Walla Walla, I was super excited and I was pumped to just get to know him better and I think it’s going to be a great summer.”
Gipson joins the Sweets from the University of Richmond. While Spear is looking to be the youngest Sweet this summer, Gipson will be the oldest member of the roster. Gipson brings a ton of experience behind the plate, as he’s currently at his fourth school as a member of the Spiders. Prior to Richmond, Gipson spent time at Cal Poly Pomona and Ventura College in southern California. He also briefly attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. In 2020, Gipson started and played in nine contests for Pomona. Gipson has battled through medical redshirts as well as COVID cancellations to eventually land at Richmond and this summer with the Sweets.
“I’m really excited to get out there,” said Gipson. “I’ve had the last three years of college baseball get cancelled because of COVID cancellations or medical redshirts, and I’m excited for the year at Richmond and this summer with the Sweets.”
The Chicago native played with a former Sweet and WCL All-Star Cesar Lopez during his stint at Cal Poly Pomona.
“I know Cesar really well and he’s said nothing but good things about Walla Walla, and when I was talking with my coach I knew I wanted to go out to Walla Walla,” Gipson said. “(It) maybe a little bit of pressure and a bit of pride, but I know they send a lot of really good baseball players out there and I want to keep that track going.”Read Less
Sweets add three freshman pitchers to their roster for this summer.
WALLA WALLA, Wash- Kolby Solomon, Jace Hanson, and Coby Richards will all be joining the Sweets this summer. All three pitchers come from the northwest and play collegiately in the state of Washington. Solomon and Richards are entering their first seasons of college baseball, as Hanson enters his second year, however, is only a freshman due to the COVID year awarding him an extra year of eligibility. This will be the first year with the Sweets for all three players.
Solomon joins the Sweets by way of Spokane and Gonzaga University. The freshman right-hander stands at 6’0 and is looking to make an impact in his first year with the Zags. Solomon was a two-sport football/baseball star for Inglemoor High, where he earned First Team All-KingCo Honors with an ERA of 1.12, while also leading the league in K’s (62) and second in wins with 6 in his senior season. Solomon has a cumulative 3.95 GPA at Gonzaga, as he gets it done on the field and in the classroom. As a younger pitcher, he will work mainly in relief for Gonzaga however is looking to make an impact in any way possible.
“We have top prospects on our team which is super nice, so getting the chance to look up to those guys,” said Solomon “Whatever role I can fit into I will fit in. I just want to play.”
Solomon is coming off a major injury where he needed Tommy John’s surgery, however has said the recovery process has gone well.
Hanson joins the Sweets by way of Yakima Valley College. Hanson is a big 6’5 right-hander from Ammon Idaho. The eldest out of the trio posted a 5-0 record in 6 starts with the Yaks in his freshman season, posting a 4.33 ERA with 30 K’s in 27 IP. Hanson is currently a Freshman athletically due to the COVID year awarding him an extra year of eligibility. Hanson also finished 6th in the NWAC in wins. The big righty likes to pound the zone and test batters at the plate to try and beat him whenever he steps on the mound.
“I pound the zone. I challenge hitters. Sure they might get more hits off me, but at the end of the day, I’m getting people to roll over, I’m getting people to pop out, I’m getting strikeouts.” said Hanson “Not a lot of guys can beat me and if they do it’s one of those things where you just tip the cap. That’s my selling point.”
Richards is another Yak making the trip out to Walla Walla this summer. The Belgrade Montana native is entering his first year collegiately at Yakima Valley. Richards previously played Summer Ball for his hometown’s Belgrade Bandits.
“I’m happy for the opportunity and I’m excited to get to play for the Sweets and in this competitive league,” said Richards. “This is a great chance for me to show my stuff and I can’t wait for this summer.”Read Less
Four infielders will be staying in the Evergreen State to sport the blue and red with the Sweets.
WALLA WALLA, Wash-Leo Rivera, Derek Gellos, Rowan Ramsay, and Jarred Mazzaferro all will be spending their summer in Walla Walla. This will be the first year with the Sweets for all four players.
Rivera will be continuing to play at Borleske Stadium as he comes from nearby Whitman College. Rivera is a true utility player who can play anywhere on the field getting starts at first, second, and third base for the Blues in their 2021 season. In the 2021 season, Rivera played and started in 38 games, batting .294 with three doubles and a home run for the Blues. Rivera is a 2018 graduate of O’Dea High School in Seattle, Washington, where he was a multi-sport athlete lettering in baseball, basketball, and wrestling.
“I’m definitely excited,” said Rivera “Getting to stay here is something I’ve always wanted to do”.
Gellos joins the Sweets by way of Seattle U of the Western Athletic Conference. Gellos was a three-year varsity letter winner at Issaquah HS, where he helped the Eagles reach back-to-back playoff appearances in 2018 and 2019. In his freshman year at Seattle U, Gellos saw action in 37 games and started 19 contests. He hit .263 with two doubles, six RBI’s, and eight runs scored. Gellos is another do it all guy who can play anywhere on the field for the Sweets.
“The Sweets are a program I’ve always heard about growing up in western Washington and I’m super excited,” said Gellos “every day I want to go out and prove myself as one of the best players in the country, and I think this will be a perfect opportunity to go do that”.
Mazzaferro comes from the Golden State however, the 5’7 middle infielder from San Jose will stay in Washington this summer, as he plays collegiately at The University of Washington. The Sophomore for the Huskies previously played at Ohlone College, where he batted .276 with 16 RBI’s in his freshman year with the Renegades. He primarily played shortstop for the Renegades and will look to bring his strong athleticism to the Sweets.
“It feels great, the PAC 12 is one of the top Conferences and I feel when I go to Walla Walla, the other teams in the West Coast League are just as competitive as it is now, ” said Mazzaferro. “In the Summer every guy you face, every guy who steps up to the plate deserves to be here and it’s always fun to play high-level competition.”
Lastly, Rowan Ramsey comes to the Sweets by way of Yakima Valley College. The 5’10 sophomore middle infielder from Portland Oregon plays collegiately at YVC and formerly at Menlo College. Ramsey hit .302 across 36 games and 27 starts, recorded seven extra-base hits, scored 15 times, drove in 14 runs, and led the team in triples during his freshman season at Menlo . Ramsey played high school ball at Portland Central Catholic High School and helped lead the Rams to an Oregon State championship quarterfinal birth.Read Less
Gary Erdelyi has been named the Voice of the Sweets and Media Relations Manager for the 2022 season
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Gary Erdelyi will flip coasts to join the Sweets, coming across the country from the Garden State of New Jersey.
Erdelyi earned his degrees in Journalism and Radio, TV, and Film from Rowan University. During his time in Glassboro he was the Sports Director and lead radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Profs for all sports airing on Rowan Radio, including baseball. Most recently, Erdelyi was a play-by-play broadcaster for the Washington Nationals High-A affiliate, the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
“I’m thrilled that the Sweets are giving me the opportunity to continue to do what I love” said Erdelyi, “I’m very excited to begin working with the team; I know that this organization has had an upwards trajectory and I’m excited to continue that.”
Erdelyi’s responsibilities will include broadcasting home and away games, relationships with local media, managing all media relations requests for the team, as well as managing the Sweets website and content posted by the team. His first game in the Sweets booth will be on June 3rd as the Sweets take on the Ridgefield Raptors on the road to start the 2022 season.Read Less
WALLA WALLA, Wash. — The Sweets return to Borleske Stadium on Friday, June 10 for the 2022 home opener.
This morning, the West Coast League announced the full schedule for the 2022 summer season. The league will consist of 16 teams next year with the addition of the Springfield Drifters, and the return of the league’s five Canadian teams who had to pull out of the 2021 season due to COVID-19.
The Sweets start the season with road trips to Ridgefield and Yakima Valley before their home opener against the Cowlitz Black Bears on Friday, June 10.
Walla Walla will have 32 home games in the 2022 regular season, consisting of 27 league games and five non-league games. The Sweets will play 10 home games in June, 19 in July, and three in August. The season finale is scheduled for Thursday, August 4 against Ridgefield.
A full promotional schedule with finalized game times will be released at a later date. Season tickets, mini plans, and group packages are currently on sale at the Sweets downtown office, or by calling 509-522-2255.
A full list of the 2022 Schedule
(Home Games in BOLD)
June 3-5: Ridgefield Raptors
June 7-9: Yakima Valley Pippins
June 10-12: Cowlitz Black Bears
June 13: Cascade Collegiate League
June 14-16: Northwest Star NightHawks
June 17-19: Port Angeles Lefties
June 21-23: Corvallis Knights
June 24-26: Springfield Drifters
June 28-30: Yakima Valley Pippins
July 1-3: Kelowna Falcons
July 4: Cascade Collegiate League
July 5-7: Bend Elks
July 8-10: Portland Pickles
July 12-14: Bend Elks
July 15-17: Kelowna Falcons
July 19-21: Springfield Drifters
July 22-24: Wenatchee AppleSox
July 26-28: Portland Pickles
July 29-31: Corvallis Knights
August 2-4: Ridgefield Raptors
August 5-7: Wenatchee AppleSoxRead Less
Current New Mexico State Assistant Coach and former minor leaguer to lead the Sweets
WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Brandon Van Horn, a former San Francisco Giants minor league player, will become the new manager of the Walla Walla Sweets.
“It is a huge honor to lead the Sweets for the upcoming summer. This is such an exciting time for my wife and I,” said Van Horn. “I am extremely grateful to the Sweets for giving me this opportunity to lead the team in 2022.”
Sweets general manager Cody Miller is looking forward to having Van Horn as part of the Walla Walla community and is excited about what Van Horn will bring to the field next summer.
“His experience in the minor leagues is something that will be a huge asset for our players,” Miller said. “Understanding what it takes every day to prepare, improve, and compete to get to the next level is exactly what the Sweets want to provide our players each summer.”
Van Horn, a native of Tujunga, California, will become the fourth manager of the Sweets. He succeeds interim manager Larry Price, who helmed the team in 2021.
“Larry stepped in just a few months before we took the field last summer, and represented the Sweets and the community very well,” Miller said. “As an assistant coach in 2019 and head coach in 2021, Larry always put the players and the community first.”
Van Horn comes to Walla Walla with more than four years of playing minor league baseball in the Giants organization. After San Francisco drafted him in the 19th round in 2016, Van Horn reached as high as Triple A in the minors.
After his playing career, Van Horn spent a summer in the Competitors Collegiate League as manager of one of four teams during the shortened 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In November 2020, Van Horn became a member of the New Mexico State baseball coaching staff as an assistant. He is starting his second season with the Aggies as they prepare for the 2022 college spring season.
Van Horn is excited about working on the Sweets’ roster for next season.
“I am looking forward to building a culture of player development and winning ball games that the community of Walla Walla will be proud of,” he said.
“I can’t wait to spend summer nights out on a ballfield with the rest of the Sweets family and can’t wait to get going,” Van Horn added.
Season tickets are on sale now for the 2022 Sweets season. Call 509-522-BALL or visit the downtown store at 109 E. Main Street for details.Read Less
Craven takes home 2nd Team honors; Myro IV and Price earn honorable mentions
WALLA WALLA, WA – The West Coast League today announced the All – WCL team selections for the 2021 summer season, with the five Sweets garnering spots.
Catcher Colin Wetterau, a junior from St. John’s, and reliever Caden Kaelber, a junior from Washington State, were both named to the First Team All – WCL. Left-handed pitcher Travis Craven, a Whitman College graduate on his way to USC this fall, picked up Second Team All – WCL honors after a second consecutive summer season in Walla Walla.
Oregon State infielder Paul Myro IV and Northwest Nazarene infielder Parker Price picked up honorable mentions for the All – WCL selections.
Wetterau was a mainstay in the sweets lineup all summer long. Appearing in 45 games, the junior batted .268, with six doubles and two triples while driving in 18 runs on the season. Overall, he slashed .268/.316/.324 on the year, and was second among West Coast League catchers in batting average on the season.
Kaelber, the long and lanky reliever from Washington State, was the Sweets most reliable arm out of the bullpen this summer. The junior threw a West Coast League leading 47 1/3 innings in relief in 19 appearances, striking out 63 batters with a 3.61 ERA. Kaelber also added 2 saves on the season for the Sweets.
Craven was his usual reliable self for Walla Walla this summer. The local product threw 61 1/3 innings in 16 appearances this season, 10 of them starts. He struck out 63 hitters while allowing just 16 walks and posting a 3.82 ERA. He also picked up Pitcher of the Week honors in July, highlighted by an 8 inning, 14 strikeout performance in a 1-0 loss against the Wenatchee AppleSox on July 22.
Myro IV appeared in 37 games for the Sweets, and slashed .265/.436/.341 while finishing second in the West Coast League in walks with 37.
Price, in his second season with the Sweets, slashed .310/.429/.422, and led the team with an .851 OPS in 33 games.Read Less
Stellar Pitching Performances Highlight Season for Walla Walla
The Walla Walla Sweets concluded their 11th season as a franchise August 12. With another season in the books, the Sweets look back at some of the best memories and accolades of the 2021 campaign.
Despite the Sweets finishing with a record of 15-33, there were still several notable performances, both individually and team wise, from the hometown onions, particularly on the pitching side.
From a team standpoint, the Sweets set a new strikeout mark and shattered the previous record of 471 strikeouts set by the 2016 Sweets squad. Needing just 48 games to do so, the 2021 Sweets piled up 507 punchouts, exceeding the previous record by 36 and posting the second best strikeout total team wise in the WCL.
Three different pitchers, Caden Kaelber, Travis Craven and Logan Hurd, all finished the season with over 50 punchouts. Kaelber and Craven posted 64 and 63 strikeouts, respectively, to finish second and third in the league.
Sweets interim manager Larry Price said his pitching staff’s resilience stood out the most to him.
“With all the injuries and adversity our pitching staff faced throughout the year, they did a terrific job of pulling through,” Price said.
Individually, Craven and Kaelber both put themselves in the Sweets record book. Craven set the single season record by a Sweet for most innings pitched with 61 1/3 innings across 16 appearances. The lefty from Whitman College also struck out 14 batters in a single start against Wenatchee on July 21 and was awarded West Coast League Pitcher of the Week honors the following week, joining Brandon Llewellyn as the two Sweets to win the award in 2021.
In his final start at Borleske Stadium and on the final day of the regular season, Craven threw six innings and struck out eight batters. Craven was greeted to a standing ovation by the Sweets crowd and dugout after exiting the game.
“To be able to pitch four years for Whitman and two years for the Sweets ere in Walla Walla was something that I’ll cherish forever,” Craven said. “I’ve made so many great memories here and its been so special to be a part of the community here in Walla Walla.”
Craven will continue his baseball career at USC in his home state while enrolling in the biokinesiology program.
On the hitting side, Parker Price led the way for the Walla Walla Sweets. Price finished the season hitting .310, which paced all hitters in the North Division in the West Coast League. Price also led the team with seven doubles while hitting two home runs and 13 runs batted in
After missing his entire spring season to a knee injury, Price returned in a big way in the summer for Walla Walla. Having a positive mindset and working hard to get back in game shape made all the difference for the infielder from Northwest Nazarene University.
“Injuries, especially meniscus injuries, are always tough to bounce back from,” Price said. “You can either sit around and mope or stay positive and get back on your feet. To be able to get back on the field this summer and play again for the Sweets was a great experience.”
While Price put up good statistics, his leadership on the field in what stands out the most to his father and manager.
“Parker is a terrific vocal leader and always brings the best out of his teammates,” Larry Price said.
The Sweets began their 2021 season with a shutout victory over the Cowlitz Black Bears on the road, one of two shutout victories for the Sweets on the season. They wasted no time posting more strikeouts after, punching out 18 batters as a pitching staff the next game.
The most memorable of the 15 wins came on July 23, a night in which the Sweets erased an early seven run deficit to earn a 9-7, comeback win over the Bend Elks. The win as the largest comeback win of the season for the Sweets, highlighted by a go-ahead, bases clearing triple in the eighth inning by Paul Myro IV.
As for team leaders, Eli Paton paced the Sweets with five home runs. The redshirt freshman from UCLA was the only Sweets player to homer twice in a single game, doing so on July 29 against the Corvallis Knights.
Despite the Sweets not having the success they envisioned this past season, the players and coaches reflected positively on their time in Walla Walla.
“This summer was so enjoyable, and it makes saying good bye that much harder,” Price said. “I’m going to miss all of these players. This was really a special group.”
The Walla Walla Sweets wrapped up their 2021 season with a 4-2 loss in ten innings to the Ridgefield Raptors.
The Sweets conclude the season with a record of 15-33. With the win, the Raptors clinch their first playoff berth in team history.
In his final career start at Borleske Stadium, Travis Craven pitched a gem for Walla Walla. After pitching four seasons at Whitman College and two for the Sweets, Craven was honored with a standing ovation after throwing six innings of two run baseball while striking out eight hitters.
Craven finished the season with 63 strikeouts, the third most in the WCL. Craven also set the Sweets single season record for most innings pitched 61 1/3 innings of work, surpassing Micah Gorman’s record of 59 back in 2015.
The Raptors scored the first two runs of the game on a two-run, inside-the-park home run by Tanner Jacques in the third. Jacques hit a fly ball to the right field corner and legged out his second home run of the season.
The Sweets would score once in the sixth off a Chris Conniff fielders choice groundout. Walla Walla put four men on base in a row off three singles and a walk before Conniff drove in his 11th run of the season.
Walla Walla would then tie the game on an RBI single to right by Quentin Ayers. Ayers finishes the season with three runs batted in, all of them against the Raptors.
The Raptors took the lead in the top of the 11th. Would runners on second and third and two outs, Ridgefield would plate two runs on back-to-back wild pitches to earn the playoff-clinching win.
The Sweets would like to thank all of their supporters and fans for their continued support throughout the 2021 season, and we are looking forward to having everyone back at the ballpark in 2022.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets snapped a 12 game league losing skid Wednesday with a 6-0 victory over the Ridgefield Raptors.
The win marked the first home shutout win for Walla Walla since August 4, 2019 and their second shutout win of the season, their first since Opening Day back on June 4 against Cowlitz.
The Sweets wasted no time picking up a lead they would not falter. Eli Paton launched his team-leading fifth home run over the left field fence in the first inning to make it 2-0 Sweets.
From there, the pitching staff for Walla Walla stole the show. One night after setting the single season record for most strikeouts by a pitching staff, starter Calvin Kirchoff added to that total with a masterful performance. After giving up seven earned runs against the Raptors the last time he faced them, the University of Washington commit responded with a 6 1/3 inning, 10 strikeout performance.
For Kirchoff, it was his second double digit strikeout performance of the year. He becomes the only Sweet to strike out 10 or more batters in two different outings this season.
Caden Kaelber recorded the final eight outs of the game to complete the shutout. Kaelber did not allow a hit and struck out five batters to cap off a 15 strikeout performance. Kaelber remains in second in the WCL with 64 punch-outs this season.
Offensively, Paton paced the Sweets in this one. He finished the night a triple shy of the cycle with a season high three hits and three runs batted in.
Parker Price added two hits for Walla Walla. He has now driven in a run in his last five games, picked up a hit in his last eight, and reached base in his last 17 outings.
The win brings the Sweets to 15-32 with one regular season game remaining. With the loss, the Raptors drop to 25-22 and will need to win tomorrow for a chance at their first playoff berth in team history.
The season finale for the Sweets is Thursday at Borleske Stadium at 7:05 PST. The first 1,000 fans will receive a team blanket as part of Fan Appreciation Night. Tickets are available at www.sweetstickets.com.Read Less
The Ridgefield Raptors earned a blowout win Tuesday over the Walla Walla Sweets by a score of 15-3.
A combination of big hitting and walks from the Ridgefield made all the difference in the contest. The Raptors picked up their fifth consecutive win against the Sweets with the victory Tuesday.
Much like he did in Ridgefield, Raptors outfielder Caden Connor hit the ball exceptionally against Walla Walla once again. The outfielder from Cal State Fullerton went 3-for-6 against the Sweets with four RBIs and a two run home run, giving him a league leading 51 runs batted in on the year. This season, Connor is 15-for-22 with 14 RBIs against Walla Walla.
The Raptors would score a run in every inning from the third to the seventh. Isaac Lovings hit a solo home run in the sixth to give the Raptors their 41st home run of the season. The Raptors would then explode in the top of the ninth for seven runs off four hits and four walks.
For Walla Walla, the Sweets put together two scoring innings in the sixth and seventh. The Sweets got three straight hits ending in a two-run double by Colin Wetterau in the sixth. Parker Price drove in a run on an infield single in the seventh as part of a 3-for-4. Price is now hitting .312, good for 12th in the league.
Walks were the downfall of the Sweets pitching staff. Five Sweets pitchers combined to walk 12 batters in the loss, the most by Walla Walla this season.
With the win, the Raptors remain tied for the second playoff spot in the South Division. The Sweets have now lost 12 league games in a row and sit at 14-32 overall.
The Sweets look to even the series Wednesday when they host the Raptors again at Borleske Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:35.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets put together a span of 13 runs in a row to defeat the Redmond Dudes Sunday.
The Sweets won the game 13-8 and picked up their third win in a row. Walla Walla scored all 13 of their runs between the second to fifth inning to take their second game in a row against Redmond.
After going down 3-0 early, the Sweets put forth a big inning in the second. The Sweets scored six runs on just three hits and took advantage of three walks and a hit by pitch. A Nation Wood RBI single and an RBI double by Colin Wetterau highlighted the offense in the second frame for Walla Walla.
The Sweets would continue the offensive barrage with five more runs in the third. Colton Aragon and Colin Wetterau each drove in runs on doubles, and the Sweets once again took advantage of free passes and errors. The three other runs came on a throwing error by the pitcher, two walks, a hit by pitch, and a wild pitch.
Offensively, Wetterau led the way for the Sweets with two doubles and four runs batted in. Sweets hitters walked eight times in the game as well.
Noah Serna, the starter for the Sweets, struggled early but found his groove in the middle innings. The southpaw finished the game with five innings of work and allowed three earned runs.
The Sweets have the day off Monday before hosting the Ridgefield Raptors Tuesday at Borleske Stadium. Tickets are available at www.sweetstickets.com.
A sixth inning, solo home run by Jack Sheward helped springboard the Sweets to a 7-2 win over the Redmond Dudes.
The Sweets offense put together a balanced attack in the win. Walla Walla collected 13 hits as a team from eight different players.
Sheward was one of five Sweets with multiple hits in the game. The catcher from Lewis-Clark State finished with two hits and two RBIs. Seth Ryberg, Paul Myro IV, Will Grimm and Parker Price all finished the game with two hits for Walla Walla.
The Sweets scored six of their seven runs from the fourth through seventh innings. Sheward and Myro IV each drove in a run on a home run and a triple in the sixth, with Ryberg following up in the seventh with a two-run double to left center.
On the pitching side, the Sweets got a quality start from Nick Irwin. The righty from Northwest Nazarene University threw five scoreless innings while striking out five and allowing just one hit.
The Sweets look to extend their winning streak to three games Sunday when they host the Redmond Dudes for the second time. Tickets are available at www.sweetstickets.com.
The Walla Walla Sweets got back in the win column Friday with a 5-1 victory over the Cascade Collegiate League All-Stars.
The Sweets jumped ahead early and never looked back in route to their 20th win of the season. The Sweets never trailed in the game and defeated the CCL All-Stars for the third time in four meetings.
Walla Walla’s offense attacked early with a four run bottom of the first. The Sweets hit three doubles, including a two-run double by Quentin Ayers and another RBI double by Cayden Delozier.
The highlight of the night for Walla Walla, who played every position on the field and switched every inning. Folz caught the eighth inning and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth, including a strikeout.
Pitching wise, Joe Ball turned in a solid start for the Sweets against his former team. Ball turned in five scoreless innings and struck out six innings while allowing just two hits and three baserunners.
Eli Paton also picked up an RBI single in the sixth for Walla Walla. Paul Myro IV and Nolan Anguiano each picked up two hits for the Sweets, as Myro IV finished with a double and a triple.
The Sweets are back at Borleske Stadium tomorrow to host the Redmond Dudes in a non-league contest. First pitch is set for 7:05 PST and can be streamed at the Walla Walla Sweets YouTube page. Tickets are also available at www.sweetstickets.com.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets fell to the Bend Elks Wednesday by a final score of 10-3.
With the defeat, the Sweets have now lost 10 consecutive games and are 14-30 overall. The Elks move to 20-21 and 10-7 in the second half.
With the win, the Elks take the first two games of the series. The first game from Tuesday was originally suspended until today, but then ruled final earlier this afternoon.
The Sweets took the early lead two batters in. Paul Myro IV doubled off the left center field wall and was brought home on a throwing error off a bunt by Seth Ryberg.
From there, the Elks took over. After scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning of the first game, the Elks attacked early once again. Bend scored three runs in the bottom of the first on two hits, including an RBI single by Aidan Welch.
The Elks would plate three more runs in the bottom of the third, highlighted by a two-run home run by Greg Fuchs, his first home run of the season.
The Elks would plate 10 runs on 12 hits. Bend would score two more runs in the fifth and two in the seventh, with the three through seven hitters from the Elks combining for 10 hits and eight runs batted in.
The Sweets would score once in the sixth and once in the seventh. Seth Ryberg drove in Myro IV on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Cayden Delozier drove in a run on an RBI single in the seventh.
Jacob Kmatz, the starter for the Elks, pitched six innings and allowed one earned run with eight strikeouts.
The Sweets and Elks meet for the series finale tomorrow at 6:35 PST. The game can be streamed at www.mixlr.com/sweetsbaseballRead Less
The Ridgefield Raptors picked up their second win in a row over the Sweets Saturday in a 5-1 win at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.
The Sweets dropped their seventh game in a row with the loss, while the Raptors improved to 22-16 and maintained a playoff spot in the South Division.
The Sweets were held to their lowest hit total of the season Saturday, earning just hit in the loss. The lone hit came on a Parker Price solo home run to lead off the top of the fourth, which gave the Sweets a 1-0 lead.
From there, 18 consecutive batters were set down by Raptors starter Brock Gillis and reliever Carson Walters. Gillis struck out nine hitters through six innings, while Walters threw three perfect innings in relief and struck out five while earning his first save.
Joe Ball turned in a quality outing on the other side for Walla Walla. The lefty from Lewis-Clark State threw his longest outing of the year in a 5 1/3 inning, five strikeout, two run performance.
The Raptors were held scoreless until the bottom of the sixth. Caden Connor, the leadoff hitter for the Raptors, broke things open late for Ridgefield with hsis first home run of the summer out to right field. The Ridgefield right fielder hit a two-run homer to to give the Raptors a 2-1 lead they would not give up.
Connor would pick things right back up in the seventh. The Cal State Fulleton outfielder dropped a two-run triple down the left field line to score two more and extend the Raptors lead to 4-1. A Wade Meckler RBI single capped off the scoring in the game.
Connor finished the night 2-for-4 with four RBIs and is now 6-for-10 in the series with seven runs batted in. Connor now leads the WCL with 39 RBIs and has 10 of them in his last five games.
The Sweets try to take one of the three games in the series Sunday when they face the Raptors at 1:05 PST.
The Ridgefield Raptors scored a season-high 17 runs on 17 hits in a 15 run victory over the Walla Walla Sweets.
Ridgefield set several records, both team wise and individually, including most runs scored in a game in team history and most RBIs in a single game by one player, with shortstop John Peck driving in six.
The Raptors didn’t take long to get started offensively. Ridgefield got four hits and a walk to start the game, including a home run by Peck to make it 3-0 against Sweets starter Calvin Kirchoff.
Peck would drive a home un to the opposite field to right center in his next at-bat, launching a two-run blast to make it 7-0 Raptors. Peck exceeded his season high of five RBIs after tripling in another run in the eighth.
On the other side, Raptors starter Jaren Hunter turned in another impressive performance. The right-hander from Oregon State pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowed two earned runs, and struck out a season high six batters to pick up his third victory in his last three starts.
The two runs for the Sweets came on a two-run home run to right center by Justin Folz in the top of the sixth. Folz’s home run gives him three for the year and two in his last two games.
The long ball was a frequent occurrence at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Center Friday. The Raptors hit four homers in the game, with catcher Isaac Springs homering in his Raptors debut and Kody Darcy going opposite field for a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth. The Springs home run highlighted a stretch of nine straight runs for Ridgefield between the eighth and ninth innings.
With the loss, the Sweets have now dropped six in a row and are 14-26 overall. The Raptors are now tied for the second playoff spot in the South Division at 21-16 as they seek their first playoff bid in team history.
The two teams meet in game two of the series Saturday at 6:35 PST.
The Corvallis Knights earned their second walk-off win in a row on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth Thursday, defeating the Sweets 6-5.
Corvallis was down by one going into the bottom of the ninth, but a Nick Vogt single and a double by Nate Nankil to deep center tied the score at five. Two walks loaded the bases and Nankil was able to make it home with the winner on a wild pitch from Sweets’ closer Eric Romo.
The Sweets scored the first foive runs of the game and had their best power-hitting game of the season. The Sweets homered four times in the first five innings of the game to take a 5-0 lead in the fifth.
Walla Walla got back-to-back home runs from Eli Paton and Justin Folz to start the top of the second. Paton would follow that up with another solo shot in the fourth, becoming the first Sweet to homer multiple times in a single game this season.
Nation Wood delivered the Sweets final runs of the game on a two-run home run off the scoreboard in right-center field. The Sweets homered multiple times in a game for the first time this season have now have 20 home runs as a team.
Despite this, Corvallis picked up the three-game sweep of the Sweets and improved to 28-8 overall. After Taison Corio’s walk-off yesterday, the Knights followed that up with another victory in the bottom of the ninth.
Ethan Loveless, the ninth hitter for Corvallis, led the way for the home team. He finished with a homer, two singles and two RBIs and reached base in all four at-bats, as he was also hit by a pitch. He was also at the plate when the game-winning run scored.
Eric Romo was unable to close the game, falling to 0-3 on the season. Bradley Mullan, who pitched three scoreless innings in relief, picked up the win for the Knights.
All five of the Sweets runs in the game were the result of the four home runs. Chris Conniff had the other two hits for the Sweets, who fell to 14-25 overall and 5-10 in the second half with the loss.
The Sweets begin a three-game series with the Ridgefield Raptors Friday at 6:35 PST.Read Less
Taison Corio hit a walkoff solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth Wednesday to give the Corvallis Knights a 6-5 win over the Walla Walla Sweets.
Corio capped off a three-hit performance with a line drive home run just out of the reach of right fielder Seth Ryberg. The Knights took the series with the win after taking the series opener 6-3 Tuesday.
The Corvallis Knights improved to 27-8 overall with the win, while the Sweets fell to 14-24 overall and have now dropped four in a row.
Outside of Corio, Travis Bazzana led the way for the Knights offense. The Corvallis second baseman finished the game 4-for-4 to raise his league-leading average to .442. Bazzana doubled twice in the game and is now 7-for-8 in the series with three doubles and five runs scored.
Chris Conniff highlighted the offense for the Sweets. The second baseman from St. John’s hit his first home run of the summer on a two-run shot to right field in the fifth inning. Conniff is the 10th different Sweet to leave the yard this summer.
Eli Paton led the Sweets with two hits in the game. Walla Walla tied the game in the top of the ninth at five off of four walks between Nathaniel Mendoza and Ben Kibbe, but scored just once off of the Ryberg RBI base on balls. A line drive hit by Colin Wetterau resulted in a double play to end the inning.
Starting pitcher Andrew Baughn went four innings and allowed two earned runs on two strikeouts in his second start with the Sweets. Kibbe earned the win for Corvallis, while Nick Irwin was hit with the loss.
The two teams will meet for the final game of the series Thursday. Brock Townsend will start for the Knights, while Travis Craven takes the mound for the Sweets. First pitch is set for 6:35 PST.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets were unable to overcome an early run from the Corvallis Knights Tuesday in a 6-3 defeat.
Travis Bazzana, the current WCL leader in batting average and hits, went 3-for-4 to lead the charge for the Knights. Bazzana, along with number two hitter Kyler Stancato, delivered a combined six hits at the top of the lineup to pace the Knights in the win.
Bazzana, who leads the WCL with a .425 batting average, put together a three-hit, three RBI effort with a double and two singles. Stancato added three hits of his own, going 3-for-4 on the game.
The KnightS attacked early in the bottom of the first. Bazzana and Stancato both reached on a single and a double to setup an RBI groundout by Tanner Smith.
Bazzana would drive in two more in the second on a double as part of a three-run inning. Tanner Smith would single in two runs in the seventh to make it a 6-2 game. The first three hitters in the Knights lineup accounted for all of the runs batted in in the game for Corvallis.
Mason Kokodynski ran into trouble early, but found his rhythm in the middle innings. The right-hander from LMU pitched five innings and allowed four earned runs and recorded three strikeouts.
The Sweets scored two in the seventh to cut into a 4-0 deficit. Two walks and a groundout led to a Paul Myro IV run scored on a wild pitch. An Eli Paton RBI single cut the deficit to two runs.
Despite the late comeback effort, the Sweets fell short and dropped to 14-23 overall. The Sweets are four games out of a playoff spot in both the overall West Coast League and second half standings.
The Sweets will square off against the Corvallis Knights at 6:35 PST at Goss Stadium Wednesday in game two of a three-game series.Read Less
The Bend Elks squeezed out a 5-4 win over the Walla Walla Sweets Sunday evening.
After trailing 5-0 in the third, the Sweets put together two rallies in the late innings to cut the deficit to one. Despite this, the Elks were able to hang on and pick up their 14th victory of the season while taking the series two games to one.
The Elks broke things open with a big inning in the top of the third against Sweets starter Jacob Dahlstrom. Bend plated all five of their runs in the third on six hits and two errors from the Sweets. The Elks got the first two batters of the inning aboard on a Bryce Tweedt walk and a single from Bryce Boettcher.
After a groundout from Greg Fuchs, the Elks put their next seven hitters on base on five singles, a hit by pitch and a walk. Bend got their runs on a two-run single by Aidan Welch and three one-run singles by Chase Matheny, Omar Veloz and Gavin Logan.
The Sweets would score their first run on a bases-loaded error by the first baseman Fuchs. The Sweets forced the bases loaded on two walks and a hit by pitch before a groundball by Chris Conniff brought home Seth Ryberg.
Walla Walla pushed across two more in the seventh to cut the lead in half. After Ryberg reached on a one out walk, Conniff singled and advanced to second on a throw third. Parker Price delivered his seventh hit of the series on an RBI grounder off the third baseman Boettcher. Conniff would then score from third after a throw to second to catch Price stealing was unsuccessful.
The Sweets were mostly held in check through seven innings by Elks starter Kade Morris. Morris allowed three runs and struck out seven in seven innings, his longest start of the season.
The Sweets would score one more run in the bottom of the eighth on a Matthew Clark double off Elks reliever Cameron Smith. The Elks then turned the ball over to Gabe Smith, who inherited a second and third, nobody out situation and struck out three batters in a row. Smith would set down the Sweets in the ninth to earn a two-inning save.
The Sweets bullpen kept them in the game late. Travis Craven, Logan Hurd, Caden Kaelber and Eric Romo combined for 6 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out 10 batters. Kaelber highlighted the relievers, matching a season high six strikeouts in three innings.
The Sweets have the day off Monday before they begin a nine-game road trip Tuesday with a three-game series against the Corvallis Knights. First pitch is set for 6:35 PST.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets were held to just two hits Saturday in a loss to the Bend Elks.
Four Elks pitchers combined to blank the Sweets. Bend snapped a five-game losing streak with the win, while the Sweets fell to 14-21 with the loss and 5-6 in the second half.
The first four innings of the game were scoreless, as starters Nick Irwin and Dillon Holiday combined to allow just four hits through the first four frames.
In the fifth, the Elks struck first for three runs. Gavin Rork, Chase Matheny and Collin Montez all picked up RBI singles as part of a three-run, five-hit half inning for the Elks.
The game took a major turn in the top of the seventh. With one run already home for the Elks in the inning, Collin Montez ripped a 1-1 fastball down the right field line. After the ball was originally ruled foul, the umpires overturned the call and determined the hit to be a two-run home run.
From then on, the Elks would score five straight runs. Bend finished with 16 hits and had seven different players record multi-hit games. Matheny and Montez highlighted the offense for Bend, combining for four hits and six runs batted in.
The Elks delivered an equally impressive showing on the mound. Starter Dillon Holliday tossed six innings of shutout baseball and allowed just one hit. Charlie Adamson, Matt Dallas and Cole Wilkinson threw a combined three scoreless frames out of the bullpen while allowing just one base hit. Holliday earned his second win of the season, while Nick Irwin recorded the loss after allowing three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Parker Price recorded both hits for the Sweets on the offensive side and now has six hits in the series. Defensively, the Sweets struggled, committing five errors.
The Sweets are back in action tomorrow for the rubber match of the three-game series. First pitch is set for 6:05 PST.
The Walla Walla Sweets earned their biggest comeback win of the 2021 season with a 9-7 win over the Bend Elks Friday.
After trailing 7-0 going into the bottom of the fourth, the Sweets scored nine unanswered runs to earn their 14th win of the season and improve to 5-5 in the second half.
The Bend Elks produced a six-run top of the second inning to take a big lead early on. Bend picked up six hits in the half inning and also took advantage of two Walla Walla errors to jump ahead early against Sweets starter Calvin Kirchoff. The inning was highlighted by a two-run triple by Chase Matheny, who now leads the Elks with 17 runs batted in.
After an RBI single by Gavin Logan made it 7-0 Elks in the top of the 4th, the Sweets got to work offensively. After a single by Colin Wetterau and back-to-back hit by pitches by Justin Folz and Eli Paton, Matthew Clark delivered the first grand slam of the summer for the Sweets on a homer over the left field scoreboard. Clark is now tied for the team lead with three home runs.
Folz helped cut into the deficit one inning later. The Sweets left fielder ripped a ball into right field to score Parker Price and make it a 7-5 Elks game. Folz knocked in his 11th run of the year and his sixth run in his last eight games.
Both teams would go scoreless from the top of the sixth to the top of the eighth, largely thanks to the effort of relief pitcher Joe Ball. The lefty from Lewis-Clark State turned in his best outing of the year, setting new season highs with four innings of scoreless baseball and six strikeouts.
“Joe Ball kept us in that game and did a great job of getting out of some tough spots,” Folz said.
In the eighth, the Sweets were able to break through and take a lead that they would not relinquish. A single, error and a walk loaded the bases with one out for Sweets leadoff hitter Paul Myro IV. The Walla Walla infielder ripped a 2-2 fastball down the right field line for a bases clearing triple, giving the Sweets an 8-7 lead. Parker Price would single in Myro IV one batter later, giving Price a season high four hits and the Sweets a 9-7 advantage.
Sweets closer Eric Romo ran into a bases loaded jam in the ninth, but struck out two hitters in a row to close it out and earn his sixth save of the summer. Romo is now tied for the WCL lead in saves.
Ball earned his first win of the season for Walla Walla, while Eli Ankeney picked up the loss for Bend. The two teams combined for 27 hits, with Price leading the way for the Sweets with four. Gavin Logan had a four hit night for Bend.
The two teams meet again Saturday at Borleske Stadium starting at 7:05. Tickets are available at www.sweetstickets.com.
Sweets starter Travis Craven put together one of the best outings of the year by a Sweets pitcher in a 1-0 loss to the Wenatchee AppleSox Thursday.
The left-hander from Whitman College threw eight scoreless innings and struck out 14 batters, the most by a Sweets pitcher this season. Craven surpassed the previous high by Calvin Kirchoff, who had 11 punchouts on July 17.
Craven , who had a season high of six strikeouts coming in, mixed speeds and locations effectively to keep the AppleSox hitters off balance.
“I felt I did a good job mixing sequences and locations throughout the game,” Craven said. “I felt like I did a good job with two strikes and was able to work around the zone very well.”
Craven stayed in the zone from the beginning of his start to the end. 71 of the 91 pitches Craven threw found the strike zone. The left-hander also did not surrender a walk and allowed just three hits.
The Wenatchee pitching staff was outstanding in their own right on the other side, as pitching ruled this game throughout. AppleSox starter Jacob Hughes put together his best outing of the season, striking out a season best eight hitters while allowing just three hits and walking three.
The lone run of the game came in the top of the ninth inning. Dakota Duffalo reached on an error by the third baseman Eli Paton off of Sweets reliever Caden Kaelber. After Duffalo was picked off at second, Adam Grob drew a walk. After a strikeout to John Newman Jr. and a walk to Luc Stuka to put runners on second and third, Collin Villegas reached on an errant throw by Parker Price that scored Grob from third.
Gavin Gorrell picked up the win for Wenatchee. The lefty from the University of Utah pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Hughes and struck out four batters, including three straight punchouts in the bottom of the ninth to end the game. Caden Kaelber was charged with the loss, but did not allow an earned run.
The Sweets and AppleSox both sit at 13-20 overall on the year. The Sweets are now 4-5 in the second half and are now two games out of first in the North Division second half standings to the Yakima Valley Pippins.
The Sweets begin a three-game weekend series Friday at Borleske Stadium when they host the Bend Elks.
The Walla Walla Sweets put forth one of their best team efforts of the season Wednesday in an 8-2 victory over the Wenatchee AppleSox.
The Sweets used a combination of effective pitching, timely hitting and slick fielding to secure their 13th victory in league play and even the three-game series at one apiece.
Jack Sheward, who set a new season high with three runs batted in, drove in two runs in the bottom of the second on a triple to left center field. Sheward recorded multiple RBIs in a game for the first time this season.
For the first 5 1/3 innings, the AppleSox were unable to get a man aboard thanks to dominant pitching from Andrew Baughn. The right-hander made quite the first impression in his Sweets debut, throwing four perfect innings while striking out five batters on just 48 pitches.
Wenatchee tied the game on a two-run double to center by Michael O’Hara off Sweets releiver Jacob Dahlstrom. O’Hara picked up his second double of the series and scored Enzo Apodaca and Aidan Selfridge after they reached on a double and an error, respectively. Selfridge was the first man to reach base for Wenatchee after the first 16 batters were set down in order.
From that point on, the Sweets took full control of the game. Walla Walla would post two, three-run innings in the bottom of the seventh and eighth to run away with the win.
In the seventh, the Sweets got their first two men on base on back-to-back singles by Sheward and Chris Conniff. After a Paul Myro IV sacrifice bunt, Seth Ryberg hit a flyball over Apodaca’s head in left to score two on a double. Justin Folz would drive in Ryberg two batters later, giving Folz his 10th RBI of the summer.
In the eighth, the Sweets added some insurance runs. After a Sheward sacrifice fly, Myro IV blasted a two run home run over the left center field fence off AppleSox reliever Alex Brady.
Myro IV now has two home runs on the season. He finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs and picked up his fourth mulit hit game in his last seven contests. Sheward led the team with three RBIs while going 2-for-3.
Nick Irwin threw two scoreless innings of relief to pick up his first win of the season. After earning his first win of the summer against Walla Walla June 10, Jared Engman was charged with his first loss.
The rubber match of this three-game series begins tomorrow at 6:35 PST. Tickets are available at www.sweetstickets.com.
The Walla Walla Sweets struggled to produce timely hits Tuesday in a 7-1 loss to the Wenatchee AppleSox.
The Sweets had opportunities throughout the game to score with men on base, including a bases loaded, nobody out situation, but couldn’t cash in with the exception of the fifth inning.
The lone run of the game for Walla Walla came on a fifth inning RBI triple by Chris Conniff. Conniff drove in his seventh run of the season and now leads the team with three triples.
Outside of that inning, the Sweets were held scoreless and left eight men on base in total. The Sweets started the bottom of the sixth with three singles to load the bases, but reliever Michael DeFelippi struck out the next two batters he faced. Cayden Delozier lined out to third to end the inning as the AppleSox left-hander escaped unscathed.
Wenatchee took control of the game early and never relinquished the lead. Michael O’Hara started the game with a double, and was driven in by an RBI triple by Adam Grob two batters later. Grob picked up his first triple of the summer along with his team leading 23rd run batted in.
Wenatchee posted two more runs in the fourth off of two errors. Following his leadoff walk, Tino Bethancourt scored on an errant throw by catcher Colin Wetterau. Luc Stuka scored the other run of the inning on a dropped fly ball in right field.
The AppleSox took a commanding lead in the ninth after neither team scored from the fifth through eighth. Wenatchee picked up five consecutive hits to start the inning and posted a four run, five hit top of the ninth. The inning was highlighted by two two-run singles by John Newman Jr. and Dakota Duffalo.
Mason Kokodynski, the starter for the Sweets who had the second best ERA in the WCL entering the game, was charged with his first loss of the season. The Sweets ace went five innings and allowed two earned runs with four strikeouts.
Cole Hatton picked up the win as the starter for Wenatchee. He also threw five innings and allowed five hits, one earned run, three walks and struck out five. The AppleSox bullpen got four scoreless innings from their two best relievers in terms of ERA, DeFelippi and Skylar Hales. Hales picked up a three inning save while striking out four hitters.
The Sweets and AppleSox meet again Wednesday at Borleske Stadium starting at 6:35 PST.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets moved into first place in the North Division standings Saturday with a 5-2 win over the Port Angeles Lefties.
The Sweets are now 12-17 overall and 3-2 in the second half. Walla Walla leads the Yakima Valley Pippins by one game in the division.
Sweets starter Calvin Kirchoff turned in one of the best performances of the season by a Sweets pitcher. The right hander from Bellevue Community College set a new single game high for a Sweets pitcher with 11 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Kirchoff has 19 strikeouts in two starts to begin his Sweets career. For the second start in a row, the Sammamish, Washington, native allowed just two hits.
Offensively, the Sweets got all the runs they would need in the first inning. With two outs, Colin Wetterau picked up a single. Lefties third baseman Carson Crawford committed a costly error on the next play after dropping a popup on the infield. With runners at first and second, Eli Paton blasted a three run home run to give the Sweets a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Sweets scored two more times in the top of the fifth off Lefties starter Luke Jewett. A walk and two singles by Paul Myro IV, Parker Price and Wetterau loaded the bases for Folz. The Sweets right fielder drove in a run on a sacrific fly, with Paton quick to follow with another one batter later.
Paton finished the game 1-4 with four runs batted in, tying Cameron Butler for the most by a Sweet this season in a single game.
The Lefties scored once in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly by Javy Espinosa. Their only other run of the game came on a throwing error back to Kirchoff by catcher Jack Sheward.
The Sweets got 3 1/3 scoreless innings out of their bullpen. Caden Kaelber appeared for the second night in a row and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Kaelber is now tied for third in the league in strikeouts with 38.
Eric Romo entered in the ninth and struck out the side. Romo recorded his fifth save of the year, which is second in the WCL.
The Sweets and Lefties play their series finale Sunday at 1:35 from Civic Field.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets used a combination of balanced hitting and effective pitching to take down the Port Angeles Lefties Friday.
The Sweets got a hit from every starter in the lineup Friday, the first time this season Walla Walla has accomplished that feat. Three players, Paul Myro IV, Coin Wetterau and Justin Folz, had multiple hits.
The Sweets went down 1-0 in the second, but took the game over from there. Walla Walla strung together four runs on just one hit in the top of the fourth. Niko Khoury drove in Parker Price from second on an error by the first baseman Ethan Flodstrom. After Justin Folz scored on a wild pitch during Seth Ryberg’s at bat, two runs scored on a dropped third strike to Cayden Delozier and a throwing error by Port Angeles catcher Nathan Chong.
The Sweets bats would get going in the fifth, five of the first six batters in the inning singled as part of a three run fifth for Walla Walla. Wetterau, Niko Khoury and Matthew Clark all knocked in runs on singles.
Wetterau and Folz would both go on to drive in runs on back-to-back singles in the top of the eighth. Wetterau finished the night with three runs batted in to lead the team.
The Sweets got a solid effort from four different pitchers. With the exception of one run in the second, Sweets starter James Hepp was efficient on the bump. The UCLA commit went four innings and allowed one earned run with five strikeouts in his longest outing of the year.
Logan Hurd picked up right where Hepp left off. The LMU left-hander went 3 2/3 innings and recorded his second highest strikeout total of the season with five. Caden Kaelber recorded the final out in the eighth before Evan Harmon closed the game in the ninth.
The Lefties were able to muster just four hits against the Sweets. Coleman Schmidt was the highlight of the game for Port Angeles, going 2-for-4 with a solo home run to left. Along with his second home run, Schmidt also singled in a run as part of a two RBI night.
The Sweets are now 2-2 in the second half and tied for first in the North Division in the second half. Walla Walla is back in action Saturday at 6:35 to face the Lefties at Civic Field in Port Angeles.
The Portland Pickles posted 15 runs on 18 hits Thursday in a 10-run win over the Sweets.
After posting two runs in the first inning, Portland’s offense exploded for six runs in the bottom of the third. The Pickles scored seven more in the next three innings to run away with the game.
With the game tied at two in the third, Leo Mosby got the scoring started for the Pickles with a two run single. Daniel Hirose singled in two more and was followed by a two run single by Gabriel Arellano to cap off a six run, seven hit bottom of the third for Portland.
The Pickles picked up four more runs in the fifth on a grand slam from Ryan Guardino. The outfielder from Wofford was one of seven Pickles with multiple hits in the game. Matt Jew led the way with three hits and three runs.
Matthew Clark led the offense for Walla Walla with a solo home run to left center. Clark is the second Sweet to record multiple home runs this season after hitting his second home run of the season.
Seth Ryberg was 1-for-5 with two RBIs for the Sweets. Ryberg doubled in two runs in the top of the third to tie the game.
Eric Marrujo pitched three innings for the Pickles, allowing one earned run and picking up the win in his second appearance against Walla Walla. Jacob Dahlstrom, who threw 2 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs, was charged with the loss.
The Pickles upped their record to 17-10 and 2-1 in the second half, while the Sweets dropped to 10-17 overall and 1-2 in the second half. The Sweets are two games out of the second playoff spot in the North Division to the Bellingham Bells.
The Sweets hit the road again tomorrow to start a three-game series against the Port Angeles Lefties. First pitch is set for 6:35 PST from Civic Field in Port Angeles, Washington.