Walla Walla, Wash. – A common theme in Sweets losses this season has been a struggling offense. It was true again Saturday, as Walla Walla’s offense fell silent while dropping game two of the series to the Portland Pickles on Abbott & Costello Night by a final score of 4-1.
The Sweets have averaged just 1.29 runs in their seven losses this season compared to 6.7 runs in their 10 wins.
The Pickles jumped out to an early lead in the top of the second inning off Sweets starting pitcher Zach Penrod (Tomorrow). With one out in the inning, a bouncing ball to the third baseman Nick Nyquist (I Don’t Know) was unable to be fielded cleanly, resulting in an error.
The next batter Gabe Skoro dropped down a bunt that rolled right out in front of home plate. Walla Walla’s Willy Chang (Today) corralled the ball cleanly but rushed the throw to first. The ball sailed over the first baseman’s (Who) head and into right field to allow the runner Mikey Perez to come around and score from first to make it 1-0.
With Skoro on third and just one out, Noah Cardenas lifted a ball into right field which was caught by Jalen Garcia (No One). Skoro tagged and strode home easily to score on the sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Penrod’s day came to a close in the top of the third inning after a hard ground ball back up the middle hit him in his left hand, his throwing hand, forcing him to exit the game. Fortunately for the Sweets, the injury appears to just be a bruised hand and Penrod should be good to return to action after a few days of rest.
Tyson Quolas (Inside) took to the mound in relief and he had a strong outing but allowed a pair of runs to score in the top of the sixth.
With two outs, a walk and a double put runners on second and third. That brought up Portland’s man of the hour, Skoro, and he promptly ripped a single right up the third base line and into left field to score both runners and extend the lead out to 4-0.
The Sweets tried to put together a late-inning rally, as the start to the bottom of the ninth looked promising. Danny Sinatro (Because) got things started with a single and was driven in on an RBI double by Nyquist to make it 4-1.
A broken-bat single to centerfield by Jordan Hovey (Remember) put runners on the corners with still nobody out in the inning. Despite the three-straight hits off Portland’s Brad Bonnefant, he would strike out the next two batters and get Tyler Pritchard (What) to ground out to seal the victory and give the Pickles the win by a final score of 4-1.
Walla Walla is still in a great position to take the important series against Portland as the rubber match takes place on Sunday with first pitch slated for 4:35 PM. Haydn King will toe the rubber with hopes of the offense returning to form.
Walla Walla, Wash. – It was fitting that on Adam West Night the Sweets required a superhero-type effort late in the game to come away with the win. Those late game heroics were provided by the veteran Ryan Johnston. His bottom of the 9th, 2-out single through the infield to score Jordan Hovey gave Walla Walla the win in walk-off fashion 5-4 over the Portland Pickles.
The Pickles tallied first in the in the top of the third inning off Sweets starting pitcher Sean Sullivan. Carson Breshears drew a walk with two outs and came all the way around to score on an RBI double off the left field wall by Zander Clarke to make it 1-0.
The Sweets wasted no time in answering as they put together a big inning in the bottom of the third. With one out Walla Walla loaded the bases off Portland’s starter Connor Pellerin on a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and another walk.
That brought Nick Nyquist to the plate. The 2-time All-Star flipped a single into centerfield to plate two runs and make it 2-1. The Sweets were not done yet. With runners on second and third and two outs, Jack Filby ripped a single through the right side of the infield to score both runners and extend the lead out to 4-1.
In the top of the fifth, Portland would respond after Gio Diaz reached on a single to leadoff the inning. He stole second base and then was driven in on an RBI single by Breshears to make it 4-2.
That closed the books on Sullivan’s day on the mound for Walla Walla as he finished with five innings of work, just five hits allowed, and two runs scored.
Portland would add on in the top of the seventh off the Sweets’ Michael Peterson. The leadoff batter in the inning Diaz hit a solo homerun right down the left field line that created some controversy. The ball appeared to glance off the side of the manual scoreboard in left field in foul territory, but the home plate umpired ruled that it hit the foul pole and the call stood to make it 4-3.
Samuel Reed took to the mound in the eighth for the Sweets and he was lights out, just as he has been all year. He struck out the first four batters he faced and kept the 4-3 lead intact with one out in the top of the ninth.
Filby then took over pitching duties but he would ultimately relinquish the lead. He allowed a single to the first batter he faced but rolled up a fielder’s choice to the next batter which put Diaz on first base with two outs. Then on a 3-2 count, Breshears blasted a double into the left-centerfield gap and Diaz came all the way around to score from first to tie the game at 4-4.
It was then the Sweets turn to put together a late-game rally of their own. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and down to his last strike, Hovey dropped down a bunt and was able to hustle his way to reach first base safely on an infield single.
He promptly stole second base to advance into scoring position and that set the stage for the exciting conclusion. On another 3-2 count with two away, Johnston poked a ground ball through the left side of the infield that split Portland’s defenders, with Hovey sprinting around third and sliding home safely just ahead of the throw to score the game-winning run, giving the Sweets the victory with a final score of 5-4.
Walla Walla will once again host the Portland Pickles for game two of the series Saturday night with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 PM. Lefty Zach Penrod will toe the rubber as the team celebrates the Abbott & Costello routine “Who’s in First”.
Wenatchee, Wash. – After struggling at the plate in the game on Wednesday, the Sweets’ bats came back to life in the series finale against the AppleSox on Thursday night. Walla Walla won the rubber match by a final score of 10-4, taking the pivotal series against Wenatchee and having now won three straight series against WCL opponents.
Wenatchee jumped on the board in the bottom of the first off Sweets starter Ty Hueckman on a hit-by-pitch to the leadoff man and an RBI single by Jacob Prater.
The turning point in the game for the Sweets was the top of the third inning. Josh Kutzke launched a double off the centerfield wall, and the rest of the lineup followed suit. They would load the bases with one out following a the double, a hit-by-pitch, and a walk. Isaak Gutierrez then came to the plate and roped a single into centerfield that scored Walla Walla’s first two runs of the game to make it 2-1.
With runners on the corners and still one out, Zach Penrod chopped a ground ball just a few feet into the grass toward third base. A great read on contact by Nick Nyquist allowed him to come across to score, with the only play available being at first base. Another hit-by-pitch and a passed ball put runners on second and third with two outs. Tyler Pritchard then hit a pop-up into shallow left field that was unable to be fielded cleanly by the AppleSox’ shortstop, with this fortuitous error allowing both runners to score, giving the Sweets a 5-1 lead.
Walla Walla tacked on another run in the top of the fourth after a double by Ryan Johnston and a single to right field by Nyquist to extend the lead to 6-1.
The AppleSox battled back in the bottom of the fourth, getting the first two batters of the inning on base via a walk and a single. A fielder’s choice at second put runners on the corners with one out, and A.D. Peña grounded out to the first baseman, scoring the runner from third to make it 6-2.
The six runs put an end to Wenatchee starting pitcher Connor McCord’s day. He finished allowing four earned runs, six hits and two walks over four innings of work. That brought Dawson Day to the mound for the AppleSox, and the Sweets would rough him up as well in his one inning on the bump.
Day came on in the top of the fifth and promptly allowed a leadoff double to Zach Penrod. Danny Sinatro would follow suit and double as well to score Penrod and extend the lead 7-2.
The offense then kept rolling in the frame. Sinatro would steal third base easily on a great jump from second with one out. With the infield pulled in, Matt Elser would hit a bounding ground ball that jumped up over the head of Wenatchee’s second baseman and scored Sinatro to give Walla Walla an 8-2 lead.
With a comfortable lead, Hueckman settled into the game nicely. He earned the win with 5 innings pitched, 3 earned runs and a pair of strikeouts. Pitch location and defense were effective tools for the righty from the University of Nevada, Reno.
The offensive show continued for the Sweets in the top of the seventh with runners on second and third and two outs. Johnston hammered a single through the infield and scored both runners to extend the Sweets lead to 10-3.
Wenatchee made a last-ditch effort to get back into the game in the bottom of the eighth following a leadoff hit-by-pitch and a stolen base to put a runner on second with nobody out. A single by Sam Swenson would plate the run and make it 10-4, where the score would stand for the remainder of the game. A pair of inning-ending double plays in the seventh and eighth innings were key plays that kept the Sweets momentum in the win.
The Sweets are now 8-2 in their last 10 WCL games and sit just a half-game out of first place as they get set to host the Portland Pickles. The three-game series begins on Friday night with first pitch slated for 7:05 (with a post-game fireworks show).Read Less
Wenatchee, Wash. – The Walla Walla Sweets offense had been rolling of late. The team had won five straight heading into the game on Wednesday, and scoring runs seemed to come easily. Unfortunately, both of those things ended as the Sweets lost 3-1 to the Wenatchee AppleSox in game two of the three-game series.
The AppleSox took the lead in the bottom of the first inning off Sweets starting pitcher Bryce Moyle. With one out, Michael Spellacy reached first base safely on a dropped third strike and came around to score on a single by Jacob Prater to make it 1-0.
The Sweets pushed across their only run of the game in the top of the fifth inning. They loaded the bases with one out on back-to-back singles and a walk. Newly signed Isaak Gutierrez then came up and lifted a fly ball just deep enough into centerfield to allow Jack Filby to come across on an RBI sacrifice fly to tie the game 1-1.
It did not take Wenatchee long to respond in the bottom of the fifth inning. A leadoff homerun by Alix Garcia made it 2-1 in favor of the AppleSox. The next batter, Isaac Barrera, doubled to right-centerfield to give Wenatchee a runner on second with nobody out.
Two batters later, Michael Spellacy singled back up the middle to score Barrera from second and push the AppleSox’ lead out to 3-1. The score stayed there through the rest of the game and rested as the final.
As has been the case early in the WCL campaign, the Sweets’ bullpen shined in this contest. Tyson Quolas came on in relief and threw two shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three. Gutierrez (a two-way player) took to the mound late and went one and two-thirds innings of scoreless work, allowing just a hit and striking out one.
Walla Walla had their chances offensively throughout the game. It was an evening where the club simply failed to capitalize with the one big hit that was needed to break the game open. They left 11 runners on base in the game Wednesday night, including seven of those runners being stranded in scoring position.
The series against the AppleSox wraps up on Thursday night, with the rubber match scheduled to begin at 7:05 PM.Read Less
Wenatchee, Wash. – The Walla Walla Sweets took the series opener on the road against the Wenatchee AppleSox by a final score of 7-3. With the win, the Sweets have now won five-straight WCL games and have scored 42 runs during the winning streak.
Walla Walla jumped on the board in the second inning after Tyler Pritchard reached on a single through the right side of the infield and stole second base with one out in the inning. Cesar Lopez then hit a bounding chopper to third base and reached first safely on an infield singer to make it runners on the corners with two outs.
With Willy Chang up to the plate, a ball in the dirt got just far enough away from AppleSox catcher Jordan Rathbone to allow Pritchard to score on a passed ball and advanced Lopez to third on the play. Three pitches later, the ball was wide at the plate and got back to the backstop to allow Lopez to score easily on a wild pitch and make it 2-0 in favor of the Sweets.
Back for his second year with Walla Walla, Dylan Riddle got the start and threw three strong innings. He finished with three strikeouts and only surrendered one hit, albeit a solo homerun to Wenatchee’s Jake Taylor, which made the score 2-1.
The Sweets tacked on in the top of the sixth after three straight singles loaded the bases to start the inning. Danny Sinatro then reached safely on an error by the AppleSox shortstop which scored a run and kept the bases loaded with still nobody out.
Then a ball hit deep in the hole by Lopez resulted in a fielder’s choice at second but pushed across Zach Penrod at the plate. So with one out and runners on the corners, Chang dropped down a safety squeeze bunt and was thrown out at first but allowed Pritchard to score stealing from third for the third run of the inning to make it 5-1.
The AppleSox scored a pair in the sixth inning off Brayde Hirai after he surrendered back-to-back walks to start the inning. A single by Johnny Sage back up the middle scored Evan Williams from second for the first run of the inning, and then a sacrifice bunt moved Mason Marenco to third with one away. Rathbone then smoked a ball deep to right field which was flagged down by Penrod but allowed Marenco to score from third to make the score 5-3.
Jack Filby then led off the seventh with a single and Ryan Johnston followed him up with a walk to give the Sweets two runners on with nobody out. Nick Nyquist struck out swinging but then Penrod came up and drilled a single to centerfield to score Filby from second.
On a hit-and-run with Penrod at first, Pritchard would hit into a 6-4-3 groundout with Penrod advancing safely to second just ahead of the throw, which scored the runner Johnston from third to make it 7-3.
Patrick Collins and Samuel Reed were able to keet the AppleSox at bay through the seventh and eighth innings. Then Sean Sullivan took to the mound in the ninth and struck out the side to end the game giving the Sweets the victory in the series opener.
Walla Walla will be back in action tomorrow night for game two versus Wenatchee to try to take the series early with first pitch slated for 7:05 PM.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – The Walla Walla Sweets had an offensive outpouring in the game on Sunday afternoon and downed the Bend Elks by a final score of 12-6. With the win, the Sweets move to 7-5 on the season and now lead the all-time series against the Elks 23-22.
It was a shaky start to the game for Haydn King, who began the game on the mound for Walla Walla. He walked two of the first four batters he faced and with two outs, gave up back-to-back RBI singles to give the Elks a quick 2-0 lead.
The Sweets wasted no time in responding offensive as in the bottom of the first Jack Filby led off with a single and was followed up by Ryan Johnston who doubled to give Walla Walla runners on second and third with nobody out. Cesar Lopez then dug in with one out and singled back up the middle to score the Sweets first run of the game.
Then with runners on the corners, Robby Teel smashed a shot to right field that got up into the wind and carried over the fence for a three-run homerun to give the Sweets a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the second inning, Isaak Gutierrez singled to lead off and was advanced to third on a single through the right side by Filby. Then Johnston drilled a double into the right-centerfield gap that got all the way out to the wall and scored both runners to make it 6-2.
Michael Warkentin led off the top of the third for the Elks with a double and eventually came around to score on an RBI single by Jerred Seamons to cut the Sweets lead down to three.
Walla Walla continued to pour it on though as in the bottom of the fourth they loaded the bases with two outs on a pair of singles by Filby and Nick Nyquist and then a walk to Lopez. That brought Teel to the plate again, and he delivered a single right back up the middle to score two runs and give him five RBI on the day. Lopez also came around to score on the play on a throwing error by the Elks centerfielder Ty Holmstrom that got away from the third baseman and into the Sweets dugout to make it 9-3.
King’s day on the mound came to a close after a long 108 pitch, five-inning outing. He did allow three runs but at times was electric, racking up nine strikeouts on the day.
The Sweets tacked on again in the bottom of the seventh as they loaded the bases with one out on a pair of walks and a hit-by-pitch. Zach Penrod would get an RBI on a groundout to the first baseman, but a walk to the next batter Filby would load the bases once again.
Johnston came up and drew a walk to score the runner Josh Prizina from third, and then a passed ball to Nyquist allowed Gutierrez to score the twelfth run of the game for Walla Walla.
The Elks put together a bit of a rally in the top of the eighth off Sweets reliever Tyson Quolas. He would retire the first batter but then allowed the next five hitters to reach base safely on three walks and two singles, giving Bend three runs in the inning to make it 12-6.
Samuel Reed then came on and got a ground ball double play to end the inning and limit the damage any further. Gutierrez was called on in the ninth to shut the door, and he did so successfully.
He sent the Elks down in order, one-two-three, to end the game and give the Sweets the victory in a high scoring affair by the final of 12-6.
The Sweets have an off-day on Monday but will take to the road on Tuesday to begin a three-game series against the Wenatchee Applesox with first pitch of game one slated for 7:05 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – It was another wild finish for the Walla Walla Sweets and they would take home the victory by a final score of 8-7 over the Bend Elks. Walla Walla got the power bats going early but would have to rally late to come back to seal the victory.
Zach Penrod got the start for the Sweets and the hard throwing left-hander from Northwest Nazarene University was absolutely lights out on the mound. He tossed five scoreless innings and struck out eight Elks while only allowing two hits.
Walla Walla got on the board first as Nick Nyquist led off the bottom of the fourth inning being hit by a pitch. Penrod flied out to centerfield which brought Josh Prizina to the plate with one away and a runner on first and he promptly hammered a line drive deep into the left-centerfield gap that cleared the wall for a two-run homerun, the first homerun of the 2018 season for the Sweets, to give them a 2-0 lead.
Then in the bottom of the fifth, Mitch Lesmeister got plunked in the helmet with one away which resulted in him being replaced in the lineup by Tyler Pritchard. So with one out and a runner on first, Jack Filby strode in and launched a shot deep to right field for a no-doubt two-run homerun and extended the lead out to 4-0.
The Elks would start their rally in the top of the seventh inning as they got the first two batters of the inning on base via a single and a hit-by-pitch off Sweets pitcher Patrick Collins. A sacrifice bunt advanced both runners into scoring position and with one away, Ty Holmstrom smashed a double to right-centerfield and plated both runs to make it 4-2.
That brought Tanner Cunha to the mound for Walla Walla and he walked the first batter he faced to make it runners on first and second with one away. The next batter drilled a hard groundball to the second baseman Pritchard who could not field the ball cleanly to turn the double play and settled for the out at first which moved both runners up 90 feet and into scoring position once again in the inning.
The next batter Brett Auerbach stepped in and he delivered a double to left-centerfield to score both runners which tied the game at 4-4.
Carson Woolery then took to the mound for the Sweets and despite his early season success, he struggled to find outs early in his appearance. He gave up a leadoff single to Tristen Alvarez and the next batter Jake Holton came up and lifted a deep drive to right field that just barely cleared the wall for another two-run homerun, this time for the Elks, to make it 6-4.
A single and two stolen bases for the next hitter Michael Warkentin put him on third base, and with two outs, Jerred Seamons pushed a single through the left side of the infield to score Warkentin and extend the Elks lead out to 7-4.
The bottom of the eighth would prove to be the decisive inning for the Sweets as they were able to put together a comeback of their own. Ryan Johnston led off with a walk, Nyquist doubled, and Penrod walked to load the bases with nobody out in the inning.
Ace Embree then took over on the mound for the Elks and he promptly struck out the first two batters he faced, and it looked momentarily as though the Sweets rally hopes would be put to bed. That would prove not to be the case as Cesar Lopez strode to the plate and smoked a hard groundball past the Elks first baseman to score two runs easily.
Penrod got caught hanging off third base but the thrown back to the bag to try to retire him got up the line and into the left field bullpen which allowed him to score the third run on the play and tie the game at seven which also advanced Lopez to third base.
The next batter Jalen Garcia came up and he pushed a single through the hole between the third baseman and shortstop to score the runner Lopez from third and give the Sweets the lead once again at 8-7.
Then Samuel Reed came on to close the door in the ninth and he did so successfully in front of an energized crowd at Borleske Stadium. He sent the Elks down 1-2-3 with a strikeout, a flyout and a strikeout to end it to earn the save and give the Sweets the victory in a wild finish on Saturday night.
The Sweets square off with the Elks for the series finale on Sunday afternoon as they search for their fourth straight WCL victory and a series sweep with first pitch slated for 4:35 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – The Walla Walla Sweets took the victory in the opening game of the three-game series against the Bend Elks by a final score of 5-1. The Elks continued their streak of struggling to settle into games early, while the Sweets offense sustained their early run production from over the last few games.
It did not take long for the Sweets to get on the board in this one, as things quickly unraveled on the mound for Elks starter Brett Swartz. He gave up back-to-back walks to start the game to Jack Filby and Cesar Lopez, which brought Nick Nyquist to the plate and he promptly roped an RBI single into centerfield to score Filby and give the Sweets a 1-0 lead.
Zach Penrod then dug into the batter’s box and was hit by a pitch to load the bases with still nobody out. That brought up Robert Teel, who drew a four pitch walk to push across another run and extend Walla Walla’s lead out to 2-0.
So with the bases loaded and still nobody out, Tyler Pritchard strode in and ripped a single through the right side of the infield which scored two runs and pushed the lead out to 4-0 in the first inning.
Having the first six batters of the game reach base safely ended Swartz day without him recording an out and that brought Brennan Patterson to the mound for the Elks and he retired the next three Sweets hitters to get out of the first without allowing any more damage.
Walla Walla then scored in the third inning as they loaded the bases once again but this time with two outs, and a walk to Lopez would score Willy Chang from third to give the Sweets their fifth run of the game.
Darius Vines was just as terrific in the start on Friday as he was in his first start of the year, going five strong innings, striking out seven and only allowing four hits. The only blemish for him on the day came in the fifth inning when he fielded a dribbler back to the mound and his throw to first was wide and into the basepath which was unable to be snagged by Nick Nyquist and got up the line to allow an unearned run to score.
Sean Sullivan came on in relief in the sixth and the California, Berkeley commit shined once again as he threw three shutout innings and struck out four in what was yet another dominant bullpen appearance for the young right-hander. Tyson Quolas then took to the mound in the ninth and worked a 1-2-3 inning to close the books on the game and seal the victory for the Sweets.
The Elks and Sweets will square off for game two of the series Saturday evening at Borleske Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – The Walla Walla Sweets were able to get the victory Tuesday night in a non-league matchup against the Highline Bears by a score of 4-0. With the win, the Sweets move to 30-4 all-time against non-league opponents.
Several new arrivals for Walla Walla got the offense to arrive early on in the game as Cesar Lopez got the bottom of the first inning started off with a bang by drilling a ground rule double to right field. Then with one out Robert Teel would get plunked in the back by a curveball to make it first and second, and then a groundout to the right side by Jalen Garcia would advance both runners 90 feet into scoring position.
So with two outs and runners on second and third, Tyler Pritchard came to the plate for his first at-bat in a Sweets uniform and he delivered. He lifted a flyball into shallow centerfield and Highline’s Ben Ranieri would hustle in and lay out but be unable to make the catch which would allow Pritchard to reach second with a double and both runs to come across to score to give the Sweets an early 2-0 lead.
Walla Walla Community College Warrior Brayde Hirai would get the start for the Sweets and he was exceptional in picking up the win. He would go five shutout innings and only allow two hits through those five frames.
Hirai was not the only W2 pitcher who was tremendous on the mound, as both relievers who came on were equally as lights out. Sean Sullivan appeared in the sixth and seventh innings, did not surrender a hit and would strike out five of the six batters he faced. Tanner Cunha would then come on to close the door and he did just that, allowing just one base hit and striking out four in his two innings of work.
The Sweets would tack on some insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning but in rather unceremonious fashion.
The first three batters of the inning would reach base safely on a single, a hit-by-pitch and a walk, to load the bases with nobody out. Josh Kutzke would then ground into a 5-2-3 double play and not allow any runs to score.
Then with two outs and runners still on second and third, Dimick Wood came to the plate and looked at a ball in the dirt that got away from Highline’s catcher and would allow Pritchard to score from third on a past ball to make it 3-0. Wood ultimately drew a walk and with runners on the corners and two outs, he would get into a pickle between first and second which allowed Josh Prizina to score from third before Wood was tagged out to end the inning and give the Sweets their fourth and final run of the ballgame.
The Sweets host the Highline Bears once again on Wednesday evening with first pitch slated for 6:35 PM.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – The Walla Walla Sweets had their game scheduled for Saturday night postponed due to rain, which resulted in the team hosting the Corvallis Knights for two seven-inning games on Sunday evening. The Sweets would drop the first game in a pitcher’s duel by a score of 2-1 but would rally in the second game and win a thriller by a final of 10-9.
Bryce Moyle got the start for the Sweets in game one and threw well through two frames but struggled in the third. Briley Knight drilled a ball deep into left field that eluded Sweets left fielder Matt Elser and glanced off the wall, allowing Knight to reach third base with a triple and just one away in the inning.
The next batter Chad Stevens hammered an RBI double to the left-centerfield gap to give the Knights a 1-0 lead. Following a groundout, Cameron Haskell dug in with two outs and punched a single through the right side of the infield to score Stevens and make it 2-0.
The Sweets would go scoreless until the bottom of the seventh, when they tried to spark a late-game rally. Josh Prizina led the inning off with a single through the right side of the infield and was promptly pinch ran for by Tyson Quolas.
The next batter would strikeout, bringing Jalen Garcia to the plate and he smacked a single into left field to give the sweets runners on first and second with one out in the inning. Haydn King would come on as a pinch-hitter and look at ball one in the dirt that got past the Knights’ catcher Austin Baek and move both runners into scoring position at second and third.
King lifted a fly ball into centerfield and in a full sprint, Chandler Anderson would slide in and make a beautiful grab to record the out, but Quolas would tag up from third and advance home for the Sweets first run of the ball game.
Garcia was able to advance on the play as well, so with a runner on third and two outs in the bottom of the seventh Willy Chang strode in as the Sweets’ last chance to try to extend the game. He would battle in his at-bat against newly entered pitcher Eli Morse, but Chang ultimately struck out swinging to end the game and the Knights took the victory by a score of 2-1.
Game two would be a much more high-scoring affair and it did not take long for the offense to show up for both teams.
In the top of the first inning, Knight would double to centerfield with one out and the very next batter Cody Hawken would come to plate and crush a 2-0 fastball off Sweets’ starter Ty Hueckman over the left field fence to give the Knights a quick 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, the Sweets would strike back as they were able to load the bases off Knights’ starter Trevor Wells on a pair of singles and an error. So with no outs yet recorded, Zach Penrod would come up and draw a walk to push across a run and make it 2-1.
That would bring up Prizina, who dug in and promptly smoked a double down the left field line that would plate all three baserunners and give the Sweets a 4-2 lead. Matt Elser would be next as he peppered a ball hard to the shortstop Stevens who was unable to field the ball cleanly and allowed Elser to reach safely and advance Prizina to third.
Following a strikeout and a flyout, Jordan Hovey came to the plate with runners on the corners and two away in the inning and looked at a ball in the dirty that got past the catcher and allowed Prizina to come across to score for the fifth run of the inning to make it 5-2.
Both teams would tack on another run in the second inning to push the score to 6-3 and that’s where the score would stand until the bottom of the fourth inning. The Knights brought on the young right hander, Dennis Boatman who would give up three consecutive walks to start the inning and load the bases with nobody out.
Corvallis would then go to their bullpen once again and bring in Louis Crow, but Penrod would be up to the task as he delivered a two-RBI double off the right field wall to extend the lead out to 8-3. Then with one out and runners still on second and third, Elser would chop a ball to the second baseman with the only play to be made at first which would allow another run to come across on a fielder’s choice and give the Sweets a 9-3 lead.
That comfortable lead quickly evaporated however as the Knights would put together their own carousel inning in the top of the sixth. The first two batters would reach safely on an error and a ground rule double off Sweets’ pitcher Tanner Cunha, which would send Penrod to the mound in relief.
He would surrender a base hit to the first batter he faced, Alec Cook, which would score the first run of the inning. A walk to the next hitter would load the bases, and a single would push across another run and keep the bases loaded with still nobody out.
A strikeout and a fielder’s choice would give the Sweets two outs in the inning, but another run would score on the FC and keep runners on second and third. Haskell would come up for Corvallis and drill a single back up the middle to score both runners and cut the Sweets lead down to one as the inning would come to a close with the score now 9-8.
The Sweets would score a much-needed insurance run in the bottom of the sixth after Josh Kutzke would single up the middle and be pinch ran for by Darius Vines, who would advance to third on a double by the next hitter Elser.
Garcia would then come up and drive a double to left field but only score the runner from third as both runners had to wait to ensure that the ball would not be caught. That unfortunately would be the only run the Sweets would scrape across in the inning, but fortunately it would be just enough.
In the top of the seventh, Samuel Reed would come on in relief for Walla Walla and surrender a walk, get a strikeout, then another walk to make it first and second with one out. That would send Jack Filby to the mound to try to close out the game and seal the victory.
He would give up a base hit to the first batter he faced and load the bases with still one out. A ground ball to the newly entered shortstop Quentin LaFontaine would be flipped on to the second baseman for a fielder’s choice and the second run of the inning, but a run would score and cut the Sweets lead down to one.
So with two outs and the tying run just 90 feet away at third base and the go-ahead run on first, it would be Filby against Knight for the biggest at-bat of the game. The talented UCLA commit Filby would win the showdown as he would strikeout Knight swinging on three pitches to end the game and give the Sweets the victory in a thrilling, rollercoaster of a game by a final score of 10-9.
With the split in the doubleheader, the Sweets were able to take the series against the Knights 2-1. Walla Walla will be back in action on Tuesday as they open up a two-game non-league series at home against the Highline Bears with the first game scheduled to begin at 6:35 PM.Read Less
At 3:30 pm, the field was very wet, standing water throughout the stadium, and a forecast that showed 40-60% chance of rain from 6 PM – 10 PM. Given the circumstances, game officials made the decision to cancel the scheduled contest between the Sweets and the Corvallis Knights on Saturday, 6/9. The game will be rescheduled as part of a double-header on Sunday, 6/10.
The start time for Game 1 remains the same – 4:35 PM first pitch, with a 4:00 pm gates open. Game 2 will begin 30 minutes following the conclusion of Game 1. Both contests will be 7-inning games.
“This isn’t ideal for anybody,” said team president Zachary Fraser. “It creates significant logistical challenges for both sides, but you make the call based on the information you have in front of you at the time.
“In consultation with our turf management team, we made the decision early to allow both teams to avoid getting players warmed up only to shut them down early. Just our luck that the forecast keeps pushing out later into the evening!”
For fans who had tickets for the 6/9 contest, the rain-out policy can be found here: https://wallawallasweets.com/tickets/season-tickets/
Tickets are not refundable for cash or tender. In the event that a legal (4 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead, 5 innings if the visiting team is ahead) or made-up game is not played, your ticket will become a coupon, good for exchange for any subsequent ticket for a regular price, regular season game during this current season (subject to available inventory when presented). Exchanges may be made at the Sweets Shoppe or at the Borleske Stadium Box Office, and coupon must be surrendered.
The team will work with different customers that have the same tickets for Game 1 and Game 2 (meaning they would be sharing a seat) to make sure that both parties are taken care of with comparable seat placement.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – The Sweets came away with the win on Opening Night at Borleske Stadium by a final score of 2-0 against the Corvallis Knights. Walla Walla’s pitching staff has now allowed just two runs over the last 31 innings.
Darius Vines (RHP) got the start for the Sweets and pitched to the same caliber that had him tabbed as the #8 prospect in the West Coast League following the 2017 season with W2. He went six strong innings allowing just three hits, no runs and struck out three batters.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Zach Penrod (Utility) drew a walk and stole second base to advance into scoring position with one away in the inning. That brought to the plate three-year Sweet and two-time WCL All-Star Nick Nyquist who drove a base hit into left field to plate Penrod for the first Walla Walla run in the ball game.
Then in the bottom of the seventh inning, Mitch Lesmeister (IF) drew a walk with two outs and stole second base to give an RBI opportunity to Jack Filby (IF), and he delivered. On a two-strike count, Filby ripped a single back up the middle to drive in Lesmeister and give the Sweets a 2-0 lead.
Brayde Hirai (LHP) and Sean Sullivan (RHP) threw back-to-back scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth inning respectively to give the Sweets a chance to win it in the ninth.
Carson Woolery (RHP) then came on for his second save opportunity of the season and kept Sweets fans on the edge of their seats before closing the door.
Woolery would walk the leadoff man, strike out the next, bean the next batter, then strikeout the next. So with two outs and runners on second and third following a double steal, Woolery would get Trace Tammaro (IF) to ground out to Walla Walla’s second baseman Jordan Hovey (IF) for the final out of the ball game and give the Sweets the victory on Opening Night at Borleske Stadium by a score of 2-0.
The Sweets will take on Corvallis again on Saturday night for the second game of the series with first pitch slated for 6:35 PM.
Bellingham, Wash. – It took a while, but the Sweets offense finally came back to life as they took the final game of the series versus the Bellingham Bells by a score of 5-1 in 13 innings. In a game that had no shortage of dramatic moments, the Sweets showed they possess the ability to come together as a team and close a game out when needed.
Haydn King (LHP) got the start for Walla Walla and had a strong showing in his 2018 season debut. He allowed just two hits in five innings of work but did allow the only run of the game for the Bells, albeit an unearned run, on an error with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning by left fielder Tyson Quolas (OF).
With the Sweets not having scored in the previous 27 innings, they would finally push a run across the plate in the seventh inning of this one. Zach Penrod (Utility) led off the inning with a walk, stole second base, advanced 90 feet to third base on a bloop single by Matt Elser (Utility), and with one away in the inning, King would come to the plate and lift one just deep enough into centerfield to allow Penrod to come across to score on a sacrifice fly.
Samuel Reed (LHP) came on in relief of King and threw three solid innings but faced trouble in the bottom of the eighth. With runners on second and third and two away in the inning, the batter Dusty Stroup (IF) smoked a hard ground ball down the third base line, but Willy Chang (Utility) laid out to make the diving stop and in one motion got up and threw the ball in time to first base to retire the side and keep the game tied at 1-1.
Then in the bottom of the ninth, Brian O’Rourke (RHP) would take over on the mound and immediately beaned the first two batters he faced. The Sweets would then turn to Darius Vines (RHP) to try to work out of the jam and extend the game to extras.
The next batter, Marques Carlson (OF), tried to drop down a sacrifice bunt but the placement made it a tough play. Vines would come off the mound and field the ball cleanly but throw wide to first base resulting in second baseman Jordan Hovey (IF) having to lay out to corral the ball in, and he did so successfully to keep the ball on the infield with the runner reaching first base safely.
So with the bases loaded and nobody out in the inning, Vines would face what could be considered the most difficult situation possible for a relief pitcher with the winning run standing just 90 feet away at third base. Ben McKay (IF) promptly grounded out to the catcher Elser, who quickly fielded the ball out in front of home plate and tagged out the runner from third trying to advance home.
With one away and the bases still loaded, the hottest hitter in the West Coast League Jordan Stoner (OF) would stride in, and Vines rose to the occasion as he struck out Stoner for the second out of the inning. Guthrie Morrison (OF) dug in next and chopped a ground ball back over the mound, and on a tough play, Jack Filby (IF) would hustle in to field the ball and throw on to first to retire the side and send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the thirteenth inning, the Sweets would finally hit paydirt with a few fortunate bounces along the way. Chang would lead off the inning by drawing a walk which was followed by a botched bunt attempt that went foul with two strikes by Quolas for the first out.
Filby would come up next and hammer a ground ball to the second baseman Grant McCormick (IF), who was unable to field the ball cleanly and allowed both runners to reach base safely. Jalen Garcia (OF) would then deliver the biggest hit of the game as he drilled a single into left field that allowed Chang to come all the way around to score from second base to give the Sweets a 2-1 lead.
Hovey would draw a walk to load the bases and that would bring up Penrod who hit a hard ground ball to the second baseman McCormick, and he bobbled the ball which would force the Bells to take only the out at second base and pushed across another run on the fielder’s choice to extend Walla Walla’s lead out to 3-1.
Josh Prizina (Utility) would draw a walk to load the bases once again, bringing Elser to the dish. He would strike out swinging, but the drop third strike would get past the Bells’ catcher Cody Pasic (C) and allow two more runs to come across the plate giving the Sweets their final tally of five runs in the game.
Quolas would get his redemption on the mound as he was sensational coming on in relief in the tenth and throwing four shutout innings to close the book on the game and take home the victory as Walla Walla would win a wild extra-inning game by a final score of 5-1.
The Sweets will have a much needed off day on Thursday but will be back in action for their home opener on Friday night as they take on the Corvallis Knights with first pitch slated for 7:05 PM.Read Less
Bellingham, Wash. – The Sweets lost a pitchers’ duel Tuesday night 1-0 in the second game of the series against the Bellingham Bells. Walla Walla has now lost four straight after taking the opening night victory from the Pippins.
Zach Penrod (Utility) got the start for the Sweets and went four strong innings on the mound. He allowed no hits and no runs but walked four batters through those four frames.
The young right-hander Patrick Collins (RHP) came on in the fifth in his first appearance for the Sweets and looked strong. He did allow the only run of the game after giving up a leadoff double to Connor Mack (OF) and allowing him to come around to score on an RBI single from Guthrie Morrison (OF), but Collins only allowed those two hits in his two innings of work and stuck out two batters.
Carson Woolery (RHP) would come on in the seventh and go two strong innings to close out the game for the Sweets. He surrendered just one hit and struck out one batter in his appearance out of the bullpen.
Walla Walla had limited opportunities offensively to push across any runs as they only had two hits in the game and were only able to advance runners into scoring position twice.
The Sweets look to get their offense back on track in the series finale against the Bells on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.Read Less
Bellingham, Wash. – The Walla Walla Sweets dropped the opening game of the three-game series versus the Bellingham Bells by a final score of 5-0. With the loss, the Sweets have now lost three straight and currently sit at 1-3 here early on in the season.
Tanner Cunha (LHP) got the start for the Sweets and threw well but dealt with a tight strike zone in the first inning. He allowed just one hit in the inning but walked three batters and surrendered a hit-by-pitch ultimately resulting in two runs coming across to score.
The first inning continues to be a challenge for Walla Walla pitchers, as now over the last three games the team has allowed nine runs in the first inning.
Cunha settled in nicely but ran into some trouble again in the fourth inning. After getting the first two outs in the inning, he walked the nine-hitter in the Bells lineup which gave Jordan Stoner (OF) an opportunity to hit, and he crushed a two-run homerun over the left-centerfield fence to extend the Bells’ lead out to 4-0.
After going 3-for-4 in the game tonight against the Sweets, Stoner now carries a .733 batting average through the first three games of the 2018 West Coast League season.
The Sweets would have several opportunities to score, as they were able to get two runners on to start both the fourth and the eighth inning, but unfortunately were unable to push across any runs in either instance. UCLA commit Jack Filby (IF) continues to be a bright spot at the top of the Sweets lineup, going 2-for-4 in the game and now possessing a .467 batting average on the season through four games.
In the bottom of the eighth inning the Bells would push across their fifth and final run of the evening as Cody Pasic (C) drew a walk and would come all the way around to score from first base on an RBI-double by Will McGillis (IF).
Walla Walla looks to get back on track as they take to Joe Martin Field once again tomorrow night and look to even the series at one game apiece with first pitch slated for 6:35 PM.Read Less
Yakima, Wash. – The Walla Walla Sweets lost to the Yakima Valley Pippins in the rubber match of the series by a final score of 8-1. With the loss, the Sweets dropped the series 2-1 to the Pippins.
The Sweets fell behind early for the second consecutive game as the Pippins were able to score 3 runs in the bottom of the first inning on RBI singles by Chris Arpan (OF) and Grant DeLappe (IF), which were followed by an RBI walk with the bases loaded by Jonathan Imperial (OF).
After back-to-back 1-2-3 innings by Sweets starter Michael Peterson (RHP) in the second and third innings, the fourth inning was led off by a solo homerun by Imperial.
Walla Walla would score its first and only run of the game in the top of the sixth inning when Jack Filby led off the inning with a single, advanced to second on a fielder’s choice, was moved to third on a single by Jordan Hovey, and then came across to score on a wild pitch.
The Pippins would answer with two runs in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back RBI singles by Andrew Schleusner (C) and Tyler Hollow (IF). They would tack on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single from Connor Allard (IF) with a second run coming across on the play from a throwing error by Sweets’ catcher Matt Elser (Utility) for the game’s final tally of 8-1.
The Sweets open up another series on the road tomorrow against the Bellingham Bells with first pitch of the first game slated for 6:35 PM.Read Less
Yakima, Wash. – The Walla Walla Sweets dropped the second game of the 2018 season to the Yakima Valley Pippins by a final score of 8-5. The Sweets rallied from an early five run deficit, but ultimately fell behind late and were unable to come back for a second time.
The Pippins struck early, pushing across four runs in the bottom of the first inning off Sweets’ starter Brayde Hirai (LHP). Vakima Valley was able to get another run in the third on a bloop single down the right field line that split the Sweets defenders.
Facing a five-run deficit, the Sweets mounted their comeback. Jordan Hovey (IF) led off the fourth inning with a single and was eventually able to come around and score on a Matt Elser RBI single to center field, giving the Sweets their first run of the ball game.
In the sixth, the Sweets loaded the bases with one out and were able to score a run on a walk to pinch hitter Josh Kutzke (IF).
The seventh inning was led off by a Jack Filby (IF) double and was followed by a fielding error by the Pippins’ left fielder Jonathan Imperial (OF) on a fly ball hit by Danny Sinatro (OF). With runners on first and second, Hovey came to the plate and drilled a ball into the right centerfield gap, scoring both Filby and Sinatro, as he wound up at third base with a two-RBI triple. The next batter, Zach Penrod (Utility) hit a ball back up the middle with enough on it to prevent the throw from coming to the plate and drove in Hovey on an RBI fielder’s choice to tie the game at 5-5.
But that would be all the offense the Sweets could muster in this one as in the bottom of the seventh, the Pips took the lead for good on an RBI double by Cole Jones (OF). They were able to score again in the inning on an RBI single from Imperial, who was able to get his revenge after making a pivotal error in the half-inning prior.
Then in the eighth, Pippins leadoff man Tyler Hollow (IF) singled to leadoff the inning and came around to score the eighth and final run of the game for Yakima Valley, and that was where the score would stand as the Sweets went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to end the game.
The Sweets and Pippins will square off on Sunday for the rubber match of the series with first pitch slated for 6:05 PM.Read Less
Yakima, Wash. – The Walla Walla Sweets took home the victory on the opening night of the 2018 season against the Yakima Valley Pippins by a final score of 3-2, marking their fourth consecutive victory in the first game of the season. Pitching and defense was the name of the game, and the Sweets managed to best in Pippins in both facets.
Walla Walla kicked off the first inning by drawing three walks off Pippins starting pitcher Tom Scheffler (RHP) but were only able to push across one run. With the bases loaded and one out in the inning, Josh Prizina (C) lined a base hit into right field to plate a run, but then chaos ensued.
Matt Elser (Utility) got caught between second and third, anticipating the lead runner Zach Penrod (OF) to be sent home on the base hit. When Penrod was held up at third, Elser got caught in a pickle and was tagged out, and as Penrod tried to break for home amid the pickle, he was tagged out sliding into home plate for the third out of the inning.
The Sweets would bounce back though and hold the Pippins in check as Sweets’ starter Bryce Moyle (LHP) allowed just one baserunner through the first two frames. Then in the third inning, the Pippins offense came alive as they struck for four base hits and scored two runs on a two-RBI single by Sam Mitchell (OF).
That would be the only scoring done by the Pippins in the game however, as Moyle went six strong innings allowing just the two runs and five total base hits.
Walla Walla’s offense arrived once again in the sixth inning when they took the lead and didn’t look back. Jack Filby (IF) led the inning off with a base hit and was followed up by Jordan Hovey (IF) who tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt but instead wound up with an infield single as the throw down to second base from Andrew Schleusner (C) was not in time to beat the speedy Filby.
Penrod drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out in the inning and then Elser lifted a fly ball just deep enough into centerfield to score Filby on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2. A double-steal by Hovey and Penrod put both runners in scoring position with one out and with the infield drawn in, Prizina drilled a ground ball to the shortstop Grant DeLappe (IF), who was unable to field the ball cleanly and ultimately had to settle for the out at first base which allowed Hovey to come in to score what would end up being the decisive third run of the game for the Sweets.
Tyson Quolas (LHP) came on in relief in the seventh inning and threw two impressive shutout innings, stranding the tying run on third base in both innings. Then in the bottom of the ninth, Carson Woolery (RHP) was called on to shut the door and he did just that, retiring the Pippins 1-2-3 with back-to-back punch-outs to end the game.
The Sweets will take on the Yakima Valley Pippins once again on Saturday, June 2 with first pitch slated for 6:35 PM at Yakima County Stadium.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – In front of a great crowd Wednesday night, Borleske Stadium played host to the 2nd Annual Walla Walla Valley High School Showcase Game. The Sweets won the exhibition game by a score of 6-0 in seven innings, but the final score was not nearly as important as the Sweets taking the field together for the first time in addition to the exposure to collegiate competition for the high school showcase team.
Matt Elser (Utility) had a strong showing for the Sweets, doubling to lead off the second inning and coming around to score the first unofficial run of the Sweets season on a two-out RBI single by Tyson Quolas (Utility). Elser would finish the game going 2-for-4 with a double, a single, an RBI and a run scored.
The top of the Sweets’ lineup was propelled by leadoff man Jack Filby (IF), who went 2-for-4 with a double, a single, an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. He was followed up by Jordan Hovey (IF) who finished the game going 1-for-2 with two walks, a stolen base and two runs scored.
Zach Penrod (Utility) showed out both at the plate and on the mound in the game. He struck out the side in his one inning of work on the bump and finished the game going 1-for-2 with a single, a walk, a stolen base, a sacrifice fly and three RBI.
Hits were understandably hard to come by for the high school showcase team, given the fact that this was the first time many of the players were exposed to collegiate-caliber pitching. Jesus Vela (IF), Ben Ortiz (Utility), Kyle Tiner (OF) and Josh Bergevin (Utility) all finished the game going 1-for-2 with every hit being a single.
Walla Walla, WA – A ray of sunshine and warmth as the cold and dreary winter weather settles in…that is what the release of the 2018 Walla Walla Sweets schedule represents. After another thrilling World Series, and the baseball world ready to work the off-season, the Sweets are excited to continue preparations for what will be the team’s ninth campaign at historic Borleske Stadium.
“After some record-breaking games in 2017, we are excited to welcome our fans and community to the stadium this coming season,” said Sweets general manager Dan Ferguson. “Is there a better place to spend a perfect Walla Walla summer night? We don’t think so.”
This season’s schedule has significant notes of importance:
The Sweets have moved from the WCL North division to the WCL South division, having flip-flopped with the Yakima Valley Pippins. The Sweets will now welcome Bend, Corvallis, Cowlitz and newly added Portland as division foes. The WCL will maintain a split-season format to determine who qualifies for the playoffs.
For the first time in club history, the team will open with a 6-game road trip – visiting Yakima Valley (also owned and operated by Pacific Baseball Ventures) and Bellingham before returning back to the Walla Walla Valley.
As previously announced, the Sweets will move regular start times for the 2018 season. The team will still have gates opening at 6 P.M., but first pitch will move to 6:35 PM, instead of the 7:05 P.M. that has been in place since the 2010 season. Sunday games will move to a 4:35 P.M. start instead of a 5:05 P.M. start. Special times for select games will be determined and publicized with the release of the promotional schedule.
The Sweets will play 32 regular-season games and 27 regular-season road games.
The WCL Opening Day will be Friday, June 1st. Opening Day at historic Borleske Stadium will fall on Friday, June 8th, as the Sweets will welcome the Corvallis Knights. The Sweets swept the Knights in their visit to Borleske in 2017, outscoring the eventual WCL champion 16-6. Other key notes on the schedule include:
Six weekend series – the entire Walla Walla community is planning to head to the ballpark on Friday after work, as the Sweets have six Friday-Saturday-Sunday match-ups.
The Relish Series – the Sweets will welcome the Pickles in what has to be the first-ever sports contest between onions and cucumbers.
Home for Fathers Day – an afternoon at the ballpark is on the docket for Fathers Day 2018 as the Sweets will host the Bend Elks
Ferguson and team president Zachary Fraser are busy with staff building and finalizing the details of the promotional schedule, with plans to release that after the New Year. From fireworks, to Bobbleheads, to an Alternative Facts Night, it will be another fun and family-friendly gathering over the course of the season.
Of course, the primary goal is a return to the playoffs and playing for a WCL Championship.
“Frank, Kyle and Raul have extended their efforts to see more of our incoming players in person this fall,” said Fraser. “We are also really excited about the returning players – all are significant contributors who are excited to come back to our community.
“This is a year where the playoffs are expected.”
Opening Day Tickets to go on sale Friday, December 1: Opening Day continues to be one of Walla Walla’s grandest celebrations. Last season, a record crowd saw the Sweets shut out the Wenatchee AppleSox. Tickets for the 2018 Opening Day will be on sale starting December 1, with a goal to get the building full before the calendar turns the page to January 2018.
“We’re about 35% of the way there,” said Ferguson, noting that the goal is to top the 2,196 that came through the gate in ’17. “I see no reason why #SweetsCountry can’t beat that number – even if it is by 1 additional person.”
Remaining single-game tickets will be on sale Monday, April 2, 2018. Season, mini-plan and group tickets are now on sale and moving swiftly.Read Less