The 2019 edition of the Walla Walla Sweets gave local fans plenty to cheer about during the franchise’s 10th season of West Coast League existence. Walla Walla commenced its season with an 8-0 start against WCL opponents, the best start in its history, achieved the franchise’s third 30-win regular season, and punched its first postseason ticket since 2013 after claiming the WCL South Division’s wild-card berth. The Sweets also garnered the franchise’s first playoff victory since 2011.
Now that we have you energized Sweets Nation, let us go forward with a rendezvous down memory lane.
Walla Walla – managed by Frank Mutz, assisted by Larry Price, Ryan Johnston, and Cameron Richman – opened 2019 by sweeping a three-game series with eventual league-champion Corvallis at Borleske Stadium by scores of 8-2, 6-3, and 5-3. Game one was tight until a five-run Sweets uprising in the bottom of the eighth inning left little doubt about the final outcome. Brock
Ephan had a pair of doubles while Patrick Caulfield, Parker Price, and Brandon Wagstaff joined him in the two-hit parade. Caulfield followed up his multiple-hit effort with four safeties in game two of the series as the Sweets survived their opponent and a pair of weather delays. David Le Bioda and Justin Folz, along with Caulfield, had two hit apiece as Walla Walla completed the season-opening sweep.
What did the Sweets do for an encore? They broomed Bend, 3-0, 9-6, and 16-11. Bryson Spagnuolo, Nick Irwin, Charles Harrison, and Reid Sebby combined on a four-hit shutout in the opener. Caulfield had two hits including a lead-off home run in the first inning and Cesar Lopez contributed two knocks and a seventh-inning RBI. Walla Walla built a 6-0 lead in the second game of the series, but had to scored three times in the bottom of the eighth to eke out a 9-6 triumph. Lopez and Folz homered, and Mason Kokodynski threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the eighth, to bring another sweep to fruition the following night.
Following a pair of non-league wins at home over the Highline Bears to complete a spotless homestand, the Sweets ventured to Wenatchee for a three-game series with the soon-to-be, playoff-bound AppleSox over Father’s Day weekend. The series opener was highlighted by a two-out, two-run home run by Carson Green in the ninth inning that was the difference in a 3-1 Walla Walla win. The Sweets won game two of the set to improve to 8-0 in the WCL, but dropped the finale, 11-10, despite a 7-0 lead after two-and-a-half innings of play.
Walla Walla returned home for six-games at Borleske Stadium and registered series wins over Portland and Port Angeles. Big blows during this Borleske stay were a three-run homer by Caulfield in the series opener with Portland and a ninth-inning, walk-off bomb by Chazz Martinez in the middle game of the Port Angeles series, won by the home team by a 9-8 tally.
The Sweets went 3-3 on their first six-game road trip that closed out the month of June. Walla Walla dropped the first two games in Bend, 4-2 and 2-1, but rebounded for an 8-3 triumph in the series finale. Martinez started a five-run rally in the sixth inning of the latter battle with a home run. Walla Walla carried that momentum to Ridgefield and won the first two games of that set, 5-2 and 13-9, before dropping the last game of the series 6-3. Pitchers Landon Boeneke, Ty Hueckman, and Irwin teamed up to blank the Raptors on four hits over the first seven innings in the opener while Caulfield set the tone for a four-hit performance and a wild game two with a homer to lead off the matchup.
July started with a three-game home series against the Cowlitz Black Bears. The Sweets clobbered Cowlitz, 13-4, in the opener, dropped a heartbreaking 7-6 decision in the middle game of the series, then celebrated the Fourth of July with a 6-4 conquest. Ben Fariss capped a five-RBI night and Walla Walla’s scoring in game one with a grand-slam home run and Caleb Farmer keyed a four-run, sixth-inning rally on Independence Day with a two-run triple.
Walla Walla traveled north the first weekend of the month and dropped two out of three games to Kelowna to end the first half of league play with an 18-9 record. The Sweets did win the north-of-the-border finale, 6-3, thanks in part to a couple of RBI each from Michael Petrie and Connor Cirillo. It split two games in Bellingham, losing the opener 4-1 and taking the next outing, 11-7. The Sweets, who got three RBI from Martinez – including a two-run bomb in the second inning – and two runs batted in from Lopez, scored all of their runs in the victory over the Bells with two out.
Disappointment was the order of the week after non-league games with the Military All-Stars and Cascade Collegiate League. Walla Walla lost two of three games against Victoria, including a 19-inning marathon, and suffered a road sweep in Corvallis before heading into the All-Star Break.
Walla Walla resumed league play with a series win over Wenatchee at Borleske Stadium. The shining light was provided by Johnston, who no-hit the AppleSox for six-and-a-third innings in game two of the series, won by the good guys 3-2. He ended up with six-and-two-thirds innings worked, allowed just one run and one hit, and struck out eight. Lopez, Martinez, and Le Bioda backed up Johnston with an RBI apiece in the first inning. Ephan contributed a two-RBI double as the final piece of a four-run seventh inning in the series’ initial act.
The Sweets won three and lost three on their final six-game adventure away from Borleske Stadium that took them to Cowlitz and Portland, closed out the month of July, and spilled into August. Walla Walla got the big bats out against the Black Bears and scored 12 runs in each of the final two games of the series at Story Field on the Lower Columbia College campus in Longview, games that ended with desired results by 12-2 and 12-6 counts. Ephan had two hits in both of those games. Brayde Hirai and Boeneke allowed just one run apiece in the middle game. Ephan collected two more hits and a sacrifice fly in a July 31 win at Portland.
Walla Walla ended the home segment of its 2019 schedule with a 4-and-2 showing. Big moments spotlighted were a come-from-behind victory over Ridgefield and a post-season clinching conquest of Kelowna. Bryce Vitt hit a three-run double and Emanuel Dean singled him in as the Sweets rallied from a three-run, ninth-inning deficit to top the Raptors, 8-7. Hirai, Hueckman, Jake Dahle, and Sebby combined on a three-hitter in a 4-0 victory over the Falcons that helped Walla Walla secure its postseason ticket.
The Sweets claimed win No. 30 of the season Aug. 10 with an 11-5 trouncing of Yakima Valley. Caulfield and Craven set all-time league records during the game. Craven tossed the first inning-and-a-third in his 13th start of 2019 and Caulfield stole his 41st base of the season in the sixth inning. Green clobbered a three-run home run in the third inning that put the Sweets up, 5-0. Craven, Boeneke, and Nate Dahle skunked the Pippins through the first seven frames.
Caulfield ended the regular season as the league’s seventh-leading hitter (.328) and Lopez was the third most prolific producer of runs batted in (39). Craven was 1-2 with a 1.99 earned run average. He threw 40.2 innings, allowed 30 hits, 11 runs, nine earned, walked 15 and struck out 41. Teammates Hueckman and Boeneke were part of a second-place log jam in the WCL with five wins.
The Sweets dropped the WCL South Division Series opener to the Knights, 6-3, at Borleske Stadium before keeping their season afloat with a dramatic game-two victory at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. Caulfield tied the game in the ninth with a single and, one out and an intentional walk later, Folz towered a grand-slam home run to right field to shatter a 4-4 tie. Hirai capped the six-run blitz with an RBI single, then retired the Knights in order in the last of the ninth.
Walla Walla’s aspirations of reaching the WCL championships series ended the following evening after a 6-2 setback in the rubber game of the series.
Despite the hard-to-swallow ending, no one can doubt that this patch of Walla Walla Sweets produced memories that local baseball fans will remember for a long time and get them fired up for 2020. It will be here before you know it – perhaps another summer to remember.Read Less
A successful 2019 season that was highlighted by 31 wins – including an exciting playoff victory over the three-time defending West Coast League champion Corvallis Knights – came to a disappointing end for the Walla Walla Sweets on Thursday night.
Corvallis brought the Sweets season to a close with a 6-2 victory in game three of the WCL’s South Division Playoff Series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
The Knights will face the Victoria HarbourCats in the West Coast League Championship Series.
Walla Walla’s regular-season record was 30-23. It ended the summer, with non-league and postseason games factored in, at 36-25.
Corvallis scored an unearned run in the second inning to break a scoreless tie. Michael Curialle led off with a walk and Nick Yovetich lifted a fly ball into the right-center field alley that was destined to drop for an extra-base hit, and would have had it not been for a diving, highlight-reel catch by centerfielder Patrick Caulfield. Walla Walla starting pitcher Landon Boeneke struck out Trace Tammaro for the second out of the inning, but Jake Harvey reached on a two-base error to keep the inning going. Jake Holcroft singled in Curialle to give the Knights a 1-0 edge.
Boeneke retired Corvallis 1-2-3 in the third inning before allowing another unearned run in the fourth. A lead-off error allowed Curialle to take first. One out later, Tammaro doubled Curialle home to double the Knights’ lead to 2-0.
The Sweets managed just one hit through the first five innings against Corvallis starter Connor Redmond. But that changed in the sixth when Carson Green belted Redmond’s first offering to left for a home run that cut the Knights’ advantage to 2-1.
A sixth-inning fielder’s choice got Corvallis back up by two, 3-1.
Briley Knight started the home seventh with a bunt single against Sweets reliever Brennan Patterson. Two outs later, Patterson walked Curialle on a borderline 3-2 pitch, then went 3-2 on Yovetich before allowing a three-run home run to right.
Walla Walla sent up the minimum number of hitters in both the eighth and ninth innings, and was unable to kick up its rally heels in either frame.
There’s Always Next SeasonRead Less
Justin Folz towered a two-out, grand-slam home run to highlight a six-run, ninth-inning rally Wednesday night to lift the Walla Walla Sweets to a 9-4 victory over the Corvallis Knights in game two of the West Coast League South Division Playoff Series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
The stunning comeback evened the best-of-three set at one game apiece and sets up a third and series-deciding contest Thursday night in Corvallis.
Brayde Hirai led off the game-deciding frame with a walk against Corvallis closer Connor Knutson – who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth Tuesday night in the Knights’ series-opening 6-3 triumph. One out later, Hirai advanced to second on a wild pitch and Parker Price walked. Patrick Caulfield bounced a single into left field that brought Hirai in with the tying run. With two out, Chazz Martinez was intentionally walked to set the stage for Folz’s magic moment. Folz worked Knutson for a full count. After fouling off the next three pitches, including a delivery that was lined down the right-field line that was ruled outside of fair territory, Folz took Knutson’s next offering over the right-field wall that sent the Sweets dugout into a state of exuberance and stunned an announced crowd of 1,065.
Corvallis scored three times in the third inning. Jake Harvey got the Knights on the board with a two-run triple and Andy Atwood followed with an RBI single.
The home team added another run in the fourth. Michael Curialle doubled with one out and Jake Harvey two-bagged him in with two out.
Hirai threw five scoreless innings in relief of starter Ryan Johnston to keep Walla Walla within reach. He gave up two hits, two walks, and struck out five and retired nine of the last 12 hitters to face him.
Wednesday’s victory was Walla Walla’s first this season when trailing after seven and eight innings. Prior to the win, the Sweets were 0-14 when behind after seven innings and 0-17 when down after eight.
The home loss was just the fifth this season for Corvallis in 28 games at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
A pair of two-out swings were the difference Tuesday night as the Walla Walla Sweets opened their best-of-three West Coast League South Division Playoff Series with a 6-3 loss to the three-time defending champion Corvallis Knights at Borleske Stadium.
A single by Jake Holcroft and a home run off the bat of Jake Harvey helped doom Walla Walla’s chances.
Holcroft, who had three hits in the game, led off the first inning with a double in the left-center field gap off of Sweets starter Travis Craven. Andy Atwood drove Holcroft in with a single to center.
Craven settled down after the early misfortune. He struck out Briley Knight, Brooks Lee flied to center, and Zack Moeller skied to right.
The Sweets were retired 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first by Knights’ starter Tevita Gerber, but not without controversy. Parker Price bunted down the first base line with one out and reached base safely when Gerber’s feed to first baseman Trace Tammaro struck Price. But Price was ruled out for runner interference – a judgement that was not well received by Price, his teammates, or Sweets fans in attendance.
Matthew Gretler survived a border-line, 2-2 pitch from Craven and drew a lead-off walk in the second inning. Michael Curialle reached base on an error and, following a strikeout of Tammaro and a fly to center by Harvey, Holcroft dunked a two-run single to center to give the Knights a 3-0 lead.
Craven retired seven of the next eight hitters he faced and the Sweets responded with a run in the fourth inning. Price doubled to lead off and scored on a two-out, two-bagger by Caleb Farmer that cut the deficit to two, 3-1.
The Knights got their final run off Craven in the fifth on a Knight sacrifice fly.
Ty Hueckman relieved Craven in the sixth. Gretler flew to center and Curialle grounded to shortstop. But Tammaro singled and Jake Harvey homered to left to make it 6-1. Hueckman fanned Holcroft to end the sixth, and tossed a perfect seventh.
Jake Dahle issued back-to-back walks with one out in the ninth, but flies to left by Lee and center by Moeller ended the threat.
Game two of the series is Wednesday night at 6:40 at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
Eyes On The Prize
In For A Battle
Swinging for It
Boys of SummerRead Less
After finishing the 2019 regular season with the franchise’s third 30-win campaign, and first since a 2013 playoff run, the Walla Walla Sweets (30-23) open a best-of-three West Coast League South Division Playoff Series against three-time defending champion Corvallis (42-12) Tuesday night at 6:35 inside historic Borleske Stadium.
Game two of the series is Wednesday night at 6:40 at Oregon State University’s Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. If a third game is necessary, it would be played in Corvallis on Thursday night at 6:40.
The Sweets, making the franchise’s third postseason appearance (2012 and 2013), achieved win No. 30 on the road Saturday night with an 11-5 trouncing of Yakima Valley. Centerfielder Patrick Caulfield and pitcher Travis Craven set all-time league records during the game. Craven tossed the first inning-and-a-third in his 13th start of 2019 and Caulfield stole his 41st base of the season in the sixth inning.
Walla Walla began its season with the best start in franchise history. The Sweets opened 2019 by sweeping a three-game series with the Knights at Borleske Stadium by scores of 8-2, 6-3, and 5-3. They followed that up by brooming Bend, 3-0, 9-6, and 16-11. Caulfield was named the West Coast League’s first Player of the Week after going 14-for-25 (.560 avg.) with seven stolen bases in the half-dozen contests.
Following a pair of non-league wins at home over the Highline Bears to complete a spotless season-opening homestand, the Sweets traveled to Wenatchee for a three-game series with the playoff-bound AppleSox over Father’s Day weekend. The series opener was highlighted by a two-out, two-run home run by Carson Green in the ninth inning that was the difference in a 3-1 Walla Walla win. The Sweets won game two of the set to improve to 8-0 in the WCL, but dropped the finale.
Walla Walla returned home for a six-game homestand and registered series wins over Portland and Port Angeles. Big blows during this Borleske stay were a three-run homer by Caulfield in the series opener with Portland and a ninth-inning, walk-off bomb by Chazz Martinez in the middle game of the Port Angeles series, won by the home team by a 9-8 count.
The Sweets went 3-3 on their first six-game road trip that closed out the month of June. Walla Walla dropped the first two games in Bend, 4-2 and 2-1, but rebounded for an 8-3 triumph in the series finale. It carried that momentum to Ridgefield and won the first two games of that set, 5-2 and 13-9, before dropping the last game of the series 6-3.
July started with a three-game home series with the Cowlitz Black Bears. The Sweets clobbered Cowlitz, 13-4, in the opener, dropped a heartbreaking 7-6 decision in the middle game of the series, then celebrated the Fourth of July with a 6-4 conquest.
Walla Walla traveled north the first weekend of the month and dropped two out of three games to Kelowna to end the first half of league play with an 18-9 record. The Sweets did win the north-of-the-border finale, 6-3, then split two games in Bellingham, losing the opener 4-1 and taking the next outing, 11-7. The Sweets scored all of their runs in the victory over the Bells with two out.
Disappointment was the order of the week after non-league games with the Military All-Stars and Cascade Collegiate League. Walla Walla lost two of three games against Victoria, including a 19-inning marathon, and suffered a road sweep in Corvallis before heading into the All-Star Break.
Walla Walla resumed league play with a series win over Wenatchee at Borleske Stadium. The big highlight was provided by utility specialist Ryan Johnston, who no-hit the AppleSox for six-and-a-third innings in game two of the series. He ended up with six-and-two-thirds innings worked, allowed just one run and one hit, and struck out eight.
The Sweets won three and lost three on their final six-game adventure away from Borleske Stadium that took them to Cowlitz and Portland, closed out the month of July, and spilled into August. Walla Walla got the big bats out against the Black Bears and scored 12 runs in each of the final two games of the series at Story Field on the Lower Columbia College campus in Longview.
Walla Walla ended the home portion of its 2019 schedule with a 4-2 homestand. Highlights included a come-from-behind victory over Ridgefield and a post-season clinching win over Kelowna. Bryce Vitt hit a three-run double and Emanuel Dean singled him in as the Sweets rallied from a three-run, ninth-inning deficit to top the Raptors, 8-7. Brayde Hirai, Ty Hueckman, Jake Dahle, and Sebby combined on a three-hitter in a 4-0 victory over the Falcons that helped Walla Walla punch its postseason ticket.
Caulfield ended the regular season as the league’s seventh-leading hitter (.328) and Cesar Lopez was the third most prolific producer of runs batted in (39). Craven was 1-2 with a 1.99 earned run average. He threw 40.2 innings, allowed 30 hits, 11 runs, nine earned, walked 15 and struck out 41. Teammates Hueckman and Landon Boeneke were part of a log jam for second in the WCL with five wins.
Corvallis, which finished both the first and second half of the WCL season atop the South Division, did so with identical 21-6 records. The Knights enter the postseason with the league’s top three hitters – Jake Holcroft (.368), Briley Knight (.357), and Brooks Lee (.342). Knight tied for second in the WCL with eight home runs and was second in the regular season with 42 RBI. Holcroft ranked fifth with 33 runs batted in.
Southpaw Tevita Gerber has enjoyed a stellar summer for the Knights. He leads the WCL in wins with seven and has a 7-1 record with a 2.20 earned run average. Right-handed pitchers David Watson and Jackson Arnsdorf, like Hueckman and Boeneke, were among a handful of hurlers that won five games this season. Watston was 5-1 with a 4.02 ERA and Arnsdorf finished with an identical record and a 1.70 ERA.Read Less
Eddy Pelc hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the 15th inning Sunday night to lift the Yakima Valley Pippins to a 6-3 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets in the West Coast League regular-season finale for both teams.
The Sweets ended the second half of WCL play 12-14 and finished 30-23 overall.
Walla Walla will host three-time defending champion Corvallis for game one of a best-of-three WCL South Division playoff series Tuesday night at Borleske Stadium. First pitch is at 6:35.
Yakima Valley scored the first run of Sunday’s game in the initial frame against Sweets starter Turner Edwards, who was making his Walla Walla debut. Edwards walked five of the first six hitters he faced, but gave up just the one run.
The Sweets evened the score in the top of the second. Carson Green led off with a single. He stole second, then moved to third on a throwing error by Pippins’ catcher James Bell. Zac Berryman laid down a bunt down first-base way to score Green and knot the score at 1-1.
Edwards pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the second and got out of a first-and-second, no-out jam in the third inning. But a two-run double in the fourth by Aidan Welch brought an end to his evening. Mason Kokodynski replaced Edwards and got Tanner Parker to fly out to center field for the first out of the inning. Welch tried to move from second to third on the play, but Chazz Martinez unleashed a no-hop throw to Green to cut down the Yakima Valley runner.
Emanuel Dean led off the fifth inning with a double and went to third on a Justin Folz single. Folz got himself into a pickle between first and second, but first baseman Tyler Dean made an errant throw to second that struck Folz and allowed Dean to score.
Walla Walla tied the game in the ninth. Patrick Caulfield led off with a double and went to third on a 3-4 sacrifice by Kokodynski. Folz lifted the first pitch he saw from Pippins’ reliever Nick Brown to center for a sacrifice fly to plate Caulfield.
Cesar Lopez surrendered a walk and a hit by pitch prior to Pelc’s poke over the right-field wall.
The all-time, regular-season series between the two teams is tied at 18 wins apiece.Read Less
Patrick Caulfield and Travis Craven break WCL records while breaking the Pippins
The Walla Walla Sweets scored twice in the first inning, three times in the third inning, and five more times in the sixth inning Saturday night on their way to an 11-5 victory over the Yakima Valley Pippins in West Coast League baseball action at Yakima County Stadium.
Saturday’s game will be remembered by Sweets Nation for more than runs, hits, and errors. It was a night in which the 2019 Walla Walla nine achieved the franchise’s third 30-win season and both Travis Craven and Patrick Caulfield made their way into the WCL record book.
Ryan Johnston led off the first inning with a double and scored two outs later on a two-bagger by Cesar Lopez – who crossed home after consecutive walks to Caleb Farmer, Bryce Vitt, and Turner Edwards.
Historic moment No. 1 occurred when Craven took the mound for his 13th start of the season, a WCL record, and commemorated the occasion with an inning-and-a-third of scoreless baseball.
The Sweets provided more two-out magic in the third inning. Vitt and Chazz Martinez both singled and tallied when Carson Green homered to left field. The round tripper was Green’s second of the season. He hit a game-winning, two-run dinger in the ninth inning at Wenatchee on June 14.
Reliever Landon Boeneke followed Craven with two-and-two-thirds innings of two-hit ball and got some defensive help in the fourth inning. The Pippins’ Kyle Dean led off with a hit to left-center. Johnston cut it off before throwing a strike to second baseman Justin Folz to deny Dean’s bid for a double.
Sweets right-hander Nate Dahle walked three of the first four hitters he saw in the fifth inning, but retired the final two to escape unscathed.
Historic moment No. 2 came in a five-run sixth inning. Folz doubled, Johnston walked, and Parker Price legged out a bunt base hit. Caulfield scored two with a single and Lopez produced an RBI single. Lopez got in a pickle between first and second after Caulfield took a stride toward third. Caulfield advanced to third and Lopez managed to get back to first. Caulfield was credited with a stolen base, his WCL record-setting 41st of 2019. One out later, Vitt walked and Martinez scored Caulfield with a fielder’s choice. The last run was the result of a Yakima Valley error.
The Pippins scored five times in the eighth inning before Parker Price single handedly produced a run in the ninth. He singled, stole second, went to third on an error, and scored on a passed ball.
Lefty Brayde Hirai threw a 1-2-3 ninth to end the game.
The final game of the series, and regular season, starts Sunday night at 7:05.
Patrick Caulfield after breaking the all-time WCL Stolen Base RecordRead Less
The Walla Walla Sweets blew a two-run, eighth-inning lead Friday night and dropped the opening game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series to the Yakima Valley Pippins in 10 innings, 6-5, at Yakima County Stadium.
The Pippins, who were in the midst of an eight-game losing streak entering the game, scored twice in the eighth inning and once more in the 10th to eke out the win.
Walla Walla, which came up short in its bid for its 30th league win of the season despite four hits apiece from Cesar Lopez and Justin Folz, is now 11-13 in the second half of WCL play and 29-22 overall.
The Sweets scored twice in the top of the first inning. Ryan Johnston led off with a single and Parker Price walked. Patrick Caulfield hit a high chopper to shortstop to move the runners up and Lopez brought them in with a single off the right-field wall.
The Pippins scored three times on as many hits in the bottom of the first.
Sweets starting pitcher Nick Irwin shook off the first inning and ended his stint with three-and-two-thirds frames of scoreless ball and retired 10 of the last 13 hitters he faced.
The Sweets threatened, but did not score, in the fifth inning despite a pair of stolen bases by Caulfield, who raised his WCL-leading total to 40 – a number achieved only one other time in league history.
Reliever Dimick Wood shook off a lead-off walk in the fifth and set down the next six to bat against him and struck out three.
Prior to Wood’s three-up, three-down routine in the home sixth, the Sweets grabbed the lead back in the top of the sixth. Chazz Martinez doubled and went to third on a Kokodynski single. Folz followed with a double in the right-center alley that plated both Martinez and Kokodynski with Walla Walla’s final runs of the game.
Lopez’s offensive effort was his team-leading 20th multi-hit game of the season. It’s the seventh time he has collected three or more hits in a 2019 contest and the third time he has ended a productive night at the plate with four knocks.
The Sweets outhit Yakima Valley 13-12, but stranded 11 runners on the base paths. Walla Walla left the bases loaded in both the second and eighth innings.
Game two of the three-game series is Saturday night at 6:35.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets, fresh off clinching the third West Coast League playoff berth in franchise history, conclude the 2019 regular season this weekend with a three-game road series against the Yakima Valley Pippins (8-17 in the WCL’s second half, 19-32 overall).
Games will be played at 6:35 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, and 7:05 p.m. on Sunday at Yakima County Stadium.
Walla Walla (11-12, 29-21) finished off a 4-and-2 homestand, its last of the regular season, and a stretch of 15 games in as many days on Wednesday night by completing a three-game sweep of the Kelowna Falcons, 4-0, at Borleske Stadium – the team’s first shutout since a 3-0 home blanking of Bend on June 7. The Sweets downed their north-of-the-border rival 10-2 on Tuesday and opened the series Aug. 2 with a 6-2 triumph. A series setback -two losses to one against Ridgefield – was wedged between the Friday and Tuesday contests with Kelowna. Walla Walla’s lone win versus the Raptors occurred on Sunday night when the Sweets rose from oblivion to score four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for an 8-7 conquest.
Walla Walla pitchers Brayde Hirai, Ty Hueckman, Jake Dahle, and Reid Sebby teamed up to foil the Falcons on three hits and strike out 15 Wednesday night. Kelowna had just one runner get as far as third in the game. The Sweets managed just three hits themselves, but two proved to be productive – a one-out home run by Ryan Johnston in the fifth inning and a sixth-inning RBI single by Caleb Farmer. Walla Walla also employed opportunism and little ball. Parker Price and Patrick Caulfield walked in the first inning, executed a double steal, and Price scored on an error. Caulfield walked to lead off the sixth, stole second, Cesar Lopez accepted a free pass and, after a double theft, Bryce Vitt grounded to shortstop to score Caulfield, who enters the final weekend of regular-season play with a league-leading 38 stolen bases.
The Sweets banged out 14 hits on Tuesday. Justin Folz set the pace with three while Lopez, Vitt, Chazz Martinez, and Emanuel Dean socked two hits apiece. Dean had three runs batted in, Vitt and Price contributed two each, and Lopez, Martinez, and Folz chipped in one RBI apiece.
Hueckman, Nate Dahle, and Spencer Schwehr fashioned nine innings of five-hit, 11-strikeout ball in the homestand opener. Martinez started the scoring in a five-run second inning with a two-RBI single and Dean tattooed a three-run homer. Price delivered an RBI knock in the fourth.
Caulfield comes into the weekend sixth in the WCL with a .331 batting average. Lopez is third in RBI with 35 – only trailing Ridgefield’s Michael Hicks (42) and Briley Knight of Corvallis (40). Hueckman is tied for second in wins (5) with Bellingham’s Nick Proctor and Jackson Arnsdorf of Corvallis, and is fourth in earned run average (2.90).
Yakima Valley enters its final homestand of 2019 smarting after three tough losses at Cowlitz – 2-0 on Tuesday, 5-4 Wednesday, and 3-1 on Thursday. Eddie Pelc, Brian Rice, and Brady Hormel had two hits apiece on Thursday. Pitchers Mark Woinarowicz and A.J. Wood tossed in relief on Thursday and kept the Pippins close by skunking the Black Bears over the final seven-and-two-third innings.
Pippins’ pitchers Joe Magrisi and Jack Gonzales have distinguished themselves as tough customers this summer. Magrisi leads the West Coast League with 66 strikeouts and Gonzales ranks sixth with a 3.62 ERA.Read Less
The Sweets are going back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013
It’s a feeling Walla Walla Sweets Nation has not experienced since 2013.
In 2019, the feeling of West Coast League playoff baseball is real.
This year’s edition of the Sweets – a group that time and time again has displayed its share of unity, closeness, and togetherness – brought the postseason possibility to fruition Wednesday with a 4-0, wild-card clinching victory over the Kelowna Falcons on Fan Appreciation Night at Borleske Stadium.
The Sweets will face three-time defending WCL champion Corvallis next week in a best-of-three series which begins Tuesday night at Borleske Stadium. Game time is 6:35. Tickets for the game will go on sale on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Sweet Shoppe on East Main in downtown Walla Walla. Season ticket holders received an e-mail Wednesday night with details on how to secure their seats. Tickets will be available at the Sweet Shoppe, by calling 509-522-BALL(2255), or online at wallawallasweets.com.
Sweets Parker Price and Patrick Caulfield started the bottom of the first inning of Wednesday’s game with walks. They executed a double steal moments later, and Price scored on a throwing error by Kelowna catcher Ben Smith.
Walla Walla starting pitcher Brayde Hirai struck out the side in the first inning and retired the first eight hitters he faced. He allowed just one hit and fanned four over his three-inning stint.
It looked like the Falcons would break into the scoring column against right-hander Ty Hueckman in the fourth when Brandon Hupe drove a ball into the left-center field gap with a runner at first and two out. But Caulfield got a good jump on Hupe’s smash and ran it down to end the inning.
Hueckman kept the shutout intact despite giving up a hit and a walk in the fifth inning. He fanned the side in the frame.
Ryan Johnston hit his second home run of the season, a one-out solo shot to left, in the last of the fifth.
Caulfield and Cesar Lopez started the sixth with walks. Caulfield stole second prior to Lopez’s free pass, and later nabbed his league-leading 38th steal while Lopez took second. Bryce Vitt scored Caulfield with a grounder to short and Caleb Farmer hit Lopez in.
Jake Dahle threw two innings of no-run ball in the sixth and seventh, and struck out three in the latter inning.
Reid Sebby tossed a perfect eighth with two K’s and struck out the first two hitters in the ninth. The Falcons got the next two batters aboard before Sebby fanned Andy Schmitz looking to end the game.
Walla Walla, which completed its first series sweep since early June and posted its first shutout since a 3-0 win over Bend on June 7, improved to 11-12 in the second half of West Coast League play and 29-21 overall.
The Sweets open a three-game series at Yakima Valley beginning Friday at 6:35 p.m.
In It To Win It
Swinging For The FencesRead Less
The Walla Walla Sweets scored twice in the bottom of the fourth inning and seven more times in the fifth inning Tuesday night on their way to a 10-2 victory over the Kelowna Falcons in West Coast League baseball action at Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla, which has scored five or more runs in eight of its last 10 games, improved to 10-12 in the second half of WCL play and 28-21 overall.
The Sweets tallied first in Tuesday’s tilt. Cesar Lopez singled with two out in the first inning and Bryce Vitt blasted a 3-2 pitch from Falcons’ starting pitcher Matt Voelzke into deep right-center field for an RBI triple.
Kelowna’s Lane Hailey tied the game up in the fourth with a run-scoring single.
Walla Walla regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Vitt reached base on an error and scored on a double down the left-field line by Chazz Martinez. Justin Folz moved Martinez to third with a grounder to second, and Emanuel Dean brought him in with a base knock.
Sweets starter Ryan Johnston allowed just one run over four innings. He struck out the side on nine pitches in the first inning and ended up with four K’s and one walk.
A bunt base hit by Patrick Caulfield started the fun in the bottom of the fifth after reliever Mason Kokodynski retired the side in order in the top of the fifth. Caulfield stole second and Lopez walked. The two then moved up 90 feet apiece by way of the steal, and Vitt lifted a shallow fly ball to left that scored Caulfield after outfielder Andy Schmitz lost it in the sky. Martinez walked to fill the bases and Folz drove in a run with an infield single. Dean slapped a two-run single into right-center, and Parker Price and Lopez scored the final three runs of the inning with a two-run single and fielder’s choice, respectively.
The final game of the three-game series and regular-season-ending, six-game homestand is Wednesday night at 7:05.Read Less
The Ridgefield Raptors scored in all but one inning Monday night and cruised to a 17-3 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets in West Coast League baseball action at Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla is now 9-12 in the WCL’s second half and 27-21 overall.
Ridgefield started the scoring with a tally in the first inning and added two more in the second.
Innings two and three summed up the night for the Sweets. Caleb Farmer singled with one out in inning two, Chazz Martinez walked, and Justin Folz singled to load the bases. Emanuel Dean hit a line drive, but right at Johnny Weaver, Ridgefield’s shortstop. Weaver then flipped the ball to middle-infield mate Wyatt Hoffman to double Martinez off of second base.
The Sweets had another chance in the bottom of the third after Ridgefield scored twice in the top half of the inning. Johnston was hit by a pitch and Patrick Caulfield hit a seed back to the mound that struck the foot of Raptors’ starting pitcher Hayden Minich and ricocheted to Weaver. A feed to Hoffman and throw to first later and a rare 1-6-4-3 double play was completed.
Five more runs in the fourth brought the Ridgefield lead to 10-0.
Farmer unloaded on a 1-2 pitch from Minich in the fourth inning and lifted it over the left-field wall to get the home team on the board.
The Raptors scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings before the Sweets scored twice in the bottom of inning seven. Zac Berryman reached on an error, Martinez singled and, one out later, Dean doubled in Berryman. Martinez crossed the plate on a grounder to short off the bat of Carson Green.
The Raptors ended the night with four runs in the eighth inning and one more in the ninth.
The Sweets resume a three-game series with Kelowna, which started last Friday, on Tuesday night at 6:35.Read Less
Sweets come back from a 3 run deficit to take game 2 against the Ridgefield Raptors
All appeared lost for the Walla Walla Sweets during West Coast League baseball action Sunday night at Borleske Stadium.
Visiting Ridgefield scored three tie-breaking runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 7-4 lead.
The Raptors were three outs away from securing their second win in as many nights against the home nine.
The win improved the Sweets second-half record to 9-11 and overall mark to 27-20.
Ridgefield’s Michael Hicks knocked in the first run of the game with a one-out, third-inning single.
Walla Walla responded with an ace in the home third. Ryan Johnston singled with one out and raced to third on a Patrick Caulfield double. Cesar Lopez followed with an infield hit that scored Johnston.
Zac Berryman was hit by a pitch to start the last half of inning four. Vitt walked, and Connor Cirillo moved the runners up with a bouncer to third. Johnston lined a single that brought both Berryman and Vitt home and gave the Sweets a 3-1 lead.
The Raptors’ Grayson Sterling tied things up with a two-out, two-RBI double in the fifth and Jack Bauer gave Ridgefield a 4-3 edge in the sixth with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Sweets reliever Jake Dahle and Ridgefield’s Drake Estes shut out their respective opponents in both the seventh and eighth innings.
But in the ninth, Jake Dahle allowed a two-out, two-run single to Michael Yourg and Willie Cano singled for a run against Nick Irwin to give the Raptors what appeared to be an insurmountable 7-4 lead. Irwin, a.k.a. Bones, struck out Dominic Enbody to end the inning.
Cameron Repetti, who set the Sweets down 1-2-3 in the ninth inning Saturday night to earn the save in a 9-8 Ridgefield triumph, walked Brock Ephan to start Sunday’s last of the ninth. Pinch-runner Connor Lemma went to third following back-to-back singles by Caleb Farmer and Chazz Martinez. One out later, Vitt towered a Repetti pitch into the right-center alley that tied the game at 7-7. Vitt hustled to third on the play on an errant throw home by Raptors’ second baseman Wyatt Hoffman.
“I just saw a slider out of his hand and drove it the other way,” Vitt said. “I haven’t hit a ball like that all summer.”
Dean decided the outcome on a 1-0 pitch that he bounced through the box and into center.
The rubber game of the three-game series is Monday night at 6:35.
Game Winning Hit
Realizing That You Just Did That
A ninth-inning, RBI single by Michael Yourg was the difference Saturday night as the Ridgefield Raptors nipped the Walla Walla Sweets, 9-8, in the opening game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at Borleske Stadium.
The tough loss dropped the Sweets to 8-11 in the second half of WCL action and 26-20 overall.
Ridgefield’s Jonny Weaver opened the game with a lead-off walk against Sweets starting pitcher Brayde Hirai. Jack Bauer followed with a fly ball down the right-field line that was ruled a home run. Video and photographic evidence later revealed that Bauer’s fly in fact did not clear the wall and landed in foul territory. The West Coast League does not allow the umpires to utilize in-game media to review umpire rulings.
The Sweets overcame the early deficit with four runs in the third inning. Patrick Caulfield was hit by a pitch with two out, Cesar Lopez singled him to third, and Brock Ephan crunched a three-run home run to left-center, his fifth of the season, to give Walla Walla its first lead of the night, 3-2. The final run of the frame scored after consecutive walks to Caleb Farmer, Chazz Martinez, Zac Berryman, and Emanuel Dean.
Ridgefield responded with six runs after two were out in the top of the fourth.
Walla Walla tied the game in the fifth. Berryman was hit by a pitch, Dean singled, Carson Green sacrificed the runners to second and third and, after a walk to Price, Caulfield skied a sacrifice fly to left. The tying run scored when Lopez reached base on an error that sent Dean home.
The Sweets got runners to third base in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, but were unable to deliver the go-ahead run.
Cameron Repetti took the hill after his mates took the lead in the ninth and nailed down the win with a 1-2-3 effort.
Game two of the three-game series is Sunday night at 6:05.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets opened their final regular-season homestand at historic Borleske Stadium Friday night with a 6-2 victory over the Kelowna Falcons.
Brock Ephan, Caleb Farmer, and Chazz Martinez had two hits apiece, and Emanuel Dean hit his first home run of the season as Walla Walla improved its records to 8-10 in the second half of West Coast League play and 26-19 overall.
Right-hander Ty Hueckman threw five innings of one-run, three-hit ball and struck out a handful of hitters on his way to improving his record to 4-3.
Hueckman allowed a two-out, RBI triple to Richie Sede in the second inning before the Sweets backed him with significant run support in the home half of inning two. Ephan and Farmer singled, Justin Folz walked, and Martinez rolled a base hit to right field to score two. Dean then deposited a 3-and-1 pitch from Falcons’ starter Wyatt Hummel over the left-field wall to give Walla a 5-1 lead.
“I knew it was gone off the bat,” Dean said. “It was a great feeling. The whole crowd was into it. It was an amazing feeling.”
Hueckman retired six of the eight hitters he faced during innings three and four and his teammates rewarded him with a tally in the fourth. Martinez led off with a single and, two outs later, Ryan Johnston walked. Parker Price singled in Martinez to make it 6-1.
Hueckman’s final inning had just one blemish – a one-out double by Brandon Hupe.
Reliever Nate Dahle allowed two walks in both the sixth and seventh innings. He gave up just an unearned run in the sixth.
Kelowna may have done further damage, but a base-running blunder in the seventh cost it dearly. With Hupe at second and Brayden Merritt at first, James Shimashita doubled to left-center, but Merritt passed Hupe between second and third for out No. 2. Dahle struck out Austen Butler for the third out.
“They put the ball in play and and hit it right at people,” Schwehr said of his first inning of work. “The second inning was better. I was more down in the zone. My change up was better.”
The Sweets open a three-game series with the Ridgefield Raptors Saturday night at 7:05.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets scored early and late against the Portland Pickles in the final game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series Thursday night at Walker Stadium.
Walla Walla was on the brink of claiming a series win when it broke a 6-6 tie with two runs in the top of the ninth inning.
But Portland responded with three in the bottom of the ninth and eked out a 9-8 victory.
The heartbreaking loss dropped the Sweets to 7-10 in the WCL’s second half and 25-19 overall. Portland improved to 10- 8 in the second half and 19-25 on the season.
Walla Walla started off in a positive light. Patrick Caulfield walked with one out in the first, stole second and third base, and scored when Brock Ephan socked his fourth home run of the season. Caulfield now has a WCL-leading 31 thefts.
Starting pitcher Ryan Johnston, despite some early struggles, shut out the Pickles over the first three innings. Portland stranded two runners in the first, and was set down by Johnston 1-2-3 in both innings two and three.
But in the fourth, Johnston allowed a one-out home run to Thomas Rudinsky. With two out, the Pickles used two Walla Walla errors to plate three unearned runs. Jake Dahle replaced Johnston and got the final out in the fourth.
Walla Walla retook the lead in the seventh. Emanuel Dean led off with a double and Bryce Vitt singled him to third. Price brought Dean in with a base knock and Caulfield sacrificed Vitt to third and Price to second. Lopez bounced a single through a drawn-in infield to put the Sweets in front 6-4.
The Pickles tied the score in the home seventh on a two-out, two-run single by Chase Luttrell.
It stayed tied until the ninth. Ephan led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Justin Folz. Ephan went to third on a passed ball and scored the tie-breaking run on a Caleb Farmer hit. Chazz Martinez singled and Dean singled in Farmer.
Ephan, who threw a three-up, three-down eighth inning, gave up a lead-off single to Alex Lambeau in the bottom of the ninth and John Jensen homered to right to knot the score at 8-8. Dimick Wood replaced Ephan. Gabe Skoro reached on an error, Kyle Manzardo singled, and Rudinsky later drew an intentional walk to load the bases. Luttrell then lifted a shallow fly to left that was dropped, allowing Skoro to score the winning run.
The Sweets open a six-game homestand Friday night at 7:05 against Kelowna.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets kick off their final regular-season homestand Friday night at historic Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla hosts the Kelowna Falcons Friday night at 7:05, then welcomes the Ridgefield Raptors to Borleske Stadium for a three-game set Saturday (7:05), Sunday (6:05), and Monday (6:35). Kelowna returns to Walla Walla for contests Tuesday (6:35) and Wednesday (7:05).
The Sweets enter a matchup tonight in Portland 3-and-2 on their current and last six-game road trip of 2019. Walla Walla is 7-9 in the West Coast League’s second half and 25-18 overall.
Walla Walla evened its three-game series against the Pickles Wednesday night with a 5-3 victory at Walker Stadium. Pitchers Ben Johnson, Mason Kokodynski, and Nick Irwin combined to shut out Portland on four hits over the first seven innings. Three of the four frames worked by Johnson – innings one, two, and four – ended with double plays executed by the Sweets defense. Second baseman Justin Folz commenced the first twin killing and shortstop Parker Price started the latter two.
Patrick Caulfield and Brock Ephan collected first-inning RBI on a single and sacrifice fly to center, respectively, while Price and Cesar Lopez bashed two-out, back-to-back doubles in the ninth. Walla Walla’s run output was also highlighted with two doses of opportunism. Folz scored in the second inning on a Pickles’ error and Ephan slid across home plate on a passed ball.
Lopez extended his hitting streak to nine games with a two-hit performance Wednesday. Ephan has now hit in five of his last six games after going 2-for-3 in that game, and Caulfield scorched the first-base-to-second-base path in two instances to raise his WCL-leading total of stolen bases to 29.
Five proved to be an unlucky number for the Sweets prior to Wednesday’s triumph. They opened their road trip at Cowlitz with a 5-1 loss and dropped the opening game of their series with Portland, 5-4, on Tuesday night. Sanchwiched between that duo of disappointments was a pair of 12-run efforts against the Black Bears. Walla Walla beat Cowlitz 12-2 on Sunday afternoon and 12-6 on Monday night at Story Field in Longview.
Caulfield is seventh in the league in hitting with a .340 batting average. Lopez is at .313. Caulfield and Lopez have combined for 34 multiple-hit games this season (18 and 16, respectively). The two have nine games between them in which they have achieved three hits or more – Caulfield five, Lopez four.
Pitcher Travis Craven, who logged his first win of the season with five one-hit innings against Cowlitz on Monday, is the lone Sweets hurler in the league’s top 10 in earned run average. He is third with a 2.06 mark. Craven has thrown 39.1 innings and has allowed 28 hits and 11 runs (nine earned). The Whitman College star has walked 15 and struck out 41.
The Sweets – who won two of three games at Ridgefield in late June and dropped two out of three in Kelowna in early July – will face tough hitters and two pitchers who, like Craven, are in the top 10 in the ERA category during this homestand. The Raptors’ Michael Hicks is hitting .316 with six home runs and 34 RBI and teammates Grayson Sterling and Jack Bauer are at .295 and .283, respectively. Bauer, like Hicks, has a half-dozen round trippers. Cole Commings leads Falcons’ swingers with a .289 average and both Tyler Grissom and James Shimashita sport .271 marks. Kelowna’s Blake Tritch (3.50 ERA) and Ridgefield’s Joey Martin (3.72), who the Sweets defeated on June 28, rank eighth and 10th, respectively, in earned run average.
Sweets scoring by inning (WCL games only) – 31 41 30 24 32 25 20 26 18 – 247. Opponents scoring by inning (WCL games only) – 28 24 12 36 17 26 19 33 13 – 209*. * – total includes a 19th-inning run.
Multiple-hit games-three hits or more (WCL games only): Patrick Caulfield 18-5, Cesar Lopez 16-4, Justin Folz 10-3, Chazz Martinez 7-0, Caleb Farmer 6-1, Brock Ephan 6-1, Parker Price 6-1, Jordan Stubbings 4-0, Michael Petrie 3-1, Carson Green 3-0, Ben Fariss 3-0, Emanuel Dean 2-1, Ryan Johnston 2-0, David Le Bioda 2-0, Brandon Wagstaff 2-0, Connor Coballes 2-0, Connor Cirillo 1-0, Tristan King 1-0.
Sweets day-by-day records – Monday: 2-1; Tuesday 5-3; Wednesday 4-4; Thursday 6-0; Friday 5-2; Saturday 5-4; Sunday 3-4. NOTE: Includes league and non-league games.
Sweets all-time, regular-season records vs. current WCL opponents: Corvallis 18-30; Wenatchee 38-32; Kelowna 29-33; Cowlitz 25-29; Bend 27-27; Bellingham 21-31; Victoria 17-15; Yakima Valley 17-16; Port Angeles 4-8; Portland 6-5; Ridgefield 2-1.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS AT BORLESKE STADIUM
Aug. 4 – Kids Day presented by Sweet Basil. Kids 12 years of age and under, accompanied by an adult, will be admitted free.
Aug. 6 – Bud Light Batting Practice and $1 Del Taco Tacos.
The Sweets force their second rubber match of this 6 game road trip
The Walla Walla Sweets took a 4-0 lead after two-and-a-half innings of their West Coast League baseball game with Portland on Wednesday night at Walker Stadium.
But it took a ninth-inning insurance run, coupled with a four-strikeout relief effort from Chazz Martinez, for Sweets Nation to breathe easy after a 5-3 triumph.
Walla Walla improved its second-half WCL record to 7-9 and is 25-18 overall. The gallant Pickles, who edged the Sweets on Tuesday night 5-4, are 9-8 in half two and 18-25 on the season against league opponents.
Both Portland and Cowlitz, which lost at Victoria 5-4 in 10 innings on Wednesday, are three-and-a-half games behind Corvallis in the WCL South’s second-half standings. Should the Knights win the second half, the South Division wild-card playoff berth would go to the team with the second best overall record. Walla Walla leads Ridgefield (20-24) by five-and-a-half games in that scenario and the Black Bears (19-25) by six-and-a-half. Portland is seven off the potential wild-card pace.
Ryan Johnston and Parker Price led off Wednesday’s game with walks. One out later, Patrick Caulfield rolled a single through the right side of the Pickles’ infield to send Johnston home. Brock Ephan followed with a sacrifice fly to plate the second run of the inning.
Sweets starting pitcher Ben Johnson allowed a single and hit a batter to start the home first. But he got Kyle Manzardo, the Pickles’ leading hitter, to fly out to center field and Conner Wojahn to hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
Justin Folz and Bryce Vitt started the second inning with singles. Michael Petrie hit into a 5-4 fielder’s choice. Folz later scored from third on a throwing error by Portland starting catcher Darius Perry.
Johnson got the pitcher’s best friend in the bottom of the second after a bunt single by Chase Luttrell. He struck out Kyle Velazquez, then Alex Lambeau grounded into a 6-4-3 twin killing.
Ephan stroked a two-out single in the third inning and rumbled to third on a Caleb Farmer double off the left-field wall. Ephan belly flopped across home plate on a passed ball moments later to make it 4-0.
Johnson retired the side in the latter part of inning three and faced the minimum number of hitters in the fourth. He fanned John Arndorfer to start the fourth, walked Manzardo, and Wojahn hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Relief pitcher Mason Kokodynski racked up key strikeouts to conclude the fifth and sixth innings and keep the shutout alive. He K’d Thomas Rudinsky with a runner at second in the fifth, and worked his way out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the sixth with back-to-back strikeouts of Manzardo and Wojahn.
Nick Irwin tossed a scoreless seventh inning for the Sweets. But he allowed a run on two hits in the eighth and exited the game after striking out Wojahn. With runners at second and third, Martinez yielded a two-run double to left by Luttrell before fanning Velazquez for out No. 3.
Price and Lopez drilled consecutive two-out, two-base hits – Price off the left-field wall and Lopez in the right-center alley – to produce Walla Walla’s final run of the game. The RBI was the 30th of the season for Lopez, who extended his hitting streak to nine games with a seventh-inning single.
Martinez struck out Lambeau and Rudinsky to begin the ninth. He then walked Austin Lively, but sat John Jensen down on strikes for the final out of the contest.
Caulfield stole second base in both innings one and seven to bring his league-leading total to 29. Farmer now possesses a five-game hitting streak and Ephan has hit safely in five of his last six games.
The rubber game of the three-game series is Thursday night at 7:05.Read Less
Despite a late game rally, the Sweets drop the opener of a 3 game series to the Portland Pickles
The Walla Walla Sweets held a 2-0 lead after an inning-and-a-half of their West Coast League baseball game Tuesday night against the Portland Pickles at Walker Stadium.
But the home team scored a run in the second inning and four runs on five hits in the fourth, then withstood a late Sweets rally to post a 5-4 victory in the opening game of the three-game series.
Portland pulled into a second-place tie with Cowlitz at 9-7 in the WCL South Division’s second-half standings-two-and-a-half games behind Corvallis. The Black Bears are 19-24 overall and the Pickles are 18-24 on the season.
Walla Walla is now 6-9 in the second half and 24-18 overall.
The Sweets got a lead-off walk from Ryan Johnston in the first inning. Johnston went to second when Parker Price drew a base on balls. Cesar Lopez extended his hitting streak to eight games by dropping a single into left-center field that brought Johnston in with the first run of the game.
Sweets starting pitcher Reid Sebby jarred the Pickles in order in the first inning, but walked Thomas Rudinsky to begin the second. Rudinsky, who was hitting just .188 going into the night, scored on a two-out double that Jonathan Kelly bounced down the left-field line.
The Sweets were unable to put a two-out single by Farmer to good use in the fourth inning, and the scene was set for Portland’s fourth-inning follies. Chase Luttrell gave the Pickles a 3-2 edge with a two-run single, Gabe Skoro singled in the third run of the inning, and the last run scored on a wild pitch.
Caulfield fought for a free pass leading off the Walla Walla eighth. Brock Ephan singled Caulfield to second, then was replaced by Emanuel Dean. Folz walked to load the bases. But reliever Tim Post entered and got Chazz Martinez to hit into a 4-6-3 double play that plated Caulfield, and retired Farmer on a grounder to short.
Game two of the series is Wednesday night at 7:05.Read Less
Sweets repeat their successful outing at Cowlitz and take the series
Designated hitter Brock Ephan drove in five runs and left-hander Travis Craven recorded his first win of the season Monday night as the Walla Walla Sweets rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to post a 12-6 victory over the Cowlitz Black Bears in the rubber game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at Lower Columbia College’s Story Field in Longview.
Walla Walla, which scored 12 runs in a 12-2 triumph on Sunday, used nine hits and 10 walks from Black Bears’ pitchers to post its second one-sided victory in succession.
Monday’s conquest clinched the Sweets ninth series win of 2019 and the season set with Cowlitz four victories to two. Walla Walla took two of three games from the Black Bears when the teams met July 2-4 at Borleske Stadium.
Monday’s game did not start out in promising fashion for the visitors. Cowlitz center fielder Austin Bell led off the first inning with a five-pitch walk against Craven. The Black Bears’ Andres Sosa took Craven’s next delivery over the right-field wall to put Cowlitz up 2-0.
Black Bears’ starter Alex Salazar no-hit Walla Walla through the first three innings and faced the minimum number of hitters.
Craven regained the composure that earned him a spot on the WCL South Division All-Star team and retired 12 of the 15 hitters he faced in the second through fifth innings.
The Sweets got the offense in gear in the top of the fourth inning. Ryan Johnston and Justin Folz walked. Cesar Lopez knifed an RBI double through the left-center field alley that scored Johnston and sent Folz to third. Chazz Martinez was handed a free pass, and Brock Ephan torched a two-bagger to right field that brought in Folz and Lopez, and advanced Martinez to third. Martinez scored on a wild pitch and Ephan took third. Ephan scored on a Caleb Farmer single to center.
Connor Cirillo walked to lead off a four-run fifth inning. One out later, Folz earned a base on balls. Martinez walked to load the bases, and Ephan lasered a three-RBI double to right center. Farmer, as he did in the fourth inning, sent Ephan to the plate with a single that grew Walla Walla’s lead to seven tallies, 9-2.
The Sweets scored two more times in the sixth. Bryce Vitt led off with a base knock and went to second on a one-out walk issued to Johnston. Folz doubled to right to score Vitt and advance Johnston to third. Johnston hit home plate on a Lopez bouncer to second.
Newcomer Jake Dahle threw scoreless sixth and seventh frames before his teammates scored their last run of the game. Folz lined a one-out single to right and Lopez sent him around with a two-base hit.
Cowlitz scored twice in both the eighth and ninth innings to establish the final margin.
Walla Walla starts a three-game series in Portland Tuesday night at 7:05.Read Less
Cesar Lopez and Brock Ephan combined for seven hits while pitchers Brayde Hirai and Landon Boeneke combined on a three-hitter Sunday as the Walla Walla Sweets powered their way to a 12-2 victory over the Cowlitz Black Bears in West Coast League baseball action at Lower Columbia College’s Story Field in Longview.
Ryan Johnston started off the Walla Walla first with a walk. One out later, Lopez lined a single off the right shin of Cowlitz starter Dylan Pottgieser, thus leading to an early exit by the Black Bears’ hurler. Chazz Martinez followed with a walk against Dale Takalo, and Johnston scored on a wild pitch.
Cowlitz evened the score on a balk in the home first before the Sweets broke through for two runs in the second. Justin Folz walked with one out, Patrick Caulfield drew a base on balls with two out, and Lopez drove them both in with a looping double to left field.
Hirai retired six of seven hitters he faced over his next two frames and chalked up a couple of strikeouts in the process.
Hirai walked the first two hitter he faced in the bottom of the fourth, but proved to be more than up to the task of keeping the 4-1 Sweets lead. Brian Cromwell bunted in the air to Hirai, Seth Beckstead bounced back to the mound, and Zach Smith was denied on a grounder to third.
Walla Walla upped its advantage to five, 6-1, in the fifth. Parker Price reached base on a fielder’s choice, stole both second and third, and scored on an error. Johnston later contributed a run-scoring single.
While the Sweets enjoyed a productive offensive night, Boeneke retired 11 of 14 hitters faced in innings five through eight before yielding a run in the ninth. His five-inning effort, which included two K’s, earned him the win.
The rubber game of the series is Monday night at 6:35.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets managed just six hits and committed four errors Saturday night in a 5-1 loss to the Cowlitz Black Bears in the opening game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at Lower Columbia College’s Story Field in Longview.
The Sweets, who have lost seven of their last nine games, are now 4-8 in the second half and 22-17 in all WCL games this season. Cowlitz improved its second-half record to 9-4 and is 19-21 overall.
Walla Walla’s evening of offensive ineptitude was established in the first two innings. Cesar Lopez belted a two-out double and went to third on a passed ball, but did not score.
The Black Bears clutched up in the bottom of the first. Austin Bell, who led all batters with three hits in the game, led off with a single and scored on a two-out hit by Josh Marchese.
The Sweets got a lead-off two-bagger from Caleb Farmer in the second inning. He went to third on a fly ball to deep center lifted by Justin Folz. Emanuel Dean walked one out later, but Walla Walla failed to tally.
Sweets starting pitcher Ty Hueckman did his part to keep Walla Walla close with four innings of one-run, four-hit ball, but allowed a lead-off home run to Heath Pickhardt in the fifth. Hueckman’s night ended after five frames in which he logged five strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
Walla Walla managed just two hits in the first five innings against Cowlitz starter Nate Packard, but rallied against reliever Kyle Rich in the sixth. Patrick Caulfield led off with a triple down the right-field line and scored on a grounder to second struck by Parker Price. Lopez and Chazz Martinez followed with back-to-back single that set up a runners-at-the corners, one-out scenario, but the Sweets were unable to produce the tying run.
Cowlitz put the game out of reach with two runs in the seventh inning and another in the eighth.
In spite of its defensive shortcomings, Walla Walla executed some stellar plays while out in the field. Farmer dove to his right and threw out Zack Smith on a bang-bang play at first base in the second inning. Catcher Bryce Vitt threw out Bell trying to steal second in the fifth inning and gunned down Braden DeBenedictis at third one frame later. Folz ended the bottom of the eighth by ranging to his left to smother a ground ball hit by Bell and threw him out at first base.
The middle game of the three-game series is Sunday afternoon at 3:05.Read Less
Visiting Wenatchee scored four unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning Friday night and salvaged the final game of a three-game series with the Walla Walla Sweets, 5-3, at Borleske Stadium.
Both starting pitchers – Walla Walla right hander Ben Johnson and southpaw Jake Saum of the AppleSox – retired opposing batters in order in the first inning. Johnson struck out Connor Kiffer to begin the game, gave up a single to Ryan Altenberger, and got Johnny Sage to hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Johnson gave up back-to-back, one-out singles to Blake Klassen and Hunter Montgomery in the second inning, then walked Kody Darcy to load the bases. Brett Gillis lined out to second for out No. 2, but Alex Jemel drew a walk to force in a run. Johnson avoided further damage by getting Kiffer to ground out to third.
Johnson worked a 1-2-3 third before giving way to Andrew Mosiello, who allowed just one hit in the fourth inning, struck out the side in the fifth, and yielded a one-base knock and fanned two in the sixth.
Walla Walla edged ahead in the sixth inning. Ryan Johnston led off with a single, went to second on a balk, and ran to third on a Cesar Lopez single. Johnston scored when Brock Ephan hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Petrie and Cirillo walked in the seventh. Parker Price reached on a two-out error that allowed Petrie to score.
Right hander Mason Kokodynski authored a perfect seventh inning including a strikeout. Wenatchee’s Justin Lutz reached on an error with one out in the eighth and Sage singled. Kokodynski struck out Dalton Harum, but walked Klassen on a borderline 3-2 pitch that put AppleSox at every base. Following a pitching change, Montgomery and Darcy poked back-to-back, two-run singles.
The Sweets tried to come back in the ninth. Cirillo and Price walked, then moved up on a wild pitch. Johnson then made admirable contact on a pay-off pitch, but flew out to Sage in left for the final out of the game.
Walla Walla opens a three-game series and six-game road trip Saturday night at 6:35 against the Cowlitz Black Bears.Read Less
Ryan Johnston tosses six hitless frames highlighted by eight strikeouts and 3 runs from the home team
The Walla Walla Sweets scored three times in the bottom of the first inning and starting pitcher Ryan Johnston tossed six hitless frames highlighted by eight strikeouts Thursday night in a 3-2 West Coast League victory over the Wenatchee AppleSox at Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla, which clinched its eighth series triumph, is now 4-6 in the WCL’s second half and 22-15 in all league games this season.
Wenatchee is 8-6 in the second half and 20-21 in 2019.
Johnston allowed a lead-off walk to Kodie Kolden to start Thursday’s game, but retired Ryan Altenberger on a foul fly to catcher Bryce Vitt, and both Johnny Sage and Dalton Harum by swinging strikeout.
The Sweets Patrick Caulfield struck out to begin the bottom of the first, but reached base when AppleSox catcher Justin Lutz was unable to locate the third-strike delivery from starter Seth Kuykendall. Parker Price moved Caulfield around to third with a double into the right field corner. Cesar Lopez grounded to short to bring in Caulfield and send Price to third. Chazz Martinez lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Price. Newcomer Bryce Vitt kept the inning going with a single and David Le Bioda dropped a hit into left field that bounced behind a diving Sage for an RBI double.
Johnston posted three-up, three-down innings in the second, third, and fourth. The latter inning included a foul fly off the bat of Sage that Vitt, sliding on his knees, caught in front of the Sweets third-base dugout.
“I slid, turned my back into the fence, and came up with it in the palm of my glove,” Vitt said.
Blake Klassen was hit by a pitch to begin the fifth. Not to worry, though. Hunter Montgomery grounded to second, Connor Kiffer flew out to right, and Lutz rolled to first to conclude the frame and keep the no-hitter intact.
Strikeouts of Jason Harayda, Kolden, and Altenberger brought the top of the sixth to a quick end.
Harum lifted a deep fly ball to right-center field with one out in the seventh that Caulfield dove for, but was unable to grab. By the time right fielder Emanuel Dean threw the ball back into the infield, Harum was at third with a triple. He scored on an infield grounder by Klassen. Landon Boeneke replaced Johnston and got Montgomery on a fly to left.
“We came out ready to play,” Johnston said. “I was able to throw strikes and the defense helped me out by making some great plays. I threw my off-speed for strikes and was keeping their hitters off balance.”
Kiffer and Lutz walked to begin the Wenatchee eighth. Harayda sacrificed the runners to second and third, and was safe at first on an error. Lefty Brayde Hirai entered and got Kolden to ground into a 5-2 fielder’s choice, then fanned Altenberger. After a walk to Sage that forced in a run, Lopez tracked down a fly to left by Harum a stride from the wall to keep the Sweets up.
Hirai walked Klassen to open the ninth. He struck out Montgomery on a pitch in the dirt for the first out of the inning and, on the play, Klassen attempted to go to second. Vitt’s throw through was high, but Price leaped high in the air, gloved the ball, and slapped the tag on Klassen for the second out. Kiffer grounded to second for the game’s final out.
The final game of the series is Friday night at 7:05. As part of the Sweets 10-year celebration, Top 32 Sweets Memories posters will go to the first 1,000 fans through the Borleske Stadium gates.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets scored four times in the seventh inning and once in the eighth Wednesday night, then stifled a ninth-inning rally by Wenatchee, and posted a 7-4 victory in the opening game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla, which snapped a five-game losing streak, improved its WCL second-half record to 3-6 and its overall league mark to 21-15.
The AppleSox are now 8-5 in the second half of the season, and 20-20 overall in WCL play.
The Sweets, who were averaging just two runs a game during their five-game slide, scored a pair of two-out runs in the second inning. Parker Price reached base on the first of five Wenatchee errors in the game, and scored the game’s initial run when Carson Green divided the right-center field gap with a triple Green crossed the plate on a single up the middle by Connor Cirillo.
Wenatchee scored four times in the fourth inning and AppleSox starting pitching Ryan Long helped keep the visitors in the driver’s seat with a solid six-inning effort. Long retired 11 of the final 15 hitters he faced after yielding the Cirillo base knock in the second.
The AppleSox had a chance to break the game open in the seventh inning when they loaded the bases with two out. But Walla Walla reliever Nick Irwin snuffed out the threat by striking out Kody Darcy looking on a 2-2 pitch.
Walla Walla rallied against the Wenatchee bullpen in the home half of the seventh. Cameron Sommer hit Michael Petrie to begin the frame, Green got aboard on an error and Cirillo bounced out to the mound to advance the runners to second and third. Patrick Caulfield scored Petrie and moved Green up 90 feet with his third single of the contest. After pitcher Landon Schirer entered and Caulfield was thrown out trying to steal second base, Justin Folz walked, and Cesar Lopez singled in Green. Brock Ephan then worked the count full against Schirer before smashing a tie-breaking, two-RBI double to right that put the Sweets up 6-4.
“He tried to come after me with a fastball,” Ephan said. “I got a 3-2 fastball inside and was able to drive it.”
Irwin started the top of the eighth by fanning Brett Gillis and, after giving up a single to Connor Kiffer, struck out Kodie Kolden and retired Ryan Altenberger on a fly to center.
Price led off the Sweets eighth with a walk and scored on Wenatchee’s final snafu of the night.
The AppleSox Johnny Sage led off the ninth against Irwin with a soft single over the second-base bag and just out of the reach of Cirillo. Dalton Harum hit a deep fly to left that Green caught for the first out of the inning, and Blake Klassen produced a broken-bat hit through the left side of the infield. But Irwin displayed glacial calm the rest of the way and used that cool persona to strike out Hunter Montgomery swinging and Darcy looking to complete two-and-a third innings of tally-free relief.
“It was about locating the fastball and throwing the slider when they didn’t expect it,” said the 6-foot-1, 150-pound Irwin – lovingly known to his teammates as “Bones.” “I was able to hold down their offense so ours could take flight.”
The middle game of the three-game series, to be highlighted by Bud Light Batting Practice and $1 Del Taco Tacos, is Thursday night at 6:35.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets (2-6 in the West Coast League’s second half and 20-15 in all WCL games) resume league action Wednesday night when they open a three-game series against the Wenatchee AppleSox (8-4, 20-19) at historic Borleske Stadium. Game times are 6:35 Wednesday and Thursday, and 7:05 on Friday.
Walla Walla will then leave town for its last six-game road trip of the season – a rendezvous that will take it to Cowlitz (8-4, 18-21) July 27-29 and Portland (7-2, 16-19) July 30-Aug. 1.
The Sweets are coming off being swept on the road by three-time defending league champion Corvallis. The Knights scored single runs in both the eighth and ninth innings on Sunday for a come-from-behind, 3-2 victory. Corvallis posted impressive wins in the first two games of the set, 9-2 on Friday and 10-3 Saturday.
Walla Walla’s Chazz Martinez smacked a 424-foot home run leading off the second inning on Sunday to shatter a scoreless tie and provide the Sweets with their first lead of the series. Starting pitcher Brayde Hirai threw four shutout innings, struck out three and picked off a runner as part of his afternoon in the bright, Corvallis sun. Caleb Farmer went deep with two outs in the seventh to put Walla Walla in front, 2-1.
Cesar Lopez drove in Walla Walla’s first run on Friday with a 4-6 fielder’s choice in the third inning, and a seventh-inning throwing error led to the Sweets last run of the contest.
Walla Walla centerfielder Patrick Caulfield continues to rank among the WCL’s top-10 hitters. The UCLA Bruin-to-be and former Santa Barbara City College star is sixth with a .341 batting average. He is second in runs scored (34) and has stolen a league-leading 26 bases. His pre-All-Star break portfolio also includes eight doubles, four home runs and 19 RBI.
Sweets pitchers Travis Craven and Ty Hueckman are in the top 10 in earned run average with marks of 1.91 (second) and 3.18 (ninth), respectively. Craven has allowed just 26 hits and seven earned runs, and has struck out 34 in 33 innings. Hueckman has given up 10 earned run and 12 walks, and fanned 25 in 28.1 frames.
Walla Walla took two out of three games from all three of its upcoming opponents during the WCL’s first half. Carson Green hit a two-out, two-run home run in the ninth inning of the opening game of a Father’s Day weekend series in Wenatchee. It was the difference in a 3-1 Sweets victory. Justin Folz connected for a two-RBI single in the seventh inning of game two that lifted Walla Walla to a 7-6 triumph that improved its franchise-best record start to 8-0. The Sweets led 7-0 after two-and-a-half innings of the series finale, but the AppleSox Quinn Ayers completed a massive comeback by the home team with a two-run dinger in the seventh inning of an 11-10 win.
Caulfield ripped a three-run home run in the series opener versus visiting Portland June 18 and Walla Walla withstood a bases-loaded, one-out scenario in the ninth inning for a 3-2 conquest. The Pickles scored six times in the first inning the following evening and held on for an 8-7 victory. Connor Cirillo highlighted a five-run second inning in the final game of the series with a three-run long fly and the Sweets won, 9-6.
Walla Walla took the first game of the Cowlitz series two weeks later by a resounding count of 13-4 at Borleske Stadium. The Sweets obliterated an early 2-2 tie with deuces in the third, fifth and sixth innings, and added five runs in the eighth. Walla Walla led the middle game of the set, 6-3, after two innings, but managed just three hits the rest of the way in a 7-6 loss. The Sweets celebrated the Fourth of July with a 6-4 victory. Farmer snapped a 2-2, sixth-inning tie with a two-RBI triple that commenced a four-run uprising.
The AppleSox sport the WCL’s No. 4 batter. Outfielder Cole McKenzie is hitting .370. Teammate Kodie Kolden is tied for ninth with Cowlitz’s Andres Sosa at .316. Wenatchee’s Blake Klassen and Ryan Altenberger are batting .305 and .297, respectively. Portland’s Kyle Manzardo and John Jensen have also posted respectable numbers. Manzardo, who is tied for first in the league with 12 doubles, is hitting .295 and Jensen checks in at .289.
Wenatchee has two hurlers that have cracked the top 10 in ERA. Sam Wyatt is at 2.23 and Henrik Reinersten boasts a 3.27 showing.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: 7/24 – In-stadium merchandise 40 percent off; 7/25 – Bud Light Batting Practice/ $1 Del Taco Tacos; 7/26 – Top 32 Sweets Moments Poster Giveaway (first 1,000 fans).
Sweets scoring by inning – 24 35 29 18 24 20 15 22 13 – 200; Opponents scoring by inning – 24 22 12 28 16 26 16 22 10 – 177* * -includes one run in 19th inning vs Victoria 7-17.
Multi-hit games: Patrick Caulfield 16; Cesar Lopez 9; Justin Folz 7; Parker Price 6; Chazz Martinez 6; Jordan Stubbings 4; Brock Ephan 3; Michael Petrie 3; Ben Fariss 3; Caleb Farmer 3; Carson Green 2; Emanuel Dean 2; Brandon Wagstaff 2; Connor Coballes 2; Ryan Johnston 1; David Le Bioda 1; Connor Cirillo 1; Tristan King 1.
Day Records: Monday: 1-1, Tuesday 5-2**, Wednesday 2-4**, Thursday 5-0**, Friday 5-1**, Saturday 5-3**, Sunday 2-4. ** – includes one non-league victory each of those days.
All-time, regular-season records vs. current WCL members: Corvallis 18-30; Wenatchee 36-31; Kelowna 29-33; Cowlitz 23-28; Bend 27-27; Bellingham 21-31; Victoria 17-15; Yakima Valley 17-16; Port Angeles 4-8; Portland 5-4; Ridgefield 2-1.
Sweets in 2019…
when leading after seven innings: 22-2; when leading after eight innings: 24-2; when trailing after seven innings: 0-9; when trailing after eight innings: 0-11; when scoring first: 13-7; when opponents score first: 12-8; when scoring two runs or less: 0-8; when scoring three runs or more: 25-7. These records include non-league games.
Corvallis scored one run in both the eighth and ninth innings Sunday afternoon and completed a three-game sweep of the Walla Walla Sweets with a 3-2, West Coast League baseball victory at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
The Knights improved to 7-1 in the WCL’s second half while the Sweets slipped to 2-6 after suffering their fifth straight loss.
Walla Walla starting pitcher Brayde Hirai set Corvallis down in order in the first inning. He retired Jake Holcroft on a fly ball to centerfield, Andy Atwood on a grounder to shortstop, and Briley Knight 4-3.
Chazz Martinez gave the Sweets their first lead of the series in the top of the second inning when he smashed an 0-1 pitch from Knights’ starter Tevita Gerber 424 feet to the left of the center-field hitters’ eye.
Hirai pitched four innings of scoreless ball to keep the lead intact. He struck out three, walked one, and picked off a runner as part of his afternoon.
Corvallis tied the game in the fifth before Walla Walla retook the edge in the seventh. With two out, Caleb Farmer lifted a delivery from Knights’ reliever William Kempner to left field that bounced off the top of the wall, then cleared it for a solo home run.
The Sweets had a chance to expand their lead in the eighth, but left the bases loaded.
Corvallis tied the game in the eighth, and Nick Yovetich opened the Knights’ ninth with a single. He went to second on a wild pitch, and move to third on a Trace Tamarro sacrifice bunt. After an intentional walk to Zack Moeller, Michael Dixon delivered an infield single deep in the hole at shortstop to end the game.
Walla Walla absorbed its second straight loss of the season in a game which it led after seven innings. It is now 1-1 in games in which it is tied after eight frames.
The Sweets, following the two-day league All-Star break, return to WCL play Wednesday night when they open a three-game series with the Wenatchee AppleSox at Borleske Stadium at 6:35.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets suffered their fourth straight loss Saturday night – a 10-3 defeat to the red-hot Corvallis Knights in West Coast League baseball action at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
Saturday’s triumph was Corvallis’ 21st in its last 22 WCL games and improved the Knights’ second-half and overall records to South Division-bests of 6-1 and 27-7.
The Sweets are now 2-5 and 20-14.
Walla Walla had a chance to break into the scoring column first on Saturday when Caleb Farmer and Justin Folz singled to start the second inning. But the opportunity fizzled after Parker Price, Brock Ephan, and David Le Bioda were retired in succession by Corvallis starting pitcher Brodie Cooper-Vasselakis.
The Knights put their first three hitters aboard in the home second and, unlike Walla Walla, made the most of their good fortune. Michael Curialle saw to it with a two-run single.
Andy Atwood tripled in Corvallis’ first run during a two-run third and later scored when he and Brooks Lee executed a double steal.
The Knights scored three times in the fourth before the Sweets tallied their first two runs of the night in the fifth. Ephan led off with a walk and Le Bioda punished a 2-1 pitch from Cooper-Vasselakis to the tune of a 373-foot home run to right field.
Briley Knight raised the Corvallis lead back to seven, 9-2, after spanking a two-RBI triple in the sixth inning.
Each team tallied a run in the eighth. Ryan Johnston belted a 364-foot home run with one out in the top half of the inning and Zack Moeller drew a bases-loaded walk in the home portion of inning eight.
Walla Walla slipped to 0-9 in games in which it has trailed after seven innings, 0-11 in contests which it trailed after eight frames, and 20-7 in league games in which it scored three runs or more.
The finale of the three-game series is Sunday at 3 p.m. The Sweets open a three-game, post-All-Star Break series Wednesday against against the Wenatchee AppleSox at historic Borleske Stadium.Read Less
The Corvallis Knights remained red hot at the expense of the Walla Walla Sweets on Friday night at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
Corvallis, which emerged on top of the West Coast League’s South Division wars during the first half of the 2019 campaign, broke open a tight game with four runs in the sixth inning and cruised to a 9-2 victory in game one of a three-game weekend series.
The Knights, who have won 20 of their last 21 league games, are now 5-1 in the WCL’s second half and improved to 26-7 overall.
Walla Walla, which suffered its third straight loss, is 2-4 and 20-13.
Corvallis produced the game’s first run with two out in the bottom of the second inning. Michael Curialle doubled and scored on an Elliott Willy single.
The Sweets evened the score in the third. Patrick Caulfield earned a one-out walk, then stole second and third – giving him 26 stolen bases for the season. Ryan Johnston walked and Caulfield scored on a 4-6 fielder’s choice off the bat of Cesar Lopez.
Corvallis reclaimed the edge in the home third and never looked back.
Walla Walla managed just one baserunner in innings four through six. It was Caleb Farmer, who walked with two out in the sixth.
The Knights blew the game open with a quartet of two-out runs in the bottom of the sixth. Matthew Gretler singled in the first tally, Willy drove home two teammates with a double into the left-field corner, and then crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
Walla Walla scored its final run in the seventh. Michael Petrie stroked a one-out single and moved to third on a Brock Ephan hit. Each Sweet moved up 90 feet on an errant pick-off throw to third by Knights’ catcher Zack Moeller.
Corvallis picked up two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Briley Knight led off with his sixth home run of the season – a towering blow to right and, after a walk to Brooks Lee, Moeller doubled for an RBI.
The Knights added an unearned run in the eighth against Ephan, who wound up striking out the side in his only inning of work.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 6:30.Read Less
Walla Walla centerfielder Patrick Caulfield is one of 12 players scheduled to participate in a Home-Run Derby competition on Monday that will kick off the West Coast League’s two-day All-Star extravaganza at Vince Genna Stadium in Bend, Commissioner Rob Neyer announced Friday.
The UCLA Bruin-to-be is fifth in the WCL in batting average (.362, 46-for-127). He has a league-leading 24 stolen bases in 27 attempts this season. The pre-All-Star resume is further spiced by eight doubles, four home runs and 19 RBI.
“It’s an honor to participate,” said Caulfield, who helped lead Santa Barbara City College to a 24-win season and playoff berth this past spring. “Hopefully, I can get a couple out.”
Caulfield is one of four Sweets who will suit up for the South Division All-Stars – joining teammates Justin Folz, Travis Craven, and Reid Sebby.
Walla Walla opens a three-game series at Corvallis tonight at 6:30.Read Less
The longest game in the history of the Walla Walla Sweets franchise ended in disappointment early Thursday morning at historic Borleske Stadium.
Chase Meidroth lofted a sacrifice fly to right field in the top of the 19th inning and the Victoria HarbourCats held off a Walla Walla rally in the bottom of the frame to eke out a 4-3 West Coast League baseball victory.
Victoria handed the Sweets just their third series loss of the season and improved to 7-3 in the second half of WCL play.
The heartbroken Sweets slipped to 2-3 in the second half and are now 20-12 in all league games.
Patrick Caulfield, who registered his 16th multi-hit game of the season, led off the bottom of the first inning with a double into the left-center field alley and scored the first run of the game one out later on a single to center by Cesar Lopez.
The HarbourCats scored an unearned run in the third inning against Sweets starting pitcher Ben Johnson. Chase Wehsener walked with two out, went to second on a Kyle Harper single, and crossed the plate on an error.
Walla Walla’s final tally came in the fourth inning on a 398-foot home run to left off the bat of Ben Fariss.
Pitchers Brennan Patterson, Charles Harrison, and Brayde Hirai combined to keep the HarbourCats off the scoreboard in innings four through eight despite some anxious moments in the fifth and sixth when the first two Victoria batters reached base on walks.
Tanner Haney started the HarbourCats’ ninth with a walk and Nick Plaia hit a two-run home run to left the knot the score at 3-3.
Both teams frittered away scoring chances over the next nine innings. The Sweets best opportunity squandered came in the 13th when they left the bases loaded.
Walla Walla’s threat in the bottom of the 19th started when Caulfield was hit by a pitch. Emanuel Dean singled him to third one out later. Dean went to second on defensive indifference, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the game.
The Sweets open a three-game weekend series on Friday night in Corvallis. Games Friday and Saturday are scheduled for 6:30 and the pre-All-Star Break finale starts Sunday at 3 p.m.Read Less
HarbourCats take game 2 over the Sweets and force a rubber match for game 3.
The Victoria HarbourCats scored six times on seven hits in the top half of the fourth inning Tuesday night, and pitchers Calvin Turchin and Connor Barison combined to allow just seven hits in a 7-1 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets in game two of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at Borleske Stadium.
Victoria, which finished at the top of the WCL’s North Division standings during the first half of league play, improved its second-half record to 6-3 and remained percentage points behind first-place Wenatchee.
Walla Walla, which suffered just its fourth home loss of the season, is 2-2 in the second half, 20-11 in all WCL games, and 25-11 overall.
The HarbourCats tallied the contest’s first run with two out in the top of the first inning. Griffin Paxton and Tyson Hays drew back-to-back walks on four pitches, and Emilio Nogales singled in Paxton from second base.
Sweets starting pitcher Ty Hueckman enjoyed much more success in the top of the second inning despite a one-out walk to Nick Adams. He sent Matt Clayton back to the dugout on a grounder to second prior to issuing the free pass, then got Kyle Sherick to foul out to catcher Caleb Farmer and struck out Parker Bramlett.
The Sweets tied the game in the home half of the second. Justin Folz ripped a one-out double and moved to third on an infield hit by Parker Price. One out later, Emanuel Dean singled in Folz to knot the score at 1-1.
Both starting pitchers opposed the minimum number of hitters in the third inning prior to the nightmarish fourth. Harrison Spohn hit a one-out homer, Adams socked a two-run bomb, Paxton drove a sacrifice fly to center field, and Hays and Nogales followed with RBI singles.
Walla Walla managed just two hits and five base runners in innings four through nine.
Right-hander Landon Boeneke allowed the final two runs of the fourth inning, but blanked the HarbourCats over the next two innings. Nate Dahle got himself in to, then out of, a bases-loaded, one-out quagmire in the seventh and tossed a spotless eighth. Southpaw Brayde Hirai K’d the first two hitters in the ninth on his way to a clean frame.
The final game of the series is Wednesday at 6:35 p.m.
A quartet of Walla Walla Sweets were named to the West Coast League’s South Division All-Star team this morning, as announced by league commissioner Rob Neyer.
Those who will travel to Bend for next Tuesday’s WCL equivalent to the mid-summer classic are center fielder Patrick Caulfield, third baseman/designated hitter Justin Folz, and pitchers Travis Craven and Reid Sebby.
The group will depart for Bend after the Sweets wrap up a three-game weekend series in Corvallis on Sunday.
Caulfield, who plans to further his collegiate career at UCLA, is currently sixth in the league in batting (.362 avg.), and is first in stolen bases (23), second in runs scored (32), and tied for fourth in hits (42). He has four home runs and 18 runs batted in, and is the author of 15 multi-hit games this season.
Folz, who will be attending St. John’s University, is hitting .303 with a pair of taters and 14 RBI, and is tied for second in the WCL with 10 doubles.
Craven, a Whitman College star, ranks third in the West Coast League with a 1.55 earned run average. He has thrown 29 innings over his 10 starts this season and has yielded just 22 hits and seven runs (five earned). The southpaw has walked only nine batters and struck out 31. Craven gave up a run, fanned three, and walked two over four innings in the Sweets 6-3 victory over Victoria on Monday night at Borleske Stadium.
Sebby, a Cypress College product, sports a minuscule 0.55 ERA over 16.1 innings. He has allowed 15 hits, two runs (one earned), seven walks, and has K’d 20. The right-hander notched his sixth save after throwing a scoreless ninth inning Monday night.
“We are excited for Patrick, Justin, Travis, and Reid,” Walla Walla manager Frank Mutz said. “They have been leaders on and off the field – a big part of starting the season 25-10 – and deserve this recognition. We are proud they will represent our city and our team.”
Right-hander Ty Hueckman, a Nevada hurler, narrowly missed a spot on the South roster. Hueckman is among the top five (among qualifying pitchers) in the WCL South in six statistical categories including innings pitched (23), wins (3), win percentage (1.000), batting average against (.150), walks and hits per innings pitched (.910), and batting average on balls in play (.174). Hueckman ranks in the division’s top 10 in strikeouts (21, sixth), strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.792, ninth), and strikeouts per nine innings (8.217, seventh).
The Sweets host Victoria in the middle game of a three-game series tonight at 6:35.Read Less
Two big swings proved to be enough for the Walla Walla Sweets Monday night in the opening game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series with the Victoria HarbourCats at historic Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla is now 2-1 in the WCL’s second half, 20-10 in all league counters, and 25-10 overall. Victoria is 5-3 and 23-11.
Sweets starting pitcher Travis Craven admittedly did not have his best stuff, but it was good enough to get him through four representative innings. He retired the first two hitters in the opening inning, then allowed the next two batters to reach base before striking out Nick Plaia to end the inning.
Johnston worked HarbourCats’ starter Mitch Lines for a one-out walk in the home first. Cesar Lopez, who connected for three hits on the night, singled Johnston to second. Martinez followed with his fourth home run of the season – a 381-foot fly that cleared the left-field wall.
Kyle Harper got a run back for Victoria in the second inning when he sent Craven’s first delivery over the wall in left. Harrison Spohn doubled five pitches later, and went to third on an infield out. But Craven struck out Chase Meidroth and got Parker Bramlett to ground out to short to end the frame.
The HarbourCats got their first two hitters aboard in the third. But Jason Willow, who led off with a single and went to second on a Chase Wehsener walk, was thrown out by catcher Michael Petrie in what turned out to be a futile attempt to swipe third. Tyson Hays singled and, after Plaia advanced Wehsener to third with a fly to center, Craven exacted revenge on Harper by striking him out.
Craven faced the minimum number of hitters in the fourth. He allowed a two-out single to Meidroth, but Petrie closed out the inning by eliminating the Harbourcats’ No. 9 hitter 2-to-4.
Emanuel Dean, Petrie, and Patrick Caulfield singled with one out in the last of the fourth. Johnston worked the count to 2-and-2, then cleared the bases with a two-bagger that split the left-center alley and gave the Sweets a 6-1 lead.
Andrew Mosiello made the lead stand up. He retired nine of the 11 batters he threw to in innings five through seven and fanned four.
“I threw all my pitches for strikes and pounded the zone,” Mosiello said. “With the lead, you’re not to worried about giving up the lead, so you can be more aggressive and try different things out.”
Victoria got a two-run home run from Tyson Hays in the eighth and Plaia doubled after that. Nick Irwin entered the game out of the bullpen and recorded three outs. He allowed a line drive to Harper that shortstop Caleb Farmer leaped into the air to glove for the first out, then got Spohn and Clayton to fly out to right and left, respectively.
Reid Sebby allowed back-to-back singles to start the ninth inning before putting the hammer down. He K’d Willow, then yielded a ground ball up the middle to Wehsener that Farmer underhanded to Johnston for the force out at second. Johnston then unleashed an accurate throw to first baseman Jordan Stubbings to complete a game-ending, 6-4-3 double play.
Game two of the series is Tuesday night at 6:35. The evening will include Bud Light batting practice and $1 Del Taco tacos.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets, 1-1 in the second half of the West Coast League season, 19-10 in all WCL games, and 24-10 overall, resume league play Monday night when they open a three-game series with the Victoria HarbourCats (4-2, 22-11 prior to a Sunday game at Bend) at historic Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla is scheduled to have an off-day Thursday before traveling to Corvallis (3-1, 24-7 before a Sunday contest with Kelowna) this weekend for a pre-All-Star Game series Friday through Sunday at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
This week’s tasks figure to be daunting. Victoria went on an 8-and-2 tear to edge its way past Bellingham for first-half supremacy in the WCL’s North Division. The Knights, who the Sweets swept in a season-opening, three-game series June 4-6 in Walla Walla, have claimed 18 of their last 19 outings against league opposition, and prevailed in their final 15 first-half contests to earn a South Division playoff berth.
The Sweets defeated the Cascade Collegiate League, 5-2, on Saturday night in their final non-league game of 2019. Cesar Lopez had three hits in the game while Patrick Caulfield, Caleb Farmer, and Jordan Stubbings collected two apiece. Walla Walla pitchers Chazz Martinez, Dimick Wood, Charles Harrison, Brayde Hirai, Ryan Johnston, and Reid Sebby combined on a five-hitter and to strike out 19 in the game.
Prior to 9-3 and 18-3 triumphs over the Military All-Stars, the Sweets split two games in Bellingham before having the rubber match of the series postponed by rain. It has been rescheduled, if necessary, August 12. Walla Walla dropped the series opener Monday night by a 4-1 count before bouncing back for an 11-7 win on Tuesday. The Sweets scored all of their runs in the latter game with two out.
Walla Walla dropped just its second series of the year before its trip to Bellingham. The Sweets lost two of three games to Kelowna to begin a six-game road trip. A game planned for July 5 was postponed due to inclement weather and was made up as part of a doubleheader the following day. The Falcons took both seven-inning games by scores of 3-2. Walla Walla salvaged the final game of the set by a 6-3 count.
The Sweets opened the month of July with a series win over the Cowlitz Black Bears. Walla Walla won game one, 13-4, lost the second game 7-6, and emerged victorious on July 4 by a 6-4 tally.
Caulfield continues to rank in the league’s top five in hitting. He is currently fifth with a .369 average. He has four home runs and 18 runs batted in and leads the WCL with 23 stolen bases. Teammate Justin Folz is scratching the surface of the top 10. The Sweets third baseman/designated hitter is at .314 (11th), is tied for the league lead in doubles (10), and has hit two round trippers and driven in 14 runs. Left-handed pitcher Travis Craven is third among WCL pitchers with a 1.44 earned run average. He has thrown 25 innings in nine starts and boasts a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (28 K’s and 7 BB’s).
Victoria’s Frankie Niemann leads the WCL with a .418 batting average (38-for-91) and has a home run and 21 RBI on the season. Parker Bramlett is just one batting-average point behind Folz and has 12 runs driven across. Pitcher Cade Smith, like Craven, has an impressive K-to-BB ratio. He has fanned 27 and doled out seven bases on balls in 29 innings.
The Knights’ Jake Holcroft is second in the WCL with a .397 batting average. He has a half-dozen doubles, two triples, 25 RBI and 15 stolen bases. Briley Knight is at .357 with four long flies and 27 RBI, and is tied with Folz for the league’s top spot in two-base hits. Two other Corvallis hitters are in the top 10 in batting – Michael Curialle (.333) and Andy Atwood (.323).
All three games between the Sweets and HarbourCats begin at 6:35. The first two games of the Corvallis series will start at 6:30 and the finale is set to commence at 3 p.m.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: 7/15 – Bud Light Batting Practice and $1 Del Taco Tacos; 7/16 – Fans in attendance that purchase merchandise in the stadium team store will receive a 40 percent discount.
Six Walla Walla Sweets pitchers combined to strike out 19 batters Saturday night during a 5-2 victory over the Cascade Collegiate League at Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla concluded the non-West Coast League portion of its 2019 schedule 5-and-0. The franchise is now 39-4 all-time against non-league opponents.
Sweets starting pitcher Chazz Martinez stranded baserunners at first and second in the initial inning of Saturday’s game and struck out two. Third baseman Justin Folz ended CCL’s threat by snaring a line drive off the bat of Caleb Manuel for out No. 3.
Martinez, a left-hander, ruled in the second inning. He fanned Alex Hussey, Dawson Warner (looking), and Jamey Richardson in succession.
Dimick Wood took over for Martinez in the third inning and Alex Ballot greeted him rudely with a lead-off double. He then struck out Alex Schmitz on a called third, but Ballot moved up 90 feet on the play by way of a passed ball. Folz came to the rescue again when he gloved a liner struck by Chase Matheny and stepped on the third-base bag to double off Ballot.
CCL took its only lead of the game in the fourth. Zach Jones led off with a two-base hit and, after Wood struck out Henry Lenaburg, Manuel drove an 0-1 pitch over the left-field wall. Wood regained his cool and K’d Hussey and Warner to close out the inning.
Fellow right-hander Charles Harrison replaced Wood in the fifth inning and got off to a rocky start – hitting Richardson and walking Ballot. But Harrison, in the end, proved to be a portrait of poise. He struck out Schmitz, Matheny, and Jones consecutively to duck any possibility of damage.
Patrick Caulfield led off the Walla Walla fifth with a single. He went to second on a Ryan Johnston grounder to third, and scored on a hit to center by Cesar Lopez – one of three base knocks he had in the game.
Lefty Brayde Hirai made his contribution to the Sweets K club when he ended a 1-2-3 top of the sixth by ringing up Hussey swinging.
Johnston moved from second base to the mound in the seventh. He disposed of Warner and Richardson on strikes and, one batter later, retired Schmitz on a fly to center.
Johnston faced the minimum number of hitters in the eighth. He sat the first two hitters down with third strikes, and Lenaburg hit a comebacker to the hill for the inning’s last out.
Reid Sebby gave up a lead-off single to Manuel in the ninth, but struck out pinch-hitter Jack Carper and got Warner to sky to right. After issuing a walk to Richardson, Sebby notched a strikeout to end the game.
The Sweets host Victoria for a three-game series beginning Monday night at 6:35.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets will make up a July 10 rainout in Bellingham on August 12, if necessary, the team announced Saturday.
A decision was reached during a phone conversation between Walla Walla President Zachary Fraser and Bellingham General Manager Stephanie Morrell to evaluate potential days to make up the game per West Coast League rules.
“There are no open dates where both teams are available to play before the conclusion of the WCL season,” Fraser said. “‘If necessary’ would be inclusive of the fact that if the game is ‘if necessary’ for one team, it is ‘if necessary’ for both teams.”
The Sweets and Bells will work with the league office to determine the various outcomes that could affect either team or others in the league standings, Fraser said.
Walla Walla is scheduled to finish the regular season on Sunday, August 11 in Yakima, WA, while Bellingham is scheduled to finish the regular season in Kelowna on the same day. Both teams would travel to Bellingham and play the game as a matinee, with official start time to be determined closer to the August 12 date. The WCL Division Series are scheduled to begin Tuesday, August 13.
“I appreciate the spirit and effort of the Bells’ organization to quickly work on a solution,” Fraser said.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets improved to 4-0 in non-West Coast League games Friday night after an 18-3 victory over the Military All-Stars at Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla is now 23-10 overall after improving the franchise’s all-time record to 38-4 against non-WCL opponents.
The Sweets displayed a bit of the rocket’s red glare on a night when they honored the memory of a local hero – military member Matthew Fazzari – in a moving pre-game ceremony, fans applauded enthusiastically for the Military All-Stars and saluted them for their service, and $2,500+ dollars was raised for the local Veterans Center.
Chazz Martinez lifted a 361-foot fly over the left-field wall leading off the second inning for the game’s first tally. Emanuel Dean followed with a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Connor Cirillo.
The Sweets scored four more times in the third. Martinez – with a runner on – Dean, and David Le Bioda hit back-to-back-to-back homers. Martinez (384 feet) and Dean (411) went to left and Le Bioda (392) homered to right.
Walla Walla scored eight runs in the fourth. Le Bioda and Cirillo started the scoring with consecutive RBI singles; Mason Kokodynski was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded; and Connor Coballes, and Michael Petrie further highlighted the frame with run-scoring singles of their own.
The All-Stars got three runs back in the fifth inning. Tim Duncan drove in two with a triple and Matthew Sorrow doubled him home.
Walla Walla starting pitcher Nate Dahle threw four hitless innings. He struck out four and walked an equal number of hitters.
The Sweets continue their six-game stay at Borleske Stadium Saturday night against a select team made up of Cascade Collegiate League athletes. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets opened a six-game homestand at historic Borleske Stadium in fine fashion Thursday night with a 9-3, non-West Coast League victory over the Military All-Stars in a game much closer than the final tally suggests.
Walla Walla improved the franchise’s all-time record against non-WCL opponents to 37-4. It won two games against the Highline Bears in early June to complete an unblemished, season-opening run of home games at 8-0.
Sweets starting pitcher Mason Kokodynski shut out the All-Stars over the first two innings. He retired them in order in the first and slithered out of a first-and-second, two-out scenario in the second.
The All-Stars scored twice in the third inning. Ranz Bodison and Jordan Falcon executed a double steal to produce the first run and the second scored on an error.
The Sweets picked up their first run in the home portion of inning three. Kokodynski led off with a double, moved to third on a 6-3 ground out by Connor Coballes, and scored on a sacrifice fly lifted to right field by Connor Cirillo.
Walla Walla claimed the lead for keeps in the fourth inning. Emanuel Dean started the frame with a single and went to second when Bryson Spagnuolo walked. Jordan Stubbings doubled both runners in and scored one out later on a David Le Bioda sac fly to right.
Tim Duncan brought the Military All-Stars within one, 4-3, in the top half of the seventh inning with an RBI single that scored Falcon – who reached base with a one-out double.
The Sweets responded with four runs in their half of the seventh. Kokodynski led off with a walk and Coballes singled him to third. Cirillo doubled in Kokodynski and sent Coballes skedaddling to third. Carson Green, Dean, and Ben Fariss followed with walks – the latter two of which forced in a run. Stubbings brought in the final run of the inning with a single.
Cirillo led off the Walla Walla eighth with a walk. He scooted into second on a wild pitch and scored on a Green single.
Sweets pitchers displayed a fair amount of courage throughout the game. Kokodynski lasted three innings, Spagnuolo pitched for an equal amount of innings despite issuing five walks, Coballes allowed one run in his two innings of mound duty, and Andrew Mosiello was able to overcome two walks to hurl a scoreless ninth.
The Military All-Stars stranded 14 runners in the game.
The final game of the two-game series, which will feature an appearance by the Mariner Moose, is Friday at 7:05 p.m.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets have been down this road before.
Walla Walla had to endure multiple weather delays in its second game of the season against Corvallis.
It had a game scheduled for last Friday in Kelowna postponed because of rain and had it rescheduled as a doubleheader the following day.
And now, the latest soggy saga occurred Wednesday night at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham. The final game of a three-game series between the Sweets and Bells was washed away by rain. A makeup date will be determined at a later time.
Walla Walla entered the night off an 11-7 victory on Tuesday night after dropping the series opener on Monday night, 4-1.
The Sweets open a six-game homestand Thursday night with the first of two games against the Military All-Stars. First pitch is set for 6:35.
The Walla Walla Sweets took the words opportunism and manufacturing to a new level during West Coast League baseball action Tuesday night at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham.
Walla Walla scored all of its runs with two out as it rallied from a 4-0 deficit and produced an 11-7 victory over the Bells to even the three-game series at one win apiece.
Bellingham tallied four runs on four hits against Sweets starting pitcher Ben Johnson in the bottom of the first inning. Right-hander Landon Boeneke prevented further damage by getting Cole Hinkelman to pop out to third baseman Justin Folz to end the inning.
The Sweets commenced their comeback in the second inning. Caleb Farmer was hit by a pitch with two out and scored when Chazz Martinez launched a 2-0 pitch from Bells’ starter Brenden Argomaniz 405 feet over the right-field wall. That sliced the four-run difference to two, 4-2.
Boeneke threw a scoreless second, but allowed a run in the third. It may have been a bigger inning for the Bells, but Martinez threw out Nick DeNicola – who tried to score from second base on an RBI single by Hinkelman – at home plate, otherwise the Bellingham lead would have grown to 6-2.
Walla Walla inched two runs closer in the fifth. Ryan Johnston walked with two out, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Justin Folz was hit by a pitch, then stole second. Cesar Lopez scored both Johnston and Folz with a single to right.
The Sweets evened things up in the sixth. Martinez drew a base on balls with, yes, two out and was balked to second base by Bells’ reliever Gabe Hughes. He stole third, then scored on a wild pitch.
Bellingham reclaimed the edge in the home seventh on an RBI single off the bat of Collin Burns.
But Walla Walla took control with three runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth.
Jordan Stubbings collected a free pass with – that’s right – two out in the eighth. He moved to third on a single by Farmer. Stubbings scored and Farmer went to third on an errant pick-off throw to third by Bells’ catcher Danny Martin that struck Stubbings and rolled down the left-field line. Martinez walked to put runners at the corners. Ben Fariss scored Farmer and advanced Martinez to third with a double past third and down the left-field line. Martinez scored on a wild pitch.
Patrick Caulfield, who stole his league-leading 22nd base in the third inning, led off the ninth with a single and Johnston singled. One out later, Caulfield went to third on a pitch that bounced away from Martin. But he pounced on the ball and threw to second to get Johnston. Caulfield scored on a wild pitch and, after walks to Lopez, Stubbings, Farmer, and Martinez, the Sweets had their final margin of victory.
While the Sweets prospered in the final two innings, reliever Wyatt Boone blanked the Bells. Bellingham got a runner on in each of the last two innings, but Boone did not buckle. He ended the eighth by striking out Austin Kretzschmar, and finished the game with back-to-back K’s of Hinkelman and Burns.
Walla Walla, which improved its record in Tuesday games against WCL opposition to 4-1, play the rubber game of its series with the Bells Wednesday night at 6:35.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets managed just four hits Monday night and dropped the opening game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series to the Bellingham Bells, 4-1, at Joe Martin Field.
Walla Walla is now 1-3 on its current six-game road trip after dropping its second-half-of-the-season opener and is 18-10 overall.
The Bells broke a scoreless tie in the last of the third inning. Sweets starting pitcher Travis Craven got the first two outs before surrendering a single to Collin Burns. Circumstances and fate turned against Walla Walla just seconds after the bloop single when Burns advanced to third on the play on a two-base throwing error by shortstop Caleb Farmer. Burns scored on a double by Christian Dicochea that put the home team up 1-0.
Bellingham added to its lead in the fourth. Jack Machtolf led off with a single, moved to second on an infield out, and scored on an error.
The Sweets scored their only run in the top of the fifth. Farmer led off with a shot back through the box, Chazz Martinez singled him to second, and Brock Ephan scored Farmer with a double up the alley in right-center field.
But from the sixth inning on, Walla Walla managed just two baserunners – one was left stranded at second in the eighth inning and another at third in the ninth.
On the Sweets side of the pitching ledger, right-hander Andrew Mosiello allowed a lead-off triple to Guthrie Morrison in the seventh, but got the next three hitters to come away unscathed. He struck out Troy Viola and Machtolf, then got Jake Terao to fly out to center fielder Patrick Caulfield to end the inning.
The Bells scored twice in the seventh, then loaded the bases in the eighth with one out. But reliever Reid Sebby got Cole Hinkelman to pop to third and fanned Derek Marshall to slam the door in the face of the threat.
Game two of the three-game series is Tuesday night at 6:35.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets salvaged the final game of a three-game weekend series with West Coast League foe Kelowna Sunday night with a 6-3 victory at Elks Stadium.
Walla Walla, which erased the bitter memory of a doubleheader loss on Saturday to the Falcons, ended the first half of WCL play 18-9 after Sunday’s triumph.
The Sweets are now 2-3 in Sunday games this season. They had dropped their previous three – at Wenatchee, 11-10, on June 16; versus Port Angeles, 10-5, on June 23; and at Ridgefield, 6-3, on June 30. Their first Sunday tilt was a 16-11 win over Bend on June 9 at Borleske Stadium.
Both starting pitchers – Walla Walla right-hander Nate Dahle and Kelowna lefty Nick Nygard – recorded three-up, three-down first innings. Dahle got Austen Butler to pop out to first, Tyler Grissom to ground out to shortstop, and Cole Cummings 3-unassisted.
The Sweets scored twice in the second inning. Brock Ephan singled with one out and, with two out, Ryan Johnston, Michael Petrie, and Connor Cirillo batted back-to-back-to-back base knocks. The hits by Petrie and Cirillo drove in a run apiece.
A fielder’s choice off the bat of Ezra Samperi in the home second produced Kelowna’s first run of the game.
Walla Walla raised its advantage to three, 4-1, in the fourth inning. Ephan led off with a walk and went to second on a wild pitch. Johnston drew a one-out base on balls and Petrie singled to right to send Ephan home. Cirillo scored Johnston, who went to third on Petrie’s hit, on a sacrifice fly to left.
Brandon Hupe drew the Falcons within two, 4-2, with an RBI ground ball to short in the home fourth.
Justin Folz led off the Sweets fifth with his second home run of the season – a blast to left-center. He now has 14 runs batted in on the season.
Dimick Wood followed Kokodynski with two scoreless frames. Kelowna got runners to first and third in the seventh and first second in the eighth, but Wood got Grissom to ground out to second to end the seventh, and fanned Hupe to conclude inning eight.
Bryson Spagnuolo came on in relief for the Sweets in the bottom of the ninth and gave up hits to Samperi, Johnny Carr, and Butler (RBI) to start the inning. But the right-hander outed Grissom on a hard shot to left, Cummings on a bouncer to second, and Marvcus Guarin on a swinging third strike to end the contest.
Walla Walla opens the second half of WCL action and a three-game series at Bellingham on Monday.Read Less
Sweets drop both games of their doubleheader against the Kelowna Falcons.
The Walla Walla Sweets dropped both ends of a West Coast League baseball doubleheader in Kelowna on Saturday at Elks Park.
The Falcons, who share the WCL North Division basement with Port Angeles, took both seven-inning games by 3-2 scores.
Walla Walla is now 17-9 on the season heading into Sunday’s finale of the three-game set and first half of the 2019 campaign.
The Sweets, who had just two hits through the first four innings, got a spark from lead-off batter Brock Ephan in the fifth. Ephan took a 1-0 pitch from Kelowna starter Garner Spoljaric over the right-center field wall – his third home run of the season – to pull the Sweets within two, 3-1.
In the seventh, Chazz Martinez led off with a single and Justin Folz walked. Ephan drew a free pass to load the bases. Kristian Scott entered the game in relief and got pinch-hitter Ben Fariss to hit into a 5-unassisted fielder’s choice that scored Martinez. Patrick Caulfield grounded to second to move pinch-runner Travis Craven to third and Folz to second. But after a walk to Parker Price to reload the bases, Scott got Cesar Lopez to ground to shortstop to end the game.
David Le Bioda gave Walla Walla a 1-0 lead with a one-out home run in the second inning of game two.
The Sweets added to their edge in the fourth. Fariss led off with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and, one out later, went to third when Martinez reached on an error. Fariss scored on a sacrifice fly to deep left-center by Folz.
Starter Ty Hueckman blanked the Falcons on one hit over the first four innings. He struck out three and walked one.
Ben Johnson relieved Hueckman in the fifth and, despite giving up a lead-off single to Jake Fischer, faced the minimum number of hitters in the inning. He retired Gabe Togia on a pop to short, then got Brayden Merritt to hit into a 6-4-3 (Price-to-Cirillo–Le Bioda) double play to conclude the frame.
But in the bottom of the sixth, the Falcons -aided by two Walla Walla errors – tallied three times to take the lead.
Caulfield earned a one-out hit by pitch in the seventh and stole his league-leading 21st base to get into scoring position, but would advance no further.
The final game of the series is Sunday at 6:05 p.m.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets were scheduled to open a six-game road trip on Friday night.
But Mother Nature held a contrarian viewpoint.
Sweets win the rubber match against the Black Bears to stay within one game of Corvallis before going into the last 3 games of the first half of the 2019 season.
The Walla Walla Sweets clinched their seventh series victory against a West Coast League opponent Thursday with a 6-4 victory over the Cowlitz Black Bears in the rubber game of a three-game set at historic Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla improved to 17-7 on the season while the stubborn Black Bears left town with a mark of 7-17.
Cowlitz drew first blood in the Independence Day affair during the opening inning. Austin Bell led off with a walk, Andres Sosa reached base on an error and, after Bell raced to third on a fly out to center field by Ryan Kim, Luke Price singled in the lead-off hitter.
Sweets starting pitcher Travis Craven pitched bagels in both the second and third innings before his teammates produced a deuce in the bottom of the third. Connor Cirillo, Patrick Caulfield and Parker Price walked to start things off. Cesar Lopez lifted a sacrifice fly to left to bring in Cirillo. Caulfield and Price moved up 90 feet on a throwing error from left field by Luke Price. Moments later, Caulfield sensed a lax moment on the part of the Black Bears’ defense, broke for home, and slid into home safely with his 19th stolen base of the season and Walla Walla’s second run of the day.
Craven kept the edge intact with a scoreless fourth.
“I threw a lot of first-pitch change-ups,” Craven said. “I had a little command issue in the first inning, but settled down in the next three innings. The defense made some great plays. We’ve got some momentum going into the next series.”
Reliever Brennan Patterson faced the minimum number of hitters in the fifth, but Cowlitz tied the game in the sixth on a Luke Price double.
Walla Walla responded with a four-spot in the home sixth. Chazz Martinez and Ryan Johnston both walked and steamed home on a triple to right field by Caleb Farmer that just eluded the glove of a diving Kim. Cirillo, who scored the final run of the inning on an error, plopped a sand-wedge-type single into left-center to score Farmer prior to his tally.
“I wanted to see a couple of pitches and got to a full-count situation,” Farmer said. “I kept telling myself to stay on top of the ball. I got a pitch I could handle and hit it into the right-center gap.”
Reliever Nate Dahle got himself out of trouble and stranded two runners in the seventh.
Cowlitz scored twice with two out in the eighth against Mason Kokodynski, but the Sweets right-hander regained both his cool and composure, and ended the threat by getting Sam Ireland to pop to first for the final out of the inning.
Slender righty Nick Irwin notched the save with a perfect ninth. He sat Bell down after a foul fly to first, got Sosa to sky to left, and humbled Kim on a can of corn to center.
“Everybody is giving me a lot of confidence,” Irwin said of the support of his teammates. “It’s been a fun summer. I’m looking forward to the next couple of series.”
The Sweets start a six-game road trip Friday in Kelowna. A three-game set in Bellingham will follow Walla Walla’s weekend jaunt north of the border.Read Less
Visiting Cowlitz overcame an early 6-3 deficit with single runs in the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth innings Wednesday night and registered a 7-6 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets in the middle game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at historic Borleske Stadium.
The loss dropped the Sweets, now 16-7, out of a first-place tie with Corvallis at the top of the WCL’s South Division.
Walla Walla plated a run in the first inning. Patrick Caulfield led off with a walk, stole both second and third and, one out and a walk to Ben Fariss later, scored on a Cesar Lopez grounder to short.
Cowlitz took the lead in the second when it pushed across three runs on only one hit. It was aided by four walks along the way.
The Sweets responded with five runs in their half of the second. Jordan Stubbings led off with a double. One out later, Michael Petrie tripled to right field to even the score at 2-2. Ryan Johnston brought in Petrie with a single to center. Caulfield and Parker Price followed with back-to-back doubles and Ben Fariss singled to cap the frame’s offensive feast.
The Black Bears used a hit by pitch to score in the third and a sacrifice fly in the fourth to draw within one run. It knotted the score in the seventh on a lead-off home run by Austin Bell, and took the lead in the eighth on a two-out RBI single by Sam Ireland.
Walla Walla contributed to its own demise by stranding 11 runners on base. It left a runner at first in the third inning, and runners at second and third in the fourth and first and second in the fifth. Another runner was stranded at second in the seventh. But perhaps the most crushing blow of all occurred in the eighth when the Sweets left the bases loaded.
The rubber game of the three-game series is Thursday at 10:35 a.m.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets spotted the Cowlitz Black Bears a 2-0 lead in the first inning of their West Coast League baseball game Tuesday night at Borleske Stadium.
But over the next five-and-a-half innings, deuces were wild on the Sweets side of the score book. Walla Walla scored twice in the first, third, fifth, and sixth innings, then rolled a five in the seventh on its way to a series-opening, 13-4 victory.
The Sweets are still tied with the sizzling Corvallis Knights at the top of the WCL South Division standings with a 16-6 record.
The Black Bears’ first-inning runs were unearned. Cowlitz scored a pair on one hit and were helped along the way by a walk and two Walla Walla errors.
Patrick Caulfield was hit by a pitch to start the home first. He stole second and Justin Folz followed with a walk. Chazz Martinez loaded the bases with a lined single to center field. A wild pitch scored Caulfield and advanced Folz to third and Martinez to second. Cesar Lopez brought in Folz with a sacrifice fly to center that tied the score at 2-2.
Sweets starting pitcher Landon Boeneke retired Cowlitz 1-2-3 in the second inning and got out of a first-and-third, two-out quagmire in the third by getting Brian Cromwell to fly out to center.
Walla Walla started its half of the third with three consecutive singles by Folz, Martinez, and Lopez. The latter base knock produced a run and put the Sweets up 3-2. One out later, Jordan Stubbings lifted a sacrifice fly to left that made it 4-2.
Ty Hueckman took the mound for the Sweets in the fourth inning. He registered two strikeouts and allowed one hit in the frame. Hueckman escaped a three-walk fifth inning in part by picking the Black Bears’ Austin Bell off of second base for out No. 2 and threw a perfect sixth.
“All four of my pitches were working, then I lost the fastball,” Hueckman said. “I had to adjust and work off-speed early in the count. Their guys were really selective. They watched a lot of pitches early which (allowed) me to get ahead in the count.”
Ben Fariss started the two-run rally in the fifth with a one-out walk and advanced to second on a Stubbings‘ single. Parker Price singled to load the sacks and the runners moved up 90 feet on a passed ball. Brock Ephan and Caden Cortese were issued back-to-back walks to force in a run that increased the Sweets lead to 6-2.
“I’ve made little adjustments here and there and it seems to be working,” Price said.
Martinez walked leading off the Sweets sixth. Lopez moved him to second with a fly to center. Martinez then went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Fariss sac fly to left. Stubbings was next and worked the count to 3-and-0 before unloading a 367-foot home run to left against James Sashin that brought the tally to 8-2.
“I was given the green light,” Stubbings said. “It felt really good to finally get one. I’ve been hitting the ball hard.”
Cortese picked up his first hit of the summer to start the Walla Walla seventh and drew a chorus of cheers from his teammates in the third-base dugout. He stole second and scored on a Caulfield knock. Caulfield recorded his 15th stolen base and Folz walked. The runners moved up on a Martinez grounder to first and Lopez walked. Fariss concluded the Walla Walla scoring for the night by taking a 1-0 pitch from Black Bears’ reliever Dale Takalo and sending it over the left-field wall for a grand slam home run.
“He threw a ball and their coach came out,” Fariss said. “I’ve been in this situation before. Then he threw a fastball right down the middle.”
The middle game of the three-game series is Wednesday night at 7:05.Read Less
The West Coast League South Division co-leading Walla Walla Sweets begin a stretch of 12 games in as many days Tuesday when they open a three-game home series with the Cowlitz Black Bears (6-15) at historic Borleske Stadium.
Game times are 6:35 on Tuesday, 7:05 on Wednesday and 10:35 a.m. on Thursday.
The Sweets will then hit the road for six games beginning with three in Kelowna (6-13) Friday through Sunday and ending with three more in Bellingham (14-7) Monday through Wednesday. The string of games ends at home with a pair of contests against the Military All-Stars (7/11-12) and one versus the River City Athletics (7/13).
Walla Walla and red-hot Corvallis start the week tied for the South lead with identical 15-6 records. The Sweets are coming off a 3-3 road trip and the Knights have won nine in a row.
The Sweets batted and pitched their way to a series win at Ridgefield, though they did drop the finale of the three-game weekend set Sunday afternoon by a final score of 6-3 at the Ridgefield Sports Complex.
Brock Ephan and Emanuel Dean accounted for Walla Walla’s Sunday scoring. Ephan creamed a two-run, second-inning home run and Dean produced an RBI single. Relievers Brennan Patterson and Ben Fariss had shutout stints of three and two-and-two-thirds innings, respectively, and teamed up for five strikeouts.
Center fielder Patrick Caulfield produced his second four-hit game of the season and scored an equal number of runs as the Sweets built a 5-0 lead after an inning-and-a-half, fell behind 6-5 in the fourth, but put up four runs in both the seventh and ninth in a 13-9 victory over the Raptors on Saturday night. Caulfield smashed his fourth home run of the season on the third pitch of the contest, singled in the second inning, doubled in the seventh, and came up with a two-run single in the ninth. Starting pitcher Travis Craven and reliever Ben Johnson (innings five through seven) both fanned four over three innings of scoreless ball.
Caleb Farmer (single), Michael Petrie (infield hit), and Dean (bases-loaded walk) – in the second inning – and Ephan (sacrifice fly) – in inning three – chalked up RBI while Caulfield and Petrie executed a double steal to manufacture a run in the sixth inning of a 5-2 win in the series opener on Friday. Pitchers Landon Boeneke, celebrating his 19th birthday, Ty Hueckman, and Nick Irwin combined to skunk the Raptors on four hits over the first seven innings. Reid Sebby ended the eighth inning with a strikeout, then fanned the side in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
Walla Walla salvaged the final game of a three-game series in Bend on the Thursday past after dropping the first two games, 4-2 and 2-1. Caulfield hit a two-run homer that traveled an estimated 401 feet in the third inning. Chazz Martinez led off the sixth with a tie-breaking bomb to right-center that sailed 411 feet and set in motion a five-run frame. Farmer (double), Petrie (single), Parker Price (single), and Caulfield (sacrifice fly) joined Martinez as member of the runs batted in fraternity during the productive panel. Brayde Hirai pitched the final two innings of the game and did not give up a run. Starter Andrew Mosiello, Wyatt Boone, and Dimick Wood allowed just a run apiece.
Caulfield (.405) and Justin Folz (.375) are ranked second and third in the WCL in hitting. Craven is second in earned run average (1.50).
The Sweets will be facing some of the top hitters in the league over the next three series. Braden DeBenedictus of Cowlitz is batting .329 with four doubles and eight RBI. Kelowna’s Cole Cummings is 10th in the WCL at .341 and teammate Tyler Grissom checks in at .333 going into the week. Bellingham’s Guthrie Morrison (.357) and Troy Viola (.349), the league leader in home runs with five, rank sixth and eighth, respectively.
Kelowna sports a pair of pitchers that have posted representative numbers. Nick Nygard is 1-0 with a 2.65 earned run average. Connor Hurley is 1-1 with one save and a 3.31 ERA.
Probable starters for the Cowlitz series: 7/2 – Boeneke (3-0, 3.11 ERA) vs. Nate Packard (0-2, 7.94 ERA), Mosiello (0-1, 7.00 ERA) vs. Sam Lauderdale (0-1, 9.34 ERA), and Craven (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Dylan Pottgieser (0-0, 3.55 ERA).
The upcoming homestand will feature the following promotions: 7/2 – Bud Light Batting Practice and $1 Del Taco Tacos; 7/3 – America the Great – presented by Wilbur Ellis – will feature a 40 percent discount for all in-stadium merchandise purchases and post-game fireworks; 7/4 – America the Great part deux – with food and drink specials all game long.
Promotions following the upcoming six-game roadie include: 7/11-12 – Two dollars of every ticket sold at the gate will be donated to a local non-profit that assists our community’s veterans and military personnel; 7/13 – Coffee Thermos giveaway – presented Jackson Contract Group – for the first 250 fans through the gates.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets started the final game of their three-game weekend series with the Ridgefield Raptors in fine form Sunday afternoon at the Ridgefield Sports Complex.
Brock Ephan towered a two-run home run to left field in the top of the second inning to give Walla Walla a 2-0 lead.
Following that mighty blow, thoughts of maintaining a one-game lead in the WCL South, a series sweep and a 4-and-2 road trip danced through the heads of those in Sweets Nation.
But the hometown Raptors, in the throws of a five-game losing streak, had other ideas.
Ridgefield scored three times in its half of the second, added another trey in the sixth and went on to a 6-3 victory that snapped Walla Walla’s three-game winning streak.
Both the Sweets and three-time defending league champion Corvallis, winners of nine straight, now sit atop the WCL South standings with identical 15-6 records.
Third-place Ridgefield is 11-10 and are four games back of the division co-leaders.
Each team collected a hit in the first inning. The Sweets Cesar Lopez doubled with two out and Ridgefield’s Cameron Repetti drilled a one-out single.
Parker Price ripped a one-out single in the second before Ephan manhandled a 1-1 pitch from Ridgefield starting pitcher Michael Spellacy and sent a majestic blast over the left field wall that Raptors’ left fielder Andrew Schleusner could only watch and admire as it exited the field of play.
Jonny Weaver got the home team even with a two-run double in the last of the second and Steve Ramirez later drew a bases-loaded walk to give Ridgefield a 3-2 edge.
Pitcher Brennan Patterson tossed three effective innings in relief of Sweets starter Chazz Martinez. He retired the Raptors in order in both the third and fifth innings, and slithered out of a first-and-second, two-out jam in the fourth.
Tyler Erne led off the Ridgefield sixth against Sweets hurler Dimick Wood with a single. One out later, Weaver singled and Repetti hit a three-run home run to left.
Ben Fariss entered and blanked the Raptors the rest of the way and fanned a quartet of Raptors.
Spellacy lasted seven innings and gave way to Repetti in the eighth. Repetti faced four batters in the eighth, and took a dip into some hot water in the ninth after retiring the first two hitters. He hit Ephan on an 0-2 delivery and, after Fariss came in to pinch-run, Jordan Stubbings singled to right. The runners moved up an extra base on an error by center fielder Dusty Garcia.
Repetti was up to the challenge in the end. He got Connor Cirillo on strikes to end the threat and the game.
The Sweets open a three-game series Tuesday against the Cowlitz Black Bears. Game times are 6:35 p.m. Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, and 10:35 a.m. on Independence Day.Read Less
The Sweets take their sixth series win of the year with 13 runs against the Raptors.
The number 13 proved to be a lucky one for the Walla Walla Sweets during West Coast League South Division baseball action Saturday night at the Ridgefield Sports Complex.
Walla Walla built a 5-0 lead after an inning-and-a-half, squandered it in the bottom of the fourth, then rebounded in a big way by scoring four times in the seventh inning and an equal number of times in the ninth as part of a wild 13-9 victory over the Raptors.
The Sweets, who clinched their sixth series win of the season, still possess a one-game lead in the WCL South standings over red-hot Corvallis – which claimed its eighth win in succession on Saturday, a 7-1 triumph over Yakima Valley.
Patrick Caulfield started the pre-holiday fireworks on Saturday night with a lead-off, star-spangled home run to right field on the third pitch from Ridgefield starting pitcher Zach Barnes. Justin Folz followed with a walk, stole second and scored a strikeout and single by Cesar Lopez later on a Jordan Stubbings sacrifice fly to right.
Walla Walla scored three more times against Barnes in the second inning. Caulfield rapped a two-out single, Folz and Chazz Martinez walked, and Lopez crunched a two-RBI double off the right-field wall that scored Caulfield and Folz. Martinez crossed the plate on an infield error to cap the frame’s scoring.
Sweets starter Travis Craven pitched one-hit ball and struck out four over the first three innings.
But in the bottom of the fourth, the Raptors scored a half-dozen times to take a 6-5 edge. The big blow was a game-tying, three-run homer to right by Dusty Garcia.
Meanwhile, Barnes fashioned a stretch in which he retired 13 hitters in a row after a rocky start.
Relief pitcher Wesley Harper entered in the seventh and Caulfield greeted him with a double. Folz singled him to third, then stole second. Lopez was issued an intentional walk one out later. Stubbings then bounced a single up the middle that scored two runs that put the Sweets up 7-6. Parker Price moved Lopez to third and Stubbings to second with an infield out. Ryan Johnston worked Harper for a walk to load the bases. Caleb Farmer and pinch-hitter Emanuel Dean earned bases on balls from reliever Carter Powell to bring in Lopez and Stubbings, respectively.
Walla Walla put up another four spot in the ninth. Price slapped a one-out single, stole second and, after a walk to Johnston, went to third on a lost-in-the-lights single to left by Farmer. The runners moved up on a wild pitch and, with two out, Caulfield ended his second four-hit night of the season with a two-run single to center.
The Raptors scored three times in the ninth to create the final margin of difference.
The series finale is Sunday at 3:05 p.m. The Sweets probable starting pitcher will be Chazz Martinez.Read Less
Sweets bats are alive and well as they take win their first ever game against the Ridgefield Raptors.
The Walla Walla Sweets remained atop the West Coast League’s South Division Friday night after securing a 5-2 victory over the Ridgefield Raptors in the first game of a three-game weekend series at the Ridgefield Sports Complex.
Walla Walla improved to 14-5 with Friday’s triumph and stayed a game up on the red-hot Corvallis Knights in the WCL South. The three-time defending league champion Knights toppled Yakima Valley at home, 5-2, on Friday night for their seventh straight win.
Ridgefield starting pitcher Joey Martin struck out the side in the top of the first inning and Sweets starter Landon Boeneke, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, allowed a one-out double to Cameron Repetti but did not allow a run in the home first.
The Sweets broke the ice with three runs in the top of the second. Ben Fariss led off with a four-pitch walk, advanced to second on an errant pick-off throw by Martin, and scored on a grounded single to center by Caleb Farmer – who went to second on the play when his hit was bobbled by center fielder Brody Barnum. Farmer went to third on a passed ball and Parker Price walked, then stole second. But Farmer was cut down at home when Brock Ephan hit into a 5-2 fielder’s choice. Price moved to third on Ephan’s grounder and scored on a Michael Petrie infield single. One out later, Patrick Caulfield singled to load the bases and Emanuel Dean was issued a free pass.
Boeneke allowed three hits over three innings and struck out four.
The Sweets scored their final run in the sixth. Petrie led off with a single and Connor Cirillo walked. Caulfield hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice that sent Petrie to third. The two later executed a double steal to manufacture the tally.
Hueckman gave up an infield hit in the sixth, but kept the shutout intact.
Nick Irwin hurled a perfect seventh to maintain the five-run cushion.
The Raptors scored twice in the bottom of the eighth, but Sweets closer Reid Sebby fanned Aaron Zavala to end the frame.
Sebby exuded a greater degree of nastiness in the bottom of the ninth. He went 2-and-2 on Andrew Schleusner before striking him out, then was pushed to a full count by both pinch-hitter Jack Bauer and Noah Taylor before striking them out – Bauer looking and Taylor swinging – to end the game.
Sweets pitchers posted 12 K’s on the night.
The middle game of the three-game series is Saturday night at 6:35.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets maintained their edge atop the West Coast League’s South Division standings Thursday night with an 8-3 victory over the Bend Elks at Vince Genna Stadium.
Walla Walla improved its record to 13-5 after snapping a three-game losing streak. It leads three-time defending league champion Corvallis by one game. The surging Knights, who have won six straight games, slipped past Ridgefield on Thursday night, 2-0.
The Elks scored first in Thursday’s game that was delayed by 42 minutes at the start due to inclement weather. Vinny Zavolta led off with a single and stole second. Designated hitter Dayton Provost brought in Zavolta with a two-out single.
The Sweets took their second lead of the series in the top of the third inning. Parker Price walked with one out and scored when Patrick Caulfield hammered the first pitch he saw from Bend starting pitcher Kyle Wade 401 feet over the left-field wall.
The Elks evened the score against Boone in the bottom of the fifth. Efry Cervantes drew a one-out walk and scored on a double by Chase Fernlund. Provost walked and Zach Needham loaded the bases with a single. Boone houdinied his way out of harm’s way by striking out Justin Parsons and Deron Johnson to end the inning.
The momentum carried over into the top of the sixth. Chazz Martinez greeted Elks’ reliever Andrew Clark with 411-foot blast over the right-center field wall. Cesar Lopez reached safely on an error by Bend first baseman Gabe Gonzalez, was singled to second by Jordan Stubbings, and scored on a left-center double by Caleb Farmer. One out later, Michael Petrie ended Clark’s mound stint with his first hit as a Sweet – an RBI single that scored Stubbings. Price welcomed reliever Joe Williams with a single to right that pushed Farmer across home plate, and Caulfield capped the five-run frame with a sacrifice fly to right.
Gonzalez homered off Dimick Wood to lead off the bottom of the sixth, but it would prove to be the Elks final run of the evening.
Wood, after getting out of the sixth, worked a perfect seventh. He struck out both Fernlund (swinging) and Provost (looking), and then got Needham on a fly to right.
Ben Fariss led off the Sweets eighth with a walk. One out later, he was forced out at second base when Price hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice. Caulfield ended a productive offensive night with a double to right that scored Price.
Hirai retired Jake Jarvis on a can of corn to left to start the bottom of the ninth. Zavolta singled, but Hirai K’d Cervantes for out No. 2. Fernlund singled, but Hirai got a ground ball to short from Provost that Farmer fielded on the run and threw a dart to Martinez at first for the game’s final out.
In all, Sweets pitchers struck out 12 on the night.
Walla Walla opens a three-game series at Ridgefield Friday night at 6:35.
Walla Walla Sweets teammates Patrick Caulfield and Justin Folz announced their intent on Wednesday to further their athletic and academic careers at NCAA Division I schools.
Caulfield picked Pacific-12 Conference member UCLA while Folz chose Big East competitor St. John’s.
“I could not pass up on the education,” Caulfield said. “UCLA has a storied baseball program. I really wanted to have a chance to go to Omaha (to compete in the College World Series). Out of my choices, it was the best spot.”
“It was a great fit academically and athletically,” Folz said of his decision. “St. John’s has all the things I was looking for. It’s a great program with a tradition of winning. You can’t beat New York City.”
The twosome have been key in the Sweets rise to the top of the West Coast League’s South Division standings with a 12-5 record. Folz is second in the WCL in batting average (.404), and first in both doubles (nine) and slugging percentage (.635). Caulfield is third in hitting (.379), and tops in both runs scored (20) and stolen bases (13).
Before coming to the Sweets, Caulfield enjoyed success this past spring at Santa Barbara City College. The Burlingame, Calif., resident was team leader in games played (39), at-bats (149), runs scored (28), hits (54), doubles (14), RBI (35), and stolen bases (32). The Vaqueros tied for the Western State Conference North Division title.
Folz, out of Monroe, Wash., attended Palomar Community College in San Marcos, Calif., this spring. He hit .294 with six home runs and 28 RBI at Northwest Nazarene in 2018.
The Sweets close out a three-game series in Bend tonight at 6:35.Read Less
The Bend Elks used strong efforts on the pitching mound Wednesday night to post a 2-1 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets in the middle game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at Vince Genna Stadium.
Bend inched closer to the .500 mark and clinched the series with Wednesday’s win. The Elks are now 8-9 on the season.
Walla Walla, now in the midst a three-game losing streak, dropped to 12-5 and saw its lead in the WCL South Division reduced to a single game over three-time defending champion Corvallis. The Knights moved into sole possession of second place on Wednesday with a 13-1 home romp over Ridgefield.
The Sweets pushed across their only run of the night in the top of the first inning. Justin Folz, the No. 2 hitter in the WCL (.404 avg.), singled with one out. Chazz Martinez walked and, one out later, Emanuel Dean drew a base on balls from Elks’ starting pitcher Ricky Castro. Parker Price followed with a bouncer up the middle that Bend second baseman Nico Burgarello smothered. Folz scored on the play, but Martinez got himself into a pickle between third and home and was tagged out by Bend third baseman Efry Cervantes to end the frame.
Sweets starting pitcher Travis Craven gave up a hit in the bottom of the first, but the southpaw registered two strikeouts along the way.
The Elks tied the game in the home second. Justin Parsons hit a one-out single and scored on a two-out double by Cervantes.
Patrick Caulfield led off the third with an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Cervantes. Caulfield stole his league-leading 13th base of the season moments later, but was picked off third by Elks’ catcher Jason Bush.
Craven gave up a base knock in the home third, but ended the inning by delivering a called third strike to Bush.
The Sweets loaded the bases in the fourth, but were unable to produce the tiebreaking run. Walla Walla managed just two baserunners from the fifth inning on.
Pitchers Brennan Patterson and Ben Johnson pitched two innings of shutout relief apiece for the Sweets after Craven exited.
It stayed even until the bottom of the eighth. Sweets reliever Charles Harrison entered and struck out Burgarello to start the frame. Nelson Padilla then made contact for a single. After Chase Fernlund popped out to first baseman Brock Ephan, Bush singled to send Padilla to second. Padilla scored what proved to be the winning run on a Zach Needham single to right field.
Bend closer Coen Wynne pitched a clean ninth for the save.
The final game of the series is Thursday night at 6:35. Right-hander Andrew Mosiello is the scheduled starter for the Sweets and will be opposed by Bend righty Kyle Wade.Read Less
The Bend Elks used timely hitting and defensive breakdowns by the Walla Walla Sweets to post a 4-2 victory in game one of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at Vince Genna Stadium.
Bend improved its record to 7-9 while the Sweets, the leaders in the WCL’s South Division by a two-game margin over both three-time defending WCL champion Corvallis and expansion Ridgefield, fell to 12-4.
The Elks pushed a run across in the bottom of the first inning. Vinny Zavolta singled with one out and advanced to second on an outfield error – the first of five committed by the Sweets in the game. Chase Fernlund followed with a double off the left-field wall that scored Zavolta.
Walla Walla equalized in the guest portion of the second inning. Jordan Stubbings lifted a one-out double into the right-center field gap and scored on a two-out two-bagger to straight-away center off the bat of Chazz Martinez.
Sweets starting pitcher Landon Boeneke threw a scoreless second inning before being relieved by fellow right-hander Ty Hueckman – who wiggled out of a second-and-third, one-out situation in the third by retiring Dante DeNiro on a fly to right and Zach Needham on a ball hit in the air to center.
Hueckman pitched a three-up, three-down fourth and faced the minimum number of hitters in the fifth inning thanks in part to catcher Caleb Farmer throwing out Nico Burgarello – who attempted to steal second – for the final out.
Reliever Nick Irwin got Fernlund and DeNiro to pop out to left to start the seventh, but Needham doubled to right and Justin Parsons singled him home. Two defensive miscues and an infield hit later, the Elks had three runs in the frame.
Lefty Brayde Hirai sent Bend down in order in the last of the eighth to keep it a three-run spread. Burgarello flew out to left, Zavolta struck out looking, and Fernlund skied to right.
Stubbings slapped a one-out single in the ninth. Carson Green came in as a pinch runner and moved to second with two out by way of a stolen base. Green scored on a Martinez hit to center that brought the potential tying run to the plate. But Farmer bounced into a 5-4 fielder’s choice to end the game.
The middle game of the three-game series is Wednesday night at 6:35.Read Less
The West Coast League South Division-leading Walla Walla Sweets, after continuing to build on the best start in franchise history by finishing 4-2 on their most recent homestand against Portland and Port Angeles, begin a six-game road trip Tuesday when they open a three-game series at division rival Bend.
The second stop on the trip will come against another South foe – second-place Ridgefield – over the weekend.
Walla Walla dropped a 10-5 decision on Sunday to Port Angeles its last time out. That said, the Sweets won the previous two matchups against the Lefties by counts of 4-3 on Friday and 9-8 on Saturday. Cesar Lopez and Connor Cirillo had two hits apiece in the Friday win. Cirillo, Jordan Stubbings, and Emanuel Dean collected one run batted in apiece. Pitchers Chazz Martinez, Landon Boeneke, Ty Hueckman, Nick Irwin, and Reid Sebby managed to overcome a combined nine walks by striking out an equal number and allowing just four hits. Boeneke (2.1 innings pitched), Hueckman (2), and Sebby (1) did not allow a run. Justin Folz had three hits, Ben Fariss and Lopez added two each, and David Le Bioda contributed a two-run single in Saturday’s triumph. Martinez decided the issue with a 342-foot home run over the left field wall on the first pitch in the home half of the ninth inning.
The Sweets clinched their series with Portland on Thursday with a 9-6 final tally. Patrick Caulfield had three hits and scored twice. Fariss and Cirillo had two hits apiece. Cirillo hit a game-tying, three-run home run in the second inning and Brock Ephan blasted a 421-foot bomb to left with one out in the sixth. Prior to dropping the middle game of the series to the Pickles, 8-7, on Wednesday, Walla Walla proved to be more sweet, dill, and kosher in the opening game of the set on Tuesday – a 3-2 victory. Caulfield accounted for all of the Sweets runs in the contest by way of a three-run homer in the fifth inning.
Folz enters the week second in the WCL in batting average with a .455 number (20 hits in 44 at-bats). He ranks second in on-base percentage (.556) and first in slugging percentage (.727). Caulfield is fourth in batting (.397) and tops in both runs scored (20) and stolen bases (12). Two other Sweets are at .300 or better – Lopez (.310) and Carson Green (.300).
Travis Craven leads Sweets pitchers with a 1.50 ERA. The Whitman College product has allowed just five hits, two earned runs, four walks and has fanned 17 in 12 innings.
Bend enters the week fourth in the WCL South with a 6-9 record – six games behind the Sweets – and is coming off a 12-4 home loss to North Division-leading Bellingham on Sunday. Zach Needham is the team’s leading hitter with a .293 average. Chase Fernlund is close behind at .289. Justin Parsons is next at .273 and is third in the league in RBI (14).
The Sweets and Elks met at Borleske Stadium two weekends ago and Walla Walla produced a three-game sweep with 3-0, 9-6, and 16-11 victories. Caulfield connected for six hits in the series on his way to being named this season’s first WCL Player of the Week. Bryson Spagnuolo, Irwin, Charles Harrison, and Sebby teamed up to yield just four hits in the opener. Lopez, Folz, and Parker Price had three hits apiece in a wild series finale on June 9.
Ridgefield’s Raptors, 10-5, made their presence felt early in this 2019 campaign by fashioning a six-game winning streak and, like the Sweets, have two of the top seven hitters in the league entering play this week. Michael Hicks (.386) is fifth and Jack Bauer (.378) is seventh. Grayson Sterling (.333) also finds himself above the .300 mark. Pitcher Carter Benbrook leads the WCL with a 0.75 ERA. Benbrook has allowed just eight hits, one earned run, two walks, and has K’d seven in 12 innings of work.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday games in Bend are scheduled for 6:35. Probable Sweets starters are Martinez, Craven, and Andrew Mosiello. The first two games in Ridgefield – on Friday and Saturday – are set for 6:35 and Sunday’s tilt is scheduled to begin at 3:05.Read Less
The visiting Port Angeles Lefties scored three runs in the fifth inning and five more times in the eighth inning Sunday night during a 10-5 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets in the final game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at historic Borleske Stadium.
Sunday’s setback was a disappointing end to an otherwise successful six-game homestand. Walla Walla finished 4-2 after taking two out of three games from both Portland and Port Angeles. The Sweets are now 12-3 on the year and lead the WCL’s South Division by two games over Ridgefield.
The Lefties’ Gavin Rork led off Sunday’s game with a lead-off walk. He went to second on a Justin Fugitt single and went to third on the first of four Walla Walla errors. He scored on a C.J. Schauwecker ground out to third.
Sweets starter Ben Johnson pitched a scoreless second inning and reliever Nate Dahle faced the minimum number of hitters in the third. Dahle did give up a one-out hit to Matthew Christian, but later eliminated him with a pick-off move to first.
Walla Walla plated a pair of runs in the home third. Parker Price led off with a walk, stole second, and trotted to third on a balk. Justin Folz, the No. 2 hitter in the WCL entering the game, scored Price with a double to right-center field one out later. Folz scooted to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Ben Fariss single to left.
Dahle put up a zero in the fourth inning before the Lefties put up a trey in the fifth inning. Christian delivered a two-out, RBI single to tie the game and later scored on a Sweets snafu. Nick Diponzio brought in the final run with a one-base knock.
Relievers Dimick Wood of the Sweets and Kyle Hamrick of Port Angeles tossed three-up, three-down ball in the seventh before the game got away from the home team in the eighth. The Lefties achieved their five-run frame on five hits including a two-run home run by Christian to cap the inning.
The Sweets scored twice in the last half of inning eight. Dean stroked a one-out single and scored on a two-out, lost-in-the-lights double to right center by Caleb Farmer. Cesar Lopez sent Farmer home with a pinch-hit single for what proved to be the final run of the contest.
Walla Walla received four walks in the ninth, but were unable to score thanks in part to a 1-6-3 double play executed by the visitors.
The Sweets open a six-game road trip Tuesday when they open a three-game series in Bend. Walla Walla’s probable starters for meetings with the Elks are Chazz Martinez, Travis Craven, and Andrew Mosiello. The second leg of the Sweets road adventure will take them to Ridgefield for games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with the Raptors.
Chazz Martinez hits a walk-off homerun off of the first and only pitch of the bottom of the 9th.
Chazz Martinez belted a walk-off home run on the first and only pitch of the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday night to lift the Walla Walla Sweets to a 9-8 victory over the Port Angeles Lefties in the middle game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at historic Borleske Stadium.
The Sweets are now a franchise- and West Coast League best 12-2 on the season, clinched their fifth series of the 2019 campaign, and moved to 4-1 on their current six-game homestand which ends Sunday night with another contest against the Lefties. Game time is 6:05.
Port Angeles pushed across a couple of runs in the second inning. Matthew Christian homered to left field off of Walla Walla starter Travis Craven to lead off the frame and Zander Marco contributed a two-out, RBI single.
The Sweets tallied four runs on one hit in the bottom half of inning two. Ben Fariss led off with a walk and Cesar Lopez reached base on a fielder’s choice. Caleb Farmer walked to load the bases and David Le Bioda followed with a game-tying single to right. Farmer went to third and LeBioda advanced to second on an intended throw home from Lefties’ right fielder Jeff Jamison. But when the throw rolled into the Sweets third-base dugout, Farmer was awarded home. Le Bioda later scored on a 6-4 fielder’s choice struck by Connor Cirillo.
Craven set down Port Angeles in order in the third inning. Walla Walla added three more runs in the home third. Justin Folz led off with a single and then was balked to both second and third. Fariss scored Folz with a single and Lopez smashed an RBI double to right. Farmer made it 7-2 with a hit to left-center.
Connor Denning got a run back for Port Angeles in the fourth inning with a single to center.
Lopez started the Sweets fifth with a double. Farmer was safe at first and Lopez moved to third on an infield error. Lopez scored when Le Bioda hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
Two walks and an equal number of hits allowed the Lefties to crawl back into the game and plate three runs in the seventh inning. Port Angeles added a run in the eighth and scored the tying run in the ninth on a wild pitch. Pitcher Brayde Hirai entered the game with runners at the corners and one out in the ninth. But he got Charlie Nasuti to foul out to first and Trevor Rosenberg on a bouncer back to the mound to avoid further damage.
“It was just another outing,” Hirai said. “I knew I had to go in there and throw strikes. I knew the (defense) had my back. I knew if I got out of that, I knew we were going to win it.”
Martinez, who entered the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement, unleashed a 342-foot bomb over the left field wall on the first pitch in the last of the ninth to send the Sweets bench and a partisan crowd of 1,427 into a state of triumphant euphoria.
“I was looking for a fastball away and I was sitting on it – dead red,” Martinez said. “I knew it was gone, but i was not sure if it was going to be fair or foul. I yelled, “Stay fair!”
Seven of Walla Walla’s last eight games have been decided by two runs or less. The streak began last weekend in Wenatchee when the Sweets took game one of the series, 3-1, the second game by a 7-6 count, and lost the finale, 11-10. Walla Walla started its current homestand with a 3-2 win over Portland on Tuesday before losing 8-7 Wednesday. The Sweets edged past the Lefties, 4-3, on Friday before their narrow escape Saturday.
The Walla Walla Sweets baseball club improved their West Coast League South Division-best record to 11-2 on Friday night with a 4-3 victory over the hard-luck Port Angeles Lefties in game one of a three-game weekend series at historic Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla, which is now 3-1 on its current six-game homestand, will have an opportunity to clinch its fifth straight series to begin the 2019 season when the two teams hook up Saturday night at 7:05.
Port Angeles slipped to 6-10 after suffering its sixth straight loss.
Sweets starting pitcher Chazz Martinez struck out the side in the first inning and fanned Matthew Christian to begin inning two. But the Lefties scrapped for two runs without the benefit of a hit in the frame and benefited from five walks. Reliever Landon Boeneke replaced Martinez and retired Ronnie Rust on a fly ball to right field to end the inning.
Boeneke retired Ethan Groff on a grounder to third to begin the top of inning three, got Matthew Christian to fly out to center field and, after surrendering a hit to Baxter Halligan, got Damiano Palmegiani to pop out to third for the final out.
The Sweets wrestled the lead away from the visitors in the last of the third. Connor Cirillo started the festivities with a one-out hit and Patrick Caulfield followed with a bunt single. Cesar Lopez loaded the bases with a single of his own. The runners moved up on a passed ball and Jordan Stubbings brought in Caulfield and advanced Lopez to third base with a bouncer to third. Emanuel Dean knocked in Lopez with a single to break the tie.
“It felt good to help the team,” Dean said. “I was doing my part with (a runner) in scoring position.”
Boeneke kept the lead intact with a three-up, three-down fourth inning. He sat Charlie Nasuti down after a fly to right, got Tommy Takayoshi to ground to second, and struck out Trevor Rosenberg swinging.
“I just tried to fill up the strike zone,” Boeneke said. “I know our offense is pretty good. I just wanted to keep it (Port Angeles’ score) to as little as possible and give us a chance to win.”
Brock Ephan began the Walla Walla fourth inning with a single. Ephan moved to second on a passed ball, rumbled to third on a Brandon Wagstaff single, and crossed the plate on an infield knock by Cirillo.
Relief pitcher Ty Hueckman did his part to keep it a two-run game. He K’d Justin Fugitt and Rust to start the fifth inning. Groff then got a hold of a 2-1 pitch from Hueckman and drove it to straight-away center, only to have his bid for extra bases thwarted on a wide-receiver-like diving catch by Caulfield.
Port Angeles scored its final run in the seventh against the Sweets Nick Irwin. Groff hit into a 5-4 fielder’s choice that plated Rosenberg – who led off the inning with a single.
Palmegiani started the eighth against Irwin with a walk. He was later erased when pinch-hitter Connor Denning lined into a 4-3 double play. Irwin retired the side on an infield fly.
Reid Sebby took the hill in the top of the ninth and started the inning in fine fashion by striking out Alexander Marco and getting Evan Hurn to ground to short. Nick Berry got on with an infield hit, went to second on an error and stole third before Sebby struck out Groff on a 1-2 breaking ball to end the game.
“This team has something in their hat every night,” Walla Walla coach Larry Price said. “They don’t get flustered no matter what the scoreboard says. They approach things very professionally.
“They have a lot of calmness and courage,” Price said. “They have great mind sets. Courage is poise under pressure.”
The Sweets and Lefties will face each other again on Saturday night in game 2 of the three game series. Game 2 is slated to start at 7:05 PMRead Less
On a night when his father Jeff – a former Major League infielder – threw out the ceremonial first onion, Walla Walla Sweets second baseman Connor Cirillo accepted the toss, took a bite out of the onion, then took a bite out of the visiting Portland Pickles a short time later.
Cirillo had two hits – including a game-tying, three-run home run that keyed a five-run, second-inning rally – that helped the West Coast League’s South Division leaders to a series-clinching 9-6 victory on Thursday night at historic Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla improved to 10-2 on the season while Portland fell to 5-10. Thursday’s win clinched the mid-week series for the Sweets by two victories to one. Walla Walla has now won four straight series to begin the 2019 campaign. The season began with home sweeps of three-time defending WCL champion Corvallis and Bend and, after a two-game sweep of non-league opponent Highline, the Sweets took two of three games in Wenatchee last weekend before achieving a similar result against Portland.
The Pickles scored twice in the first inning. Alex Lambeau drew a one-out walk and scored on a triple by John Jensen. Darius Perry scored Jensen with a ground ball to shortstop.
Portland added to its lead in the second inning. Kyle Velasquez reached base on a two-out error and scored on a Brendan Power single.
With two out and one on in the Sweets second, Caden Cortese drew a walk on four pitches and set the stage for Cirillo. He delivered a mighty swing on the first pitch he eyed from Portland starting pitcher Jonathan Kelly and dropped it over the left-field wall to tie the game at 3-3. Patrick Caulfield followed with a double and scored on a bad-hop hit to right off the bat of Cesar Lopez. Ben Fariss sent Lopez to third with a single prior to the execution of a double steal by the duo that produced the final run of the inning.
“A fastball down the middle was all I was looking for,” Cirillo said. “Coach told me to look for something I could kill and I did. I knew it was gone.”
Reliever Ben Johnson retired the Pickles 1-2-3 in the top of the third inning and the Sweets tallied twice in the home half. Jordan Stubbings led off with a single and scored on a double to right by Caleb Farmer. With two out, Cirillo brought in Farmer with a single to give the Sweets a 7-3 lead.
Alex Shanks belted a solo home run to left in the fourth inning for Portland. The Pickles drew two runs closer in the fifth on a wild pitch and a Perry grounder.
Brock Ephan, pinch-hitting in the bottom of the fifth inning, worked the count to 2-0 against Portland reliever Nicolas Lopez before unloading a 421-foot home run to left that re-established a multiple-run edge for the home team.
“It felt awesome,” Ephan said. “He fell behind 2-0 and I had a feeling he was coming back with a fastball. It felt good to get back in the hit column.”
Caulfield led off the Walla Walla sixth with the second of three hits he had on the night. He advanced to second on a Lopez grounder to the right side, ran to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Fariss single.
Pitchers Chazz Martinez, Dimick Wood, and Fariss did not allow a run in their five total innings of mound work. Two inherited runners scored against Martinez, but he retired all three hitters he faced in the fifth. Wood hurled innings six, seven, and eight and did not allow a hit. Fariss started the ninth inning by K’ing Chase Luttrell and Kyle Velasquez, but issued a walk to Power and a single to Kyle Manzardo. He regained his poise, though, and retired Lambeau on a fly to right to end the contest.
“I like the way they continue to battle every inning,” Walla Walla manager Frank Mutz said. “They keep coming back. That’s the personality. They want to win. They keep grinding at it.”
The Sweets open a three-game series with Port Angeles Friday night at 7:05. Saturday’s game is also scheduled for a 7:05 start and Sunday night’s finale begins at 6:05.
The visiting Portland Pickles scored six times in the top half of the first inning Wednesday night and hung on for an 8-7 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets in the second game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at historic Borleske Stadium.
Portland improved its record to 5-9 while the Sweets, who lead the WCL South Division by 1.5 games over second-place Ridgefield, slipped to 9-2.
The rubber game of the set, which will be proceeded by Bud Light Batting Practice and $1 Del Taco tacos for fans in attendance, is set for Thursday night at 6:35.
Portland collected four hits and benefited from three walks during their first-inning uprising. John Arndorfer led off with a single against Walla Walla starting pitcher Andrew Mosiello. Two outs later, John Jensen, John Burghardt, and Jonathan Kelly drew walks to force in the first run of the frame. Colton Cassinelli followed with a bloop single to center that scored three runs and gave the Pickles a 4-0 lead. Alex Shanks deposited the first delivery he saw from Mosiello over the left-field wall to complete the scoring in the inning.
The Sweets got a run back in the bottom of the first. Patrick Caulfield reached base on an error, stole second and, with two out, scored on a Jordan Stubbings’ double off the base of the left-center field wall.
Portland got that run back in the top half of the second inning. Alex Lambeau connected for a one-out single and scored on a Kyle Manzardo double.
The Sweets scored twice in the third inning. Caulfield led off with a walk and moved to second on a botched pick-off attempt. He went to third when Carson Green reached on an error. Ben Fariss scored Caulfield with an infield single to third. On the play, Green moved to third and Fariss to second on a throwing error by Kelly. Fariss crossed the plate later in the stanza to make it a 7-3 game.
Walla Walla produced two more runs in the fifth with two out and no one on base. Fariss and Stubbings singled back-to-back. Caleb Farmer sent Fariss scurrying home and Stubbings to third with a single to right field. Stubbings later scored on a balk to bring the Sweets within two, 7-5.
Harrison experienced the lone blemish on his pitching record in the seventh when he uncorked a wild pitch that resulted in Portland’s final run of the game.
Walla Walla staged a furious comeback in the bottom of the ninth. Caulfield and Green were hit by pitches from Pickles’ reliever Joey Morris. With two out, Farmer brought in Caulfield with a single deep in the hole at shortstop. Emanuel Dean swatted the last of his three singles to bring in Green and send Farmer to third. Conner Thurman replaced Morris and, after allowing Dean to advance to second on defensive indifference, delivered a called third strike to Cesar Lopez to end the game.
Wednesday’s game was the Sweets third consecutive one-run contest. They lost at Wenatchee, 11-10, on Sunday and nipped Portland on Tuesday, 3-2.Read Less
Caulfield's 3-run blast the difference in a tight battle between division rivals
Walla Walla’s Patrick Caulfield smashed a three-run, fifth-inning home run Tuesday night that lifted the West Coast League South Division-leading Sweets to a 3-2 victory over the Portland Pickles in the opening game of a three-game series at Borleske Stadium.
Caulfield’s 376-foot blast was a mighty blow indeed and came on a night when the home team, now 9-1 on the season, was in desperate need of such a swing. Walla Walla managed just one hit through the first four-and-a-third innings and three for the game.
Sweets starting pitcher Travis Craven and his opposite number – left-hander Michael Newstrom – came away unscathed in the first inning. Craven retired the Pickles in order and Newstrom only allowed a two-out walk to Justin Folz, who entered the game as the league’s leading hitter.
John Jensen led off the Portland second by getting aboard on a three-base error. He scored when Darius Perry bounced out 5-3.
The Pickles utilized little ball to plate their final run of the game. Jensen singled to lead off the fourth inning. He stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and crossed home plate on a Gabe Skoro grounder up the middle that Sweets shortstop Parker Price fielded behind the second-base bag to get the out at first.
Newstrom exited after four innings and was replaced by Trent Bixby. Left fielder Ben Fariss and catcher Caden Cortese, both making their 2019 Walla Walla debuts, earned back-to-back walks to begin the home fifth. One out later, Caulfield drove a Bixby delivery over the left-field wall for what turned out to be the final tallies of the night.
“At 2-and-2, I was looking for a breaking ball to fight off,” Caulfield said. “He threw a fastball in, I love fastballs in, and I hit it for a home run.”
Craven (two innings) and fellow pitcher Landon Boeneke (two innings) gave up a run apiece while on mound duty. Ty Hueckman, who earned the victory, tossed the next two frames and Brennan Patterson, Nick Irwin, and Reid Sebby hurled one frame each. The group combined for 11 strikeouts.
Hueckman gave up two hits over his two innings and Patterson sent Portland down 1-2-3 in the seventh.
“I went out there with a different mentality,” Patterson said. “I had struggled the last couple of outings. (Manager Frank Mutz) told me to ‘go out there like you own it’ and I pitched well.”
Irwin got off to a rocky start in the eighth. He walked lead-off hitter John Arndorfer on four pitches. Arndorfer moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Alex Lambeau, who crossed the first-base bag safely on the play thanks to a Walla Walla error. Then Irwin experienced a reversal of fortune when Kyle Manzardo, the WCL’s ninth-leading hitter, bunted to the left of home plate. Cortese pounced on the ball and threw a seed to Folz at third to force out Arndorfer. Jensen flew out to left field for out No. 2, and Irwin – with guts and a side of grit – fanned Perry to retire the side.
Sebby started the ninth by striking out Skoro. But back-to-back singles by pinch-hitter Chase Luttrell and Colton Cassinelli, coupled with pinch-hitter Jon Burghardt being hit by a pitch, loaded the bases. Following adversity, Sebby displayed similar traits to those of Irwin an inning earlier when he got Arndorfer to hit into a 5-4 fielder’s choice and Alex Lambeau to ground out to second to end the game.
“Pitching is all about limiting mistakes,” Sebby said. “When things go bad you can’t roll over, but instead make pitches.”
“The big difference between tonight’s pitching and the last night in Wenatchee (an 11-10 Sweets loss) was our pitchers attacked the strike zone,” Mutz said. “We had a pitcher’s meeting (Tuesday) and talked about demeanor on the mound. Sebby willed himself out of it.”
The middle game of the three-game series is Wednesday night at 6:35.
After suffering their first loss of the 2019 West Coast League season on Sunday night, the Walla Walla Sweets will look to reclaim their winning form when they open a three-game series and six-game homestand on Tuesday night against the Portland Pickles at historic Borleske Stadium.
The half-dozen game stay will also include a three-game set with the Port Angeles Lefties over the weekend.
Walla Walla held leads of 7-0 and 10-5 on Sunday night and were positioned to sweep a weekend series in Wenatchee. But the AppleSox came from behind for an 11-10 victory. Quinn Ayers belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the home team over the top. The Sweets came up short in their quest for the franchise’s first 9-0 start despite a combined five hits and two runs batted in apiece from Colorado Mesa teammates Caleb Farmer and Jordan Stubbings, a pair of run-scoring doubles struck by Tristan King, two hits off the bat of WCL hitting leader Justin Folz, and a two-run knock produced by David Le Bioda.
The Sweets erased an early two-run deficit on Saturday and edged their way past Wenatchee, 7-6. Folz had a pair of two-run hits – a double in the third inning and a single in the seventh. The latter hit put the local nine up for keeps. With runners at first and second in the ninth Dimick Wood, the last of six pitchers used by skipper Frank Mutz, struck out Kodie Kolden looking for the final out.
The series most dramatic moment occurred Friday night when Walla Walla’s Carson Green slugged a two-out, two-run home run in the ninth inning to break a 1-1 tie. Reliever Reid Sebby started the last of the ninth with a strikeout and, after the next two hitters reached base, posted back-to-back K’s to wrap up the contest.
Folz inched by teammate Patrick Caulfield for the league lead in batting average, .484-.474. Folz is first in slugging percentage (.774), tied for first in doubles (six) and on-base percentage (.600), and second in RBI’s (10). Caulfield leads the WCL in stolen bases (11) and is tied for first in hits (18).
Portland comes to town coming off being swept at home by the Bend Elks. The Pickles managed just two hits Sunday in a 3-0 setback. One hit came from Kyle Manzardo – the league’s ninth-leading hitter (.385 avg.) coming into the week. Pitcher Titus Groeneweg, named the WCL Pitcher of the Week on Monday, gave up just two hits in four innings on Sunday and struck out five. He worked seven innings for the week and K’d 10.
The teams split six games in 2018. Each side took two out of three in their respective ballparks. Walla Walla bookended 5-4 and 5-3 victories around a 4-1 Portland triumph in June 22-24 meetings at Borleske Stadium. The Pickles posted resounding 10-7 and 12-0 wins around a 2-1 Sweets conquest when the teams got together in Portland July 10-12.
Port Angeles dropped two out of three games at Ridgefield over the weekend including an 8-7 verdict on Sunday. Ronnie Rust paced the Lefties offense with three hits while Trevor Rosenberg and Connor Denning, the WCL’s sixth-leading hitter (.414), stroked two apiece.
A trio of Lefties, like Denning, are also hitting above .300 – C.J. Schauwecker (.333), Rust (.324), and Justin Fugitt (.303). Rosenberg (.283) and Damiano Palmegiani (.279) are off to representative starts this season as well.
Port Angeles leads the all-time series 7-2 which includes a 5-1 showing in 2017. The Sweets took the opener of a three-game, July 27-29 series on the Lefties’ home turf, 11-6, before Port Angeles notched 3-2 and 7-4 wins.
Game times for the Portland series are 6:35 each night. Probable Sweets starters against the Pickles are Travis Craven (0-0, 0.00 ERA) on Tuesday, Andrew Mosiello (0-0, 0.00 ERA) on Wednesday, and Brayde Hirai (0-0, 1.68 ERA) on Thursday.
Games versus Port Angeles are 7:05 both Friday and Saturday, and 6:05 Sunday.
A quartet of promotions will be featured during the upcoming homestand. Fans purchasing merchandise at Borleske Stadium on Wednesday will receive a 40 percent discount; Bud Light Batting Practice, including $1 Del Taco tacos, is scheduled Thursday; Bread Night, presented by Sara Lee Bread, is set for Saturday – with free bread going to the last 750 fans to exit the park; and Kids Day – presented by Sweets Basil – takes place on Sunday. Kids 12 years of age and under will be admitted into the stadium free of charge.
The Walla Walla Sweets squandered leads of 7-0 and 10-5 Sunday night and experienced defeat for the first time in this 2019 West Coast League season.
Wenatchee rallied for four runs in the fourth inning, one in the fifth, four more in the sixth, and two in the seventh as it snapped a two-game slide by salvaging the final game of the three-game series with the WCL South Division leaders, 11-10.
Walla Walla is now 8-1. The AppleSox improved to 4-8.
Patrick Caulfield led off the Sweets first inning on Sunday with a double to right field on the first delivery from Wenatchee starting pitcher Keegan Romig which sparked a four-run rally. He eventually scored on a wild pitch. The next three hitters – Carson Green, Justin Folz, and Cesar Lopez – walked. Jordan Stubbings dropped a single into right to score Green. Caleb Farmer followed with a double down the right-field line to bring in Folz and Lopez.
Walla Walla put up three more runs in the third. Stubbings reached on a one-out throwing error by AppleSox third baseman Kody Darcy. Farmer singled his Colorado Mesa teammate to second. Tristan King scored Stubbings with a double to right-center and David Le Bioda singled in both Farmer and King.
Kodie Kolden capped Wenatchee’s four-run fourth with a two-run single.
Each team scored a run in the fifth. King hammered another RBI double into the right-center alley, and Ryan Altenberger delivered the AppleSox response with a two-out RBI triple.
Stubbings closed out the Sweets scoring for the night with a two-run single in the sixth. Green and Folz rapped one-out singles, and Lopez moved the runners up with a fielder’s choice prior to Stubbings’ knock.
Wenatchee’s four-run sixth was keyed by three productive swings – a Cole McKenzie sacrifice fly, an infield out from Hunter Montgomery, and an RBI single from Dylan McPhillips.
Darcy led off the AppleSox seventh with a walk and Quinn Ayers blasted a home run over the right-field wall to put the home team in front for keeps.
While Wenatchee’s offense prospered after the third inning, the Sweets were retired in order over the final three frames. Cameron Sommer pitched the seventh while teammate Landon Schirer worked the eighth and ninth for the save.
The Sweets open a six-game homestand Tuesday with the first of three games against the Portland Pickles at historic Borleske Stadium. The first pitch each night is set for 6:35. Walla Walla ends the stand next weekend when it faces Port Angeles . Friday’s and Saturday’s games start at 7:05 and Sunday’s contest will start at 6:05.Read Less
The Walla Walla Sweets improved their West Coast League South Division-leading and franchise-starting-best record to that historic level Saturday night after holding off the Wenatchee AppleSox, 7-6, in the second game of a three-game weekend series at Paul Thomas Sr. Field.
Walla Walla, which swept division rivals Corvallis and Bend during its season-opening homestand earlier this month, will gun for its third sweep of a WCL opponent when they meet the AppleSox in the series finale Sunday night at 5:35.
The Sweets got off to a slow start on Saturday against the gusty Wenatchee nine. Tyler Detloff, John Graham, and Cole McKenzie started the home first with walks against Walla Walla starting pitcher Bryson Spagnuolo. Nate Dahle came on relief and struck out Hunter Montgomery to commence his outing, but allowed an RBI single to Dylan McPhillips and a sacrifice fly to left field to Brett Gillis before ending the inning by fanning Kody Darcy.
Walla Walla equalized in the top of the third. Brock Ephan led off with a walk and lumbered to second on an infield out off the bat of Carson Green. One out later, Parker Price worked Wenatchee starter Trent Sellers for a base on balls, and Justin Folz ripped a 2-2 pitch to right for a two-run double that evened things up at 2-2. Cesar Lopez served a single into right moments later that scored Folz and put the Sweets up 3-2.
Dahle struck out the side in the third inning, but gave up an unearned run that knotted things up at 3-3.
The Sweets tallied twice in the fourth. Tristan King was issued a one-out free pass, but was forced out at second base when Ephan hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice. Carson Green chased Sellers with a single to keep the inning alive. Patrick Caulfield greeted reliever Ryan Long with a two-run, left-field line laser that gave the Sweets a 5-3 lead.
Wenatchee – aided by a pair of Walla Walla errors – tied the game in the fifth against Sweets pitcher Charles Harrison, and used a wild pitch to plate the tiebreaking run in the sixth.
The Sweets took the lead for good in the seventh. Caulfield and Price earned back-to-back walks with one out and eventually moved up one base apiece, setting the stage for a Folz bouncer through the middle of a drawn-in infield on a 3-2 pitch.
Mason Kokodynski faced the minimum number of hitters and struck out two in the home seventh, then worked out of a first-and-second, one-out mess with K’s of McKenzie and pinch-hitter Blake Klassen.
Wyatt Boone began the bottom of the ninth in promising fashion by getting the first two outs – a comebacker struck by McPhillips and a strikeout of Gillis. But he walked the next two hitters and was lifted for Dimick Wood. Kodie Kolden had a one-ball, two-strike count on him before Wood delivered a called third to end the game. Wood’s K was the 12th of the night for Sweets hurlers.
Saturday’s win improved the Sweets all-time, regular-season record to 36-30 against Wenatchee.
Walla Walla will return home after Sunday’s game and open a six-game homestand Tuesday against Portland and Port Angeles.
Leftfielder Carson Green belted a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning Friday night to lift the undefeated Walla Walla Sweets to a 3-1 victory over the Wenatchee AppleSox in the opening game of a three-game West Coast League baseball series at breezy Paul Thomas Sr. Field.
Walla Walla improved to a franchise and WCL South Division-best 7-0 with Friday’s triumph while the gallant and hard-luck AppleSox slipped to 3-7.
Designated hitter David Le Bioda reached base after being hit by a pitch with one out in the ninth. Connor Coballes replaced Le Bioda as a pinch runner, but was forced out at second base when Ben Johnson hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice. Mason Kokodynski entered for Johnson and, two pitches later, Green lifted a 1-0 pitch from Wenatchee reliever Logan Chase into the jet stream and over the right-field wall.
The AppleSox threatened in the bottom half of the final frame versus Reid Sebby. After a Brett Gillis strikeout, Kody Darcy walked and Dylan Ohlsen singled. But Sebby, the last of five pitchers utilized by manager Frank Mutz, assumed the role of bulldog and fanned both Quinn Ayers and pinch-hitter Blake Klassen looking to end the game. In all, Sweets pitchers Travis Craven (two innings), Landon Boeneke (two), Andrew Mosiello (three), Nick Irwin (one), and Sebby combined for 10 punchouts against a Wenatchee team that put up 22 runs in its previous two games – 14-7 and 8-3 victories over Port Angeles.
The Sweets, who managed just five hits on the night, tallied in the top of the first. Patrick Caulfield led off with a four-pitch walk against Wenatchee starting pitcher Gavin Gorrell, stole second, took third on a Cesar Lopez infield hit, and scored on a wild pitch.
Wenatchee equalized in the home half of inning four. Cole McKenzie led off by reaching base on an error, ran to second on a one-out single by Gillis, went to third on an infield hit by Darcy, and scored on a two-out single by Ayers. On the play, however, the AppleSox were denied the go-ahead run when Green cut down Gillis at the plate.
Gorrell (five innings) and fellow AppleSox hurler Sam Wyatt allowed just four hits over the first eight innings before the dramatic final stanza.
Both teams struggled throughout the game with runners in scoring position, going a combined 3-for-17.
Walla Walla, which took season series from Wenatchee four victories to two in both 2017 and 2018, improved the franchise record to 35-30 against the AppleSox.
Game two of the three-game series is Saturday night at 6:35. The final act of the weekend diamond theater is Sunday at 5:35.Read Less
Following an unblemished homestand, which included three-game sweeps of West Coast League South Division rivals Corvallis and Bend, the Walla Walla Sweets hit the road this weekend for a three-game series with the Wenatchee Apple Sox at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium. Games Friday and Saturday are scheduled for 7:05 and Sunday’s finale begins at 5:05.
Walla Walla, off to the franchise’s best start in team history (6-0), ended its season-opening eight game stand Wednesday night by completing a two-game, non-WCL sweep of the Pacific International League’s Highline Bears at historic Borleske Stadium, 9-2. That came on the heels of an 8-4 triumph Tuesday night. The Sweets are now 36-4 against non-league opposition.
A half-dozen Sweets pitchers – Nathan Dahle, Ty Hueckman, Charles Harrison, Wyatt Boone, Landon Boeneke, and Nick Irwin – allowed just one earned run, combined on a five-hitter, and teamed up to strike out 11 Highline hitters on Wednesday. Dahle, Hueckman, and Harrison pitched two innings apiece while Boone, Boeneke, and Irwin threw one frame each. All six hurlers claimed at least one K in the game.
Walla Walla rolled a trio of sevens offensively. It collected seven hits – led by the two apiece of Cesar Lopez and Justin Folz – and worked Bears’ pitchers for seven walks. The Sweets also benefited from seven of their hitters being hit by a pitch. Both Brandon Wagstaff and Tristan King were hit twice.
David Le Bioda provided Walla Walla with its most productive swing of the contest – a two-run single that highlighted a five-run sixth inning that turned a competitive 3-1 game into an 8-1 rout.
Centerfielder Patrick Caulfield, who was named the West Coast League’s first Player of the Week of the 2019 season on Monday, and third baseman Justin Folz enter the weekend 1-2 in the WCL in hitting. Caulfield has a .560 batting average and leads the league in runs scored (10), hits (14) and stolen bases (7). Folz is best in both the on-base (.654) and slugging (.950) percentage departments.
The Sweets outscored Corvallis (19-8) and Bend (28-17) by a 47-25 margin on their way to stringing together six wins to commence the 2019 campaign. Walla Walla has done much of its damage in the eighth inning. It scored five times in the frame on opening night against the Knights and tallied three and four runs, respectively, in the eighth panel during the final two games of their set with the Elks. The Sweets have scored at least one run in the eighth inning in five of their first six WCL games. The lone exception was the June 6 contest against Corvallis.
Wenatchee, which lost six of its first seven games, comes into this upcoming three-game series with momentum after back-to-back home victories over Port Angeles. Pitcher Seth Kuykendall earned the victory for the Apple Sox on Thursday night with three-and-a-third innings of no-run, three-hit middle relief in Wenatchee’s 8-3 conquest of the Lefties. He posted four strikeouts along the way. Trent Sellers and Cole McKenzie, who socked his first home run of the season leading off the seventh inning, paced the Apple Sox 13-hit attack with three apiece while lead-off hitter Ty Detloff added a pair.
Walla Walla leads the all-time series with Wenatchee 34 victories to 30. The Sweets have won four or more regular-season games against the Apple Sox in five of the last seven seasons. The high-water mark came in 2014 when Walla Walla went 6-3 versus its north central Washington foe. The Sweets defeated the Apple Sox five times in both the 2012 and 2015 seasons, and went 4-2 against them the last two summers.
Opportunism was on full display Wednesday night when the Walla Walla Sweets closed out a season-opening, eight-game homestand with the finale of a two-game series with the Highline Bears of the Pacific International League at Borleske Stadium.
The West Coast League’s Sweets managed just seven hits, but also drew seven walks and had an equal number of batters hit by a pitch in a 9-2 victory over the Bears.
After an uneventful first inning in which both teams had batters reach base, Walla Walla broke through for a run in the home half of the second inning. With one out, catcher Tristan King was plunked by a delivery from Highline starting pitcher Matt Franceschina, moved to second base on a passed ball and, after a two-out walk was issued to Carson Green, scored on a looped single to right field by Mason Kokodynski.
The Bears threatened to equalized in the third. Tori Doten singled with one out and advanced to second on a passed ball. Cole Chambers delivered a two-out single to right, but Doten was cit down at home plate on a one-hop throw uncorked by Cesar Lopez.
Brandon Wagstaff kept the Sweets third alive when he was hit by a pitch with two out. He stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch before King sent him across the plate with a grounded single to left.
Lopez, who went 2-for-6 on the night, grounded a two-out RBI single to right-center in the fourth inning to grow Walla Walla’s lead to 3-0.
Highline broke through in the sixth. Zach Spradlin led off with a walk, raced to second on a wild pitch, hit the next station on a one-out grounder to first by Kealen Martin, and tallied on a single Cole Trotignon.
The Sweets used three hit batsmen and two walks to plate five runs in the home half of the sixth. Runs three and four of the inning came about on a single to center off the bat of David Le Bioda. Wagstaff (HBP), King (BB), and Patrick Caulfield (BB) earned an RBI apiece in the inning.
Walla Walla’s final run crossed in the eight inning. Green walked, negotiated to second on a wild pitch, maneuvered to third on a Caulfield infield grounder, and scored on a Highline error.
Six Sweets pitchers combined on a five-hitter and 11 strikeouts. Nathan Dahle, Ty Hueckman, and Charles Harrison threw two innings each while Wyatt Boone, Landon Boeneke, and Nick Irwin logged one frame apiece.
“We had some timely hitting and took advantage of their walks,” Sweets coach Larry Price said. “They were erratic and we capitalized on it. We got a little flat with the walks and hit batters, but stayed focused on what we had to do.”
Walla Walla ventures on the road this weekend for a three-game West Coast League series with the Wenatchee AppleSox. Games Friday and Saturday are scheduled for 6:35 and Sunday’s contest is set for 5:05.Read Less