Walla Walla vs Corvallis
Tuesday, Jun 4 , 7:05 PM
Tue, Jun 4 | 07:05 PM
Tuesday, Jun 4 , 7:05 PM
Tue, Jun 4 | 07:05 PM
FanFest to continue - new in 2019 is the chance for a Sweets fan to be in uniform, get an at-bat vs. Studs pitchers
The past few seasons, Borleske Stadium has hosted Sweets FanFest – a great way to sample food and beer, new construction at the venerable ballpark – and an exhibition game as two separate events. In order to have more fun, the team – ready to get the 10th season in the Walla Walla Valley rolling – has combined the two.
The Sweets will welcome the historic Seattle Studs of the PIL to Walla Walla on Saturday, June 1 for a pre-season game for both clubs. The Studs are one of the most decorated semi-pro teams in the history of the game, now operating in their 65th season, and founded by the namesake of the baseball stadium in Tacoma, Ben Cheney (Cheney Stadium). Interestingly enough, the name “Studs” refers to the 2×4 piece of wood that is now ubiquitous in home construction. They are regularly among the Top 10 teams in the National Baseball Congress World Series.
“It’ll be a great chance for our guys to play a talented, experienced team and for our coaching staff to see what we have to work with this summer,” said manager Frank Mutz.
“At this level, we don’t have the luxury of a month of spring training and practice – so we have to evaluate quickly.
“Games like these are valuable in that evaluation experience.”
The game will be combined with the FanFest – with all sorts of fun activities for people ready to put the harshness of winter aside and dive head-first into summer.
Other FanFest details:
Opening Day, Presented by Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla, is Tuesday, June 4 vs. the Corvallis Knights. Always one of the best celebrations in the Valley, it will be additionally special as the Sweets start the tenth season in team history – the longest any one team has played continuously in the community’s history. Tickets are going fast – so be sure to get them soon by clicking here!Read Less
Le Boida and Folz to bring pop from the left side of the plate this summer
Folz, currently at Palomar College, hit .294 with six home runs and 28 RBIs last spring for NCAA Division II member Northwest Nazarene. He started 49 of the team’s 50 games in 2018 and sported a .508 slugging percentage.
The Monroe, Wash., product was an all-state performer his senior year and was a first-team, all-conference choice in his junior and senior campaigns.
Le Boida, who plans to play collegiately at Pepperdine, was recognized late last spring as one of the top 60 West Coast prospects and was invited to the Under Armour All-America tryout in June.
The 6’4″ 240lb utility-man transferred to Aliso Niguel High School in 2018. Le Boida has played for the SoCal Mariners scout team and SoCal National Team Identification Series squad. He played in the National Class Championship in 2017 and batted .378 in his freshman year at JSerra High School.
Le Boida is anxious for the summer season to get started.
“I can’t wait to play for the Sweets,” Le Boida said. “I’m really looking forward to playing almost every day with the kind of talent that will be out there. I can’t wait to compete my hardest and see how I match up against the best.”Read Less
Tristan King and Chazz Martinez look to make their mark on Sweets baseball this summer.
WALLA WALLA – A pair of Golden State baseball stars are the latest to be inked by the West Coast League’s Walla Walla Sweets, the team announced Tuesday.
Martinez, currently at the University of California-Santa Barbara, is the brother of former Sweets catcher and Arizona Diamondbacks prospect, Renae Martinez. The younger Martinez is a southpaw who can pitch, play first base or roam the outfield. He was a four-year letter winner at Corona Del Mar High School.
He was named to the Pacific Coast League’s first team his junior and senior seasons and the California Interscholastic Federation’s first team last spring after hitting .383 with three home runs and 25 runs batted in.
King registered a .346 batting average with 22 RBI for Palomar College in 2018. His resume also included 31 runs and 10 doubles during a campaign in which Palomar won the California Community College Athletic Association’s Pacific Coast Conference with a 17-7 record (28-17 overall) and reached the second round of the CCCAA’s Southern California Regional.
“I just hope that I can get in peak shape for the summer and next spring year, and be in the right mental and physical states to play baseball the way I know I can,” said King, who is redshirting at Northern Illinois University.
King, a catcher and third baseman, said he is excited to play for the Sweets for a number of reasons.
“It’s in the West Coast League, a really good baseball conference, I’m playing with some old teammates from high school that I haven’t seen in years, (and) this is my first summer season in two years,” King said. “I am really eager to play and develop and travel to new and exciting places playing baseball with an organization that I have only heard positive things
Take a break from the snow and read about sunny, baseball-like news throughout #SweetsCountry
We took a week off – primarily to shovel snow. And more snow. And more snow. We all wonder when the snow will stop, but in the meantime, we will take a look at what is happening around the world in #SweetsCountry.
We move forward with this week’s first pitch:
1. Renae Martinez was an All-Star catcher for the Sweets in 2013, returned to anchor the battery in 2014, he became a beloved member of #SweetsCountry. After a non-traditional route through college, he landed as an All-Conference catcher as an Oklahoma Sooner. The Diamondbacks picked him up in the 33rd round last year, seeing what would come of the pick. He has taken the opportunity and – even as a catcher – has run with it. Check out his MiLB stats here, and be sure to keep an eye on where he lands. His family name is one of the favorites around the office.
2. Nick Nyquist is 2nd on the team for Gonzaga in homeruns this season. Cold weather has forced the ‘Zags to open forever on the road at 4-6, but they are still among the favorites to win a tough WCC.
3. Eric Yardley is looking more and more like a shot at starting the season on the roster in San Diego with Manny Machado and the Padres. His is 1-0 in 4 appearances this spring, with a 0.00 ERA and with opponents only hitting .143 against him. Yardley was a 2011 Sweet, and a native of the Tri-Cities.
4. Speaking of Yardley, he trains in Peoria, where a very lucky group of fans will be joining us to watch the Mariners (who share the Peoria complex with the Padres) train. What a way to escape the snow. We leave on Sunday, March 10.
5. OF Patrick Caulfield is continuing his aggressive approach at the plate, as he leads the Santa Barbara College Vaqueros with a .348 batting average. A late-season pick-up, he electrified the Borleske faithful with a fearless approach to hitting and base-running.
6. It wouldn’t be a “10 Things” without a Darius Vines reference. Our 2018 Opening Day pitcher is delivering at Bakersfield, where he has struck out 26 batters faced while only walking 8.
7. Jordan Hovey has been a solid member of the Creighton lineup so far this season. The utility infielder is starting and batting .292 through their first 9 games.
8. We’re going north for a moment – where the ownership group of the well-run Victoria Harbourcats announced their intent to seek expansion in Nanaimo. A city of nearly 100,000 about 1 hour north of Victoria on Vancouver Island, it could end up being an intriguing option for travel to the island for WCL teams.
9. 2018 OF/LHP Zach Penrod, who signed with the Texas Rangers mid-way through the WCL season, will open his first spring training with the Texas Rangers in Surprise, AZ.
10. Yesterday, the Sweets launched sign-ups for our popular summer camps – the Skills Camp presented by the YMCA for kids 5-9, and the Prospect Camp for 8-12. We can’t wait to see you there!
11. We will throw a #11 in here – our thoughts turn to Whitman Baseball. They were supposed to open at home this weekend – but Borleske still has over 1′ of snow on the ground. Fingers crossed that in the next few weeks we can see the snow melt and Tim Duncan can work his magic so they can play soon. And congrats to Whitman’s men’s basketball team – who hosted the NCAA tournament this past weekend, and clinched another trip to the Sweet 16.Read Less
CDJR of Walla Walla is set to delivers the heat for Opening Day 2019
Opening Day is a sensory experience.
Fresh cut grass (both visual and the smell). Field paint. Vibrant colors displayed in newly printed signs. Batting practice music. The sizzle of grilling hot dogs. The chill of a favorite cold beverage.
All of these evoke strong connections to memories of experiences past and visions of experiences in the future. The joy of Opening Day allows the sensory to fill our dreams of a bright future and appreciate the memories of a warm past.
The Sweets will welcome their 10th Opening Day – an appropriate time for a “woah” – when they host division opponent Corvallis Knights to Borleske Stadium on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.
“For me, Opening Day represents the unofficial start to summer,” says general manager J.C. Biagi. “I can’t wait to be back in the ballpark to see so many friends and familiar faces.”
Biagi knows well the excitement of Opening Day, having spent 5 seasons in the dugout while (now) team president Zachary Fraser was the general manager. Instead of lineup cards and home plate meetings, Biagi’s attention will shift to fan experience and the pageantry of the game. Fraser is excited to see him perform in that role.
“J.C. was always very detail-oriented in the dugout, and I know he will bring the same approach to the stadium and fan experience,” he says.
Corvallis – who is the defending WCL Champion – opened the 2018 season at Borleske, with the Sweets taking 2-of-3. In fact, the Knights have struggled in the historic ballpark over the past 3 seasons, going 2-7 against the Sweets. While it isn’t always about the action on the field – Opening Day is more a party than a ballgame – it is fun to anticipate a competitive series that can go a long to setting the tone in the first half race.
Opening Day continues to be presented by Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla. This locally-owned, locally-invested automotive dealer enjoys the energy around the biggest game of the early season.
“Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla is excited to be partnered up with the Walla Walla Sweets for its 10th Season!,” said managing partner Joel Olsen.
As part of the continuing partnership, CDJR of Walla Walla is sponsoring both a Hat Giveaway to the first 1000 fans and Post-game Fireworks.
“What makes our partnership so great is that both our organizations are locally owned companies who believe in Quality and Community,” Olsen continued. “Opening Day is going to be ‘THE’ event you won’t want to miss. Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla is proud to be this year’s Presenting Sponsor of Opening Day.”
For long-time fans (how cool is it that the team has been around long enough to have “long-time fans”?!), Opening Day will have some comfortable familiarities – part of that sensory engagement of memories of a warm past – but it won’t simply be a tired repeat of the same sheet music. New faces, new products to experience, upgrades to the pre-game experience, and the beginning of the celebration of 10 years in the Valley will be a ton of fun. And don’t forget the hats – everyone loves what has become the tradition of one of the best collectibles in the community.
Let’s make sure that we start the season with the energy that it deserves.Read Less
WALLA WALLA – For Jacqueline Mings, Carol Gentzler, and Ruth Hamilton, being a part of families that host Walla Walla Sweets players during the West Coast League baseball season seems to be a labor of love.
One could surmise that they and their loved ones epitomize what being host families is all about.
Hamilton, a family host since the Sweets inception, has entertained the likes of Nick Nyquist (2016-18) and Kalani Brackenridge (2012), as well as current major leaguer Matt Hall (2013) of the Detroit Tigers. She believes the most important things to know about hosting is that the players come to Walla Walla to be a part of a team and continue to hone their athletic skills through the summer.
“As a host, I feel that along with helping with housing, transportation and feeding them it is our responsibility to encourage and support them during this part of their journey,” Hamilton said. “Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it is hard. But either way, if you are lucky, when the summer ends you have gained great memories, another family member, and often their family becomes your family as well.”
Gentzler, a host since 2012 who has housed such Sweets as Willy Chang and Haydn King, said the summer relationships are ones to be treasured.
“Each year has been as special as each player, and each player is now a special part of my life,” the host lovingly known as “Grandma Carol” said. “I believe it is the same for each host family. The children in a family love their guys and each family is different, as is each player.”
Mings and her family have hosted Sweets players for two seasons including 2018. She said the experience has positively impacted her and her husband, and their two boys.
“My oldest son has been a bat boy during the last two summers and connected with the players each year,” Mings said. “My youngest is notorious for hanging out in the rooms of his “summer brothers” and scratching rides home with the boys after the games. These experiences make us want to continue because within our hearts, we have more to give.”
Mings said being a host family “brings a new light, new laughs, lots of cheer, tons of joy, new friendships, and extra cowbells during the season.”
She added, “This is an incredible opportunity to be given and we encourage others to participate…if you have the room in your home, and your heart.”
More information can be obtained by contacting the Sweets at 509-522-BALL.Read Less
Son of former Major Leaguer sets off to make his own mark on the West Coast League this summer as a member of the Walla Walla Sweets.
WALLA WALLA – Jeff Cirillo and his son, Connor, have at least a couple of things in common.
One excelled on high school baseball diamonds, the other is doing so presently.
Jeff played baseball at the University of Southern California. Connor will soon follow suit.
This summer, Jeff will be rooting on Connor when he ventures into the West Coast League wars as a member of the Walla Walla Sweets.
Connor, a past member of the Sweets select team and a Bellevue High School graduate to-be, has enjoyed his share of productivity in his first three years of varsity high school baseball. A soon-to-be, four-year starter and lead-off hitter, he’ll carry a career .334 batting average into this spring. Connor hit .412 in 2018 and is hoping to reach the .450 plateau this season.
The Medina, Wash., resident is hopeful he can bring success to a program in need of a boost.
“We have lost a lot of guys over the last two years,” Connor said. “It’s up to me and two or three other studs to carry the team. A personal goal that I have is to with MVP of the KingCo League.”
Connor, a participant in the 2015 Can Am Futures Series and Junior Northwest Championships, said his decision to play collegiately at USC was based on a childhood dream.
“I love California and playing in good weather,” he said. “I love the coaches and feel at home when I’m at the campus and with the team.”
His parents attending and his brother currently enrolled also factored in his wanting to be a Trojan, he said.
Connor, a past MLK Perfect Game all-tournament selection and a 2016 Perfect Game World Series competitor, said he is fired up to compete this summer for the Sweets.
“I’m excited to go up against a bunch of college kids to get some exposure to what it’ll be like at SC,” he said.
Jeff – a former Major Leaguer who played for the Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, and Milwaukee Brewers, and is now a scout for the Los Angeles of Anaheim – said his fondest memories in pro ball included his first MLB game, a 2005 home run he struck in Pittsburgh while playing for the Brewers, and throwing batting practice to his sons in pro ballparks.
Not bad for someone seen as a longshot to make the 2005 Milwaukee roster, and who adjusted to Southern Cal after playing prior to that at a small Catholic high school in Burbank, Calif.
The elder Cirillo said he is proud of his son who possesses “a tremendous amount of courage, heart and fight.
“The (WCL) is a talent-filled league and all the players will be solid, older and, for the most part, have one year of college experience,” Jeff said. “My hope is he will continue to learn from a great coaching staff and enjoy the experience of it all.”Read Less
Baseball season is finally underway - we check in with players and programs that are meaningful to #SweetsCountry
Snow and more snow…and more snow – it makes it hard to believe that college baseball threw its first pitch (for most schools) of the 2019 season this past weekend. But it did – in gloriously warm locales such as Phoenix, AZ and Los Angeles, CA and other Xanadu-like places that don’t ever really worry about cold and snow and ice. So…while we brace for more shoveling, scraping and dream of blue skies and Borleske, we can start to live vicariously through the games happening now. We reflect on players from our past – and what they are doing now – and look forward to learning about players that will fill our summer nights this season.
This week also marks the 10th season of our “10 Things to Know” column. I started in 2010 as a way to scrape together some – any – level of interest in the upcoming season of Sweets Baseball, because at the time no one was really listening! Nearly 500,000 fans later, you listened, and I am thankful for that. I’m excited to pick this project up again for this coming season.
1. This is the first-ever spring that a former Sweets player is starting the season on the Active (25-man) roster of a Major League Baseball club. Matt Hall (2013) was celebrated last summer as the first-ever Sweet to play in a MLB game. He is active on the Tigers roster at the start of camp. We will check in often with Lakeland to see his progress, and fingers crossed that he becomes the first Sweet in franchise history on an Opening Day roster.
2. We’ve enjoyed a long, and fruitful, relationship with UCLA Bruin baseball. This season, their roster – picked by many to compete for the PAC-12 title – has (4) past Walla Walla players, and 2018 member Jack Filby was the winning pitcher in Game 1 of a 3-game sweep of St. Johns.
3. Colorado-Mesa (DII) is off to a smoking start (8-1), and 2019 signee Jordan Stubbings is leading the way for the Mavericks. He is batting a cool .500 with a .600 slugging percentage, and a mere .595 OBP. We can’t wait to see that bat in our lineup this summer.
4. 2017 RHP Ryan Anderson threw a solid 5 innings and picked up the win for the Wolfpack of Nevada, as he got the ball to start the season against #24 Missouri State. He struck out 6 and walked only 1.
5. Cal Poly Pomona started the 2019 season ranked #16 nationally, and 2018 Sweets OF Cesar Lopez – an All-Star for the club in 2018 – has a .304 batting average to start the season for the Broncos.
6. 2017 WCL Top Prospect Chris Lincoln has a 11.25 K/9 innings this season for UCSB. That is a lot.
7. 2017-18 RHP Darius Vines has landed at Cal-State Bakersfield, where he already has a record of 1-0, with 7 strikeouts to 2 walks in his first start.
8. 2017 RHP Milo Mincin has had a strong start for the hometown Whitman Blues. He is sporting a 2.35 ERA in 4 appearances (all relief) and is controlling the basepaths – he has struck out 7 while only walking 1. He has also picked up a save.
9. 2013 RHP Jon Harris, who as a teammate of Hall’s at Missouri State and was a 1st Round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, reached AAA Buffalo last season, and is considered a favorite for the Jays to call up this season. We look forward to keeping an eye on that story.
10. Gonzaga had a rough start to the season – a favorite to return to the NCAA tournament, they limped out of the gate with a 1-3 start – but Sweets legend Nick Nyquist (pictured above) did manage to launch a home run in one of his two starts this past weekend.
Opening Day is a little over 100 days away (we will pass that mark this weekend) – we can’t wait to get season #10 started!Read Less
Example: Both have played NCAA baseball – Parker at the Division II level and Larry in the Division I ranks.
This father-son duo will soon make its way to Walla Walla and join the Sweets for the upcoming West Coast League baseball season – Parker as a player and Larry as an assistant coach.
Parker, who was a two-time Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference infielder and pitcher while at Boise’s Timberline High School, is set to begin his second season at Northwest Nazarene University. He started all 50 of NNU’s games last season and hit .324 (60-for-185) with 26 runs batted in.
The younger Price scored 42 runs, smacked 13 doubles, stole 12 bases in 14 attempts, and sported an .828 OPS (.405 slugging percentage and .423 on-base percentage) for a Northwest Nazarene team that finished 2018 with a 17-23 record in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, 19-31 overall.
Parker said he loves playing at NNU and has developed life-long friendships along the way.
“We (have) a new coaching staff and the atmosphere is electric,” Parker said.
Price figures to be the No. 2 or 3 hitter in NNU’s lineup and will be depended on to play solid defense up the middle.
“I’m setting the bar high for my individual play to give our team a chance to win,” Parker said.
Price’s fondness for Walla Walla developed while playing two seasons for the WCL’s Wenatchee AppleSox.
“I loved coming to Walla Walla and playing in front of a big, loud crowd,” Parker said. “I’ve heard from fellow college teammates the Sweets run a great summer program for their players and that the host families are awesome.”
Larry Price has coached baseball for 29 years and has coached 22 high school and American Legion state champions in Boise. He’s assisted more than 160 players to further their careers and play both professionally and collegiately in that time.
The elder Price has been an associate scout for the Atlanta Braves since 2010. He was with the Boston Red Sox from 1996-2003.
Larry Price played college ball at USC in 1983 and 1984, and played alongside the likes of Mark McGwire and Randy Johnson.
Price said he is looking forward to working with his son and Parker’s Sweets teammates.
“The other players will not know in any way that my son is on the team if our last names were different,” Larry said.
That suits Parker just fine.
“He will bring (an) additional energy and work ethic to our summer club,” Parker said. “He will expect nothing but the best from me, and will push me to be a big contributor on and off the field.”Read Less
Ben Fariss is slated to return his power bat and arm to the Sweets in 2019 along side of newcomer Danny Cervantes from Central Arizona.
WALLA WALLA – A Central Arizona Community College product and a University of California-Santa Barbara player – who suited up for Walla Walla’s West Coast League baseball entry last summer – will be donning Sweets jerseys in 2019, the team announced Thursday.
Cervantes hit .314, had an on-base percentage of .400, and slugged at a .568 clip last spring for a Vaqueros ball club that finished third in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. He scored 27 runs, and registered six doubles, eight home runs and 28 runs batted in in 42 games.
“I matured a lot,” Cervantes said. “I started off slow and had to see things from a different perspective. Once that clicked, I started having success.”
CACC finished 25-11 in league, 45-13 overall, and reached the Division I Region I tournament.
“My expectation for this spring is to win a national championship,” Cervantes said. “Our team is talented and we’ve worked hard to get to where we want to be.”
Cervantes said he couldn’t be more excited to play for the Sweets this summer.
“Ever since someone I’ve looked up to and worked with for years – Alex McKenna – played for the Sweets, I’ve wanted to play for them too,” Cervantes said. “Now I have that opportunity and can’t wait to play for a bunch of great fans.”
Fariss performed well for the Sweets last summer – both at the plate and on the mound. He hit .286 (22-for-77) with three dingers and nine runs driven across, and posted a .468 slugging percentage.
Fariss notched a 2-0 record and two saves in six pitching appearances. He struck out 10 and walked two in nine innings of duty.
“My 2018 season was an exciting ride,” Fariss said. “It was a great environment to play in with some great teammates and coaches. The support from the local fan base is the most incredible part.”Read Less
MLB High School Home Run Derby Finalist, Emanuel Dean, joins fellow RHP and UCLA commit Charles Harrison in Walla Walla this summer.
WALLA WALLA – A pair of high school seniors from southern California – who intend to further their baseball careers at UCLA – have agreed to play this summer for the Walla Walla Sweets, the West Coast League team announced Thursday.
Canyon pitcher Charles Harrison and Servite outfielder Emanuel Dean, who obtained All-America acclaim from amateur baseball event provider Perfect Game in 2018, are the latest prospects that the Sweets organization has landed.
Harrison was named to the Foothill League’s first team and the Cowboys’ most valuable player during his junior season. He posted a 3.56 earned run average, struck out 72 in 63 innings pitched, and hit .322 with 16 runs batted in for the Canyon Country-based school.
“My expectation for this season is to help my team to the playoffs – which we haven’t been to in six years,” Harrison said. “I’m looking forward to playing with the Sweets this summer against great competition.”
Dean socked four home runs during his junior year with the Friars. The Anaheim Hills native garnered Trinity League honorable mention status after hitting .297 against conference foes and achieving a team-leading .486 slugging percentage and a .400 on-base percentage – good for second on the ball club. He had 11 hits, five for extra bases, and drove in eight runs.
Dean is committed to improving upon his junior campaign.
“Lots of ups and downs,” Dean said. “But I got through it and learned from my failures.
“My expectations for this upcoming season (are) to give it all I got, to play the game the right way, and to play hard,” Dean said. “Just have fun out there and let my talents and athletic ability do its work.”
Dean’s power landed him on the national state at Nationals Park for Major League Baseballs High School Home Run Derby during MLB All-Star festivities last summer.
As for the Sweets summer season, Dean stated, “It’s such an honor and I am blessed to receive this opportunity to play for such a great team.”Read Less
WALLA WALLA – Three members of the Walla Walla Community College baseball team – two of which suited up for the Walla Walla Sweets last summer – have committed to join the local West Coast League entry for the 2019 season, the team announced Thursday.
Hirai won a team co-leading four games last summer and posted a 3.79 earned run average. He struck out 30 in 40.1 innings pitched spread out over 17 appearances.
“I’d like to carry on with how last summer went,” Hirai said. “I’m going to go into (the season) with the same mindset and get after it.”
Walla Walla manager Frank Mutz refers to Hirai as a “tremendous competitor and a heck of a clutch pitcher.”
“There were several occasions last summer we had to move up or change Brayde’s spot in the rotation,” Mutz said. “He was ready every time we handed him the ball.”
Peterson participated in 13 games during the 2018 season. He fanned 23 hitters and walked just eight in 33.2 innings. Opponents hit just .238 against him.
“We’re going to try and compete for and win the (Northwest Athletic Conference) Eastern Region,” Peterson said of his expectations for the spring. “I’m also excited and looking forward to playing for the Sweets and having another good year.”
Mutz is thrilled to have Peterson back in the fold this summer.
“He was extremely reliable,” Mutz said. “Once Michael started to use his change up more effectively, there were games last summer where he was unhittable. As Michael continues to get stronger and log more innings this spring, I’m certain he will be an arm we will rely on.”
Wagstaff, who redshirted last spring, batted .295 in 2017. He led WWCC with 32 runs batted in, tied for second in runs scored (30) and sacrifice flies (three), was third in at-bats (173), and fourth in hits (51) on his way to earning a spot on the Eastern Region’s second-team.
The Warriors finished 18-12 in league, 30-20 overall, won the North Super Regional, and placed third in the NWAC Championships.
“We have a lot of young guys, but I think we (the Warriors) are going to be good,” Wagstaff said. “Playing for the Sweets is something I’ve wanted to do. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Mutz believes the cozy confines of Borleske Stadium will work to Wagstaff’s advantage.
“I love his slugging percentage and his ability to drive in runs,” Mutz said. “That sits at the top of our priority list when we talk about building our roster.”
WWCC coach Justin Speer is optimistic about his player’s summer prospects.
“I’m excited for our guys to get the opportunity to be a part of such a great organization like the Sweets,” Speer said. “I have no doubt that they will represent Warrior baseball very well.”Read Less
WALLA WALLA – A pair of Colorado Mesa sophomores-to-be, who helped lead the Mavericks to the championship game of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Baseball Tournament last spring, will hone their skills this summer as members of the Walla Walla Sweets, the West Coast League team announced Thursday.
Infielders Caleb Farmer of San Jacinto, Calif., and Parker, Colo., native Jordan Stubbings enjoyed stellar freshman seasons at the Grand Junction-based school. Their efforts contributed to the program’s seventh straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular-season title and 25th overall. Colorado Mesa also won the RMAC Tournament for the fifth consecutive time resulting in CMU’s 18th NCAA Tournament appearance.
Both players participated in 42 of the team’s 59 games last season. Stubbings and Farmer started 34 and 32 games, respectively.
Stubbings, who was named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s Freshman Positional Player of the Year and cited as a second-team selection by the DII Conference Commissioner’s Association in 2018, hit .382 and led the Mavericks in home runs (11), runs batted in (53), slugging percentage (.701), and fielding percentage (.991).
“We are very young going into 2019, but we have a strong (group) of very good players,” Stubbings said. “I’m expecting us to be a top-10 team in the nation.”
Stubbings is as excited to join the organization as the team is to host him during the 2019 summer.
“There’s a lot of talent in the WCL and I have family that lives in the area. It’s going to be a great summer and I’m very excited to play with the Sweets.”
“We have been recruiting power and on-base percentage, and Stubbings fits the bill,” Mutz said. “He has put up solid numbers over the past two seasons in high school and his freshman year at CMU.”
Farmer, a first-team, all-league selection and the eighth-ranked freshman in DII, posted a .384 batting average and stroked a team-high 15 doubles.
“All I wanted to do was make the travel squad and help the team,” Farmer said. “My freshman year went better than I ever expected.”
Farmer said the goal for 2019 is clear.
“The goal is to win the national championship,” Farmer said. “We have the talent to do it.”
Like Stubbings, Farmer is looking forward to putting on a Sweets uniform.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about them and have friends who played against them in the WCL,” Farmer said. “My goal this summer is to take my game further and hope to open some eyes to some of the scouts…and to make new friends and some good memories.”
Mutz said Farmer is an outstanding athlete who will shore up the middle of the Sweets lineup.
“He hits for average, has a high OPS, and can hit with power,” Mutz said. “Caleb has proven to be consistent through his young career offensively, which is what we are looking for for the 2019 lineup.”
Colorado Mesa ended the 2018 campaign with a 43-16 overall record, including a 22-3 mark at home, and were 26-9 against RMAC opponents.
Among the flurry of baseball activity the Walla Walla Sweets also opened up single game ticket sales on Tuesday for fans looking to take advantage of early selection opportunities.Read Less
Sweets PA announcer Elia set to take on 2019 play-by-play duties
WALLA WALLA – The Walla Walla Sweets of the West Coast League have announced that longtime play-by-play commentator Roy Elia has been hired to be the baseball club’s lead broadcaster and media relations director.
Elia, 55, is currently calling Walla Walla High School boys and girls basketball for 1320 AM and 92.9 FM KGDC – a role he has held since the 2016-17 season. He has been the voice of DeSales High School football since 2016.
“Sports play-by-play has been an important part of my life,” Elia said. “I am very much looking forward to working with the organization and broadcasting the 10th season of Sweets baseball.”
The 1989 graduate of Central Washington University called Wa-Hi sports previously from 1989-2000. His first full-time opportunity at play-by-play occurred while attending CWU. Elia called Ellensburg High School football in 1988.
“Roy has been a leading voice in local play-by-play and has terrific on-air skills as well as experience writing about sports in our community,” Sweets general manager J.C. Biagi said. “Like many local sports fans, I’ve been listening to his broadcasts since my youth and have great memories that connect his voice to some significant local sports moments.”
Previous radio experience included a stint as color commentator for Wa-Hi and DeSales football games from 1983-86.
“He has an uncanny ability to build a meaningful rapport with his listeners and I love that some fans are already well-familiar with him,” Biagi said. “Roy can describe the momentous occasions on the field and render an authentic picture for those who aren’t able to attend on a given night. We couldn’t be happier that he agreed to do this.”
Elia was public address announcer for the Sweets the past two summers, and has handled those responsibilities for Northwest Athletic Conference, Walla Walla Community College and high school athletics, and local American Legion baseball.
He is a 1981 graduate of DeSales High School and received an Associate of Arts degree from WWCC in 1983.
The Sweets will continue to build on momentum gained from video broadcasts in 2018 and offer fans both audio and video options directly from their website wallawallasweets.com during the 2019 season.Read Less
See MLB's Mariners, Royals, White Sox and Giants in action from the sunshine of Arizona
In what has now become an annual tradition, baseball fans from Walla Walla escape the dreariness of winter in the Valley for a burst of sunshine, cold drinks, and baseball in Arizona. We join our friends with the Seattle Mariners and enjoy the rite of passage that is Spring Training.
For the 2019 edition of the trip, the details are as follows:
Past trips have included meeting Mariners greats, visits with the management team, and a chance to see live bullpens from All-Star pitchers inside the practice facility. In addition to the great behind-the-scenes, the company has been fantastic – it is a great way to end winter and prepare for the warmth of summer.
“We can’t wait to get down there this year,” said PBV president Zachary Fraser. “Each year we see something unique, different – and you can’t beat the weather!”
To schedule or for additional emails, contact the Sweets travel partner Paul Schneidmiller at Worldwide Travel Service via phone (509-525-8040) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see the full details, click here
The Celebration of the 10th Season of Sweets Baseball Starts with a Look Back on the First Day
Note: Team President Zachary Fraser, who led the founding of the Walla Walla Sweets as the first general manager, reflects back on this day nine years ago, where a younger Fraser and (now general manager) J.C. Biagi took the stage to introduce Sweets Baseball to the Walla Walla community.
For railroad aficionados, this mental image will make sense.
Railroad routes are determined and changed with simple switches. If a train takes off from San Francisco heading to New York City, the path is set. At each stop along the way, switch operators make sure the iron tracks are shifted just so, in order to ensure that train makes it to the Big Apple. However, a slight switch change – just a few inches – in, let’s say Kansas City, would mean that train could now end up in Miami – more than a thousand miles away from the desired destination.
There are a few points in one’s life that, like the simple switch of a track on a railroad, seem small but become monumental in terms of determining the direction a life will go. In the case of the actual train – ending in Miami when the plan called for New York City – could be catastrophic. In life, it often becomes a significant and unplanned blessing.
On a sunny Thursday, in front of more than 400 young students in an historic schoolhouse (the number has grown over the decade – like a fishing story – but the size of the classes, the number of teachers and the available space in the gym force me back to reality), my life reached that monumental switch on the tracks. A life trip that was speeding towards a life in a market like Seattle, or Dallas, or Philadelphia – big city, big league – became a life defined instead by life, love and service in a small farming city with the coolest people in the world.
Nine years ago today (11/12/2009), I joined my (now) partners on a stage at Sharpstein Elementary School in Walla Walla, Washington to introduce a team name, a brand, and a manager. We picked Sharpstein as the home of the launch for two simple and selfish reasons: 1) It was proving to be nearly impossible to attract more than a few dozen people to a press conference in a town that didn’t have very many of these types of events (at least up to this point)…and 2) my son was a new kindergarten student at a new school in a new town – I wanted to give him a reason to be the “cool” kid. It helped that Sharpstein was an iconic, historic and beautiful schoolhouse that channeled the zeitgeist of the city. And this all worked!
Every. Single. Student at Sharpstein was packed in the gym (and teachers and administrators and random community members)! The principal, Laure Quaresma (now the superintendent for Athena-Weston schools) was so gracious and supportive of our effort to engage the community. The teachers – particularly music teacher Lori Parnicky – bought in, and students all wore “baseball gear”. It was remarkable. We outfitted each student with a “I WAS THERE!” rally towel, and they responded! A student-led version of the national anthem (by a young woman who would eventually work for the team), “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and other baseball-themed songs filled the air. Signs were made, faces were painted – it was a carnival more than an assembly or a press conference, and it was perfect.
We certainly looked younger. One of partners, Jeff Cirillo, was less than 2 years removed from finishing a distinguished Major League Baseball career, one that allowed him to appear on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame and an inaugural member of the Milwaukee Brewers Wall of Honor. I was barely 30, and Biagi still had hair. It was a fantastic group who really believed that we could make baseball work in the Walla Walla Valley.
Following the celebration, we headed to a new joint in town, the Red Monkey (crazy to think that the Red Monkey and the Sweets launched in the same year…) and reveled for a few minutes. The reveling immediately turned to a realization of the amount of work still left to address in order to be ready for June 8, 2010 vs. the Wenatchee AppleSox. The switch on the track had been thrown, and the train was speeding quickly towards baseball. After we paid the bill, we rolled up our sleeves and got immediately to work.
The fastest ten seasons in the history of mankind (at least it feels that way) will open with the Walla Walla hosting the Corvallis Knights at Borleske Stadium. It is the second time in as many years that the Sweets and Knights will christen the home schedule at Historic Borleske Stadium. Opening Day, presented by Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla, will be Tuesday, June 4.
2019 will mark the tenth season of operation for the Walla Walla Sweets, making the club the stand-alone team in terms of longest continual operation in the history of professionally operated baseball in the Walla Walla Valley. This particular vintage looks to be a great one for celebrating the history of the past decade.
“This is a fantastic schedule!” said general manager J.C. Biagi. “A good balance of games by month, some fun road trips across the beautiful league footprint, and once again a chance to be in control of our own destiny on the field, particularly in the first half of the season.
“We’re already rolling with a remarkable season ticket renewal, and can’t wait to keep building the energy through to Opening Day!”
After the opening series with Corvallis, the Sweets continue the homestand with the Bend Elks. Nine of the Sweets first twelve games, and eighteen of the team’s first twenty-four games, are against South division opponents.
The Sweets joined the WCL South division in 2018, swapping with the Yakima Valley Pippins (who moved to the North). The Borleske faithful will welcome a new team in the division, as the Ridgefield Raptors are slated to join the WCL starting with the 2019 season (and will compete in the South division). Sweets officials are excited to have another team in the league, and particularly one that improves the travel within the league (Ridgefield is 30 minutes from the Cowlitz market and 30 minutes from the Portland market). Ridgefield visits Walla Walla August 4-5-6.
The schedule features 54 WCL games, and 5 non-league opponents. Dates for the non-league games are scheduled, with details of opponents being announced later in the off-season.
The 2019 WCL All-Star Game will be hosted by the Bend Elks. This mid-summer celebration of summer collegiate baseball will take place on July 22-23.
For the full schedule, please visit www.wallawallasweets.com/schedule.
For a printable version, please click here.
June home dates (14) are as follows:
June 4-5-6: Corvallis
June 7-8-9: Bend
June 11-12: Non-League (to be announced)
June 18-19-20: Portland Pickles
June 21-22-23: Port Angeles Lefties
July home dates (12) are as follows:
July 2-3-4: Cowlitz Black Bears
July 12-13-14: Non-League (to be announced)
July 15-16-17: Victoria Harbourcats
July 24-25-26: Wenatchee Applesox
August home dates (6) are as follows:
August 2,6-7: Kelowna Falcons
August 3-4-5: Ridgefield Raptors
FOR TICKET OPTIONS – Click hereRead Less
There have been exactly two managers in the entire history of the Walla Walla Sweets. That will not change for the 2019 season, and now those two will be working together to make the 10th anniversary celebration a success at Borleske Stadium.
General Manager J.C. Biagi announced today that manager Frank Mutz will return to skipper the club in 2019. The two are indelibly connected, as Mutz joined the club following a successful 5-year run with Biagi in the dugout. That connection will only grow stronger. The now-teammates will leverage a combined 30+ years of playing, coaching, scouting and baseball development on the West Coast to focus on improving the on-field product, while continuing the tradition as one of the premier development teams in the league.
“I’m thrilled to be back in Walla Walla for my 5th season. I’m looking forward to building a championship club along side of J.C. He and his wife (former Sweets general manager)Katie and been nothing but supportive during my tenure with the Sweets.
“J.C. has a very high baseball I.Q. and I’m sure the two of us will work closely and tirelessly putting together a championship roster for the 2019 season.”
Mutz has an overall record of 118-112 in his four seasons in the dugout (.513) and has managed some of the most thrilling games in the team’s history. During his tenure, the Sweets have:
“I think the world of Frank and the great effort he’s put into integrating himself into this community,” said Biagi. “We’ve developed a terrific rapport over the last few years and our families share a wonderful friendship.
“He’s an asset to our organization and I’m excited to work with him in building a successful 2019 campaign.”
Mutz, who spent eleven seasons as the head coach at prestigious Chaminade Prep in West Hills, CA, is now the athletic director at Calvary Christian in Las Vegas, NV, where he is also serving as the head baseball coach. Biagi and Mutz have begun work on constructing the 2019 coaching staff, which will be announced at a later date.Read Less
Over 9 seasons, the Sweets have blossomed into the place where summer memories are made in the Walla Walla Valley. A pioneer to that success is returning to the team as the general manager.
J.C. Biagi, who was hired by team president Zachary Fraser to serve as the inaugural manager of the Sweets for the 2010 season, and was later Fraser’s assistant GM from 2011-13, is returning to the team to serve as the General Manager.
“I’m beyond excited to be back with the Sweets in such an exciting time for the organization,” said Biagi. “It’s an honor to take the reigns in our tenth season. I learned so much in my first five years with the Sweets, even more in starting and running my own business, and I can’t wait to be back in the ballpark on a nightly basis, in a different role – and I certainly hope will not involve as many ejections!”
“I am excited to welcoming my friend back to our team,” said Fraser. “He knows what has been done to build the Sweets in the community over the past decade, he has talent in leading successful businesses and teams, and he brings new strengths developed in his time away from the Sweets that will make us even stronger in the future.
“From building desks, clubhouses and rosters together in the early years, to now working on the next decade of Sweets baseball – I am personally energized to have him back on our team, and it will be fun to work alongside him during games where I am not escorting him from the dugout to the clubhouse.”
Biagi was the on-field manager of the Sweets from 2010 through the 2014 season. As the manager, he led the club to two WCL playoff appearances, including a 2011 WCL Championship appearance. He saw dozens of players that he managed be selected in the MLB Draft, and was at the helm when Matt Hall (2013) pitched for the Sweets. Earlier this month, Hall became the first former Sweet to make the Major Leagues when the Detroit Tigers called him up from AAA Toledo. Biagi was born and raised in the Walla Walla Valley, and played baseball at both DeSales and Walla Walla Community College before completing his playing career as a NCAA Division I pitcher at Centenary (LA).
In addition to his coaching responsibilities with the Sweets, Biagi worked closely with Fraser as the assistant GM (when Fraser was serving as the GM) to establish Borleske Stadium and Sweets baseball as the place to be on summer nights in the Walla Walla Valley. The two built the desks that are still used in the Sweets offices, and spent many a late night trading ideas that developed into the traditions the Sweets fans enjoy today.
His business building continued after he stepped away from the dugout. Biagi and his wife, Katie, founded Wonderboy Creative, a full-service creative and marketing agency based in Walla Walla. His combination of business and baseball development, along with his passion for the roots of the team, positioned Biagi to be a wise local choice to work with Fraser in charting the next decade for the Sweets.
The Sweets and Wonderboy have enjoyed a unique partnership – primarily through work on the teams digital and creative assets – and that will continue. While remaining a partner in Wonderboy, Biagi will hand off day-to-day management to the team that he has helped assemble there.
As the GM of the Sweets, he will have day-to-day responsibility in managing ticket sales, business development, stadium operations and baseball operations, including working with manager Frank Mutz to construct the roster. Given Biagi’s history with the team, and Fraser’s continued role of overall management of Pacific Baseball Ventures interests, it is exciting to think what can develop with the refreshed version of this partnership.
“Our energies and skill sets compliment one another,” said Fraser. “Over the past few seasons, he has stayed close to the team, has a great relationship with Frank and the front office – I cannot wait to work with him again in this capacity.”
“I look forward to bringing energy, a refreshed perspective and fun to the ballpark each night in a different capacity than I enjoyed the first time with the team,” Biagi said. “From the dugout, I was always grateful for our fans’ support, and it’ll be a joy to get to know them and serve them in this new role.”Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – Relive some of the greatest moments from the 2018 Walla Walla Sweets season!
The 2018 season at Borleske Stadium kicked off with the second annual Walla Walla Valley High School Showcase Game. The Sweets took on some of the most talented high school baseball players from the area in an exhibition style game to raise funds for the youth baseball and softball programs in the Valley. Former major leaguer and part owner of the Sweets, Jeff Cirillo, coached the high school All-Stars while Justin Speer took the helm of the Sweets. It was a great way to start off the year at Borleske Stadium and get the Sweets prepared for the 2018 season. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
After a road trip to begin the season, the Sweets returned home on June 8 for Opening Night at Borleske Stadium presented by Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla. In front of a packed house, Walla Walla took home the victory over the Corvallis Knights by a final score of 2-0. Darius Vines was sensational in his return to the mound at Borleske, tossing six shutout innings while striking out three. Zach Penrod scored the first run of the 2018 season at Borleske for the Sweets on an RBI single by Nick Nyquist. Another tremendous opening night was capped off by post-game fireworks as the Sweets got their first of many wins at home in 2018. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
One of the biggest promotions of the year was Adam West Night presented by Country Financial on June 22. Borleske Stadium had an all-out caped crusader theme for the evening which featured a unique W2 logo in addition to yellow bases. The Sweets donned Adam West themed jerseys which were autographed and auctioned off after the game with the proceeds benefitting the Little Theatre of Walla Walla. It required a super hero type effort for the Sweets to beat the Portland Pickles. Ryan Johnston delivered a walk-off RBI single as the Sweets got the victory by a final score of 5-4. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
The famous “Who’s on First?” skit was brought to life on Abbott and Costello Night on June 23. The Sweets wore St. Louis Wolves jerseys that featured the names of players from the popular routine that included ‘Who’, ‘What’, ‘I Don’t Know’, ‘Tomorrow’, and ‘Mr. Broadhurst’. Walla Walla unfortunately lost the game to the Portland Pickles by a final score of 4-1. There was still no shortage of entertainment in what was the first ever recreation of the Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First?’ skit. In addition to the photos, fans can hear what a real St. Louis Wolves game would have sounded like here: VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Mariner Moose once again paid a visit to Borleske Stadium to entertain the tremendous Walla Walla Sweets fanbase. The Terrific Tuesday presented by Gesa Credit Union on June 26 saw the Sweets get the victory over the Victoria HarbourCats by a score of 6-1, but it was the Moose who stole the show. Sweets’ on-field emcee Sean McKillip put together a wildly entertaining evening which included bringing out members of the the Walla Walla County police department to try to take the Moose back to the wilderness. That attempt was thwarted by Sweets’ team president Zachary Fraser as the show went on. Mariner Moose got his revenge later by sneaking up and smashing a pie into McKillip’s face in what culminated in an incredibly amusing performance by the two.
In the three-game series against the Wenatchee AppleSox on the weekend of July 6, the Sweets took the field in some alternate reality Walla Walla Wallabies uniforms. Many fans may not know that “Wallabies” was very close to being the team name of the Sweets’ franchise before wiser heads prevailed in selecting a more suitable name. Nonetheless, fans got the chance to see ‘what could have been’ had the Sweets been the Wallabies as the players took to the field in their deep blue uniforms and Wallabies’ hats. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
The clock was turned back on Throwback Thursday once again in 2018. The Sweets donned their 1973 Walla Walla Padres throwback uniforms and went 2-1 in their three Thursday home games at Borleske Stadium. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
The Sweets won in walk-off fashion three times throughout the 2018 season. On June 22 on Adam West Night against the Portland Pickles, Ryan Johnston delivered a single through the left side of the infield to drive home Jordan Hovey for the first walk-off victory. Then on August 1 against the Kelowna Falcons, Nick Nyquist lifted a sacrifice fly into left field to score Darius Vines from third for their second walk-off of the season. Finally, on August 3 against the Yakima Valley Pippins, Patrick Caulfield drilled a base hit into right-centerfield with the bases loaded to score Ben Fariss for the third and final walk-off win of the year. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
2019 Season Tickets:
Be sure to purchase your season tickets for the 2019 Walla Walla Sweets season now! To do so, visit the Sweets Shoppe in downtown Walla Walla or call the offices at (509) 522-2255 anytime 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday through Friday or 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday!
Matt Hall walked into the managers office with batting gloves.
“He may have been under the impression that he would have the opportunity to be two-way player,” said team president Zachary Fraser, who was the general manager in 2013. “I remember J.C. (Biagi) just looked at him patiently as they discussed what role(s) Matt would play during the season.”
Instead of being a two-way player, Hall went onto to be one of many impressive pitchers on that roster. The freshman lefty from Missouri State would throw 52 innings, striking out 45 while posting a 5-2 record for the division-winning club. That team featured a staff that had five future draft picks, including a first-round selection in MSU teammate Jon Harris. Hall stood out as one that really grew into a star that summer. His impressive summer in the WCL was simply a foreshadow of great things to come.
After returning to Springfield, Hall experienced a remarkable collegiate career. He was the driving force behind MSU’s run to an NCAA Super Regional in 2015. Following that success, he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 6th round, subsequently climbing through their minor league system to become one of their top prospects.
While Hall was climbing the Tiger ranks, the Sweets front office was curious as to which of the pitching prospects the team had been able to have in-market would reach the big leagues first. Arturo Reyes (2012) had experienced great success with the Cardinals, including invites to big league camp, before a rash of injuries slowed his progression. Eric Yardley (2011) is a great story, as he has parlayed a free-agent signing with the Padres into a solid MiLB career. He has been back and forth between AA and AAA the past two seasons.
Hall ended the drama. Texts starting circulating on Monday, September 10 shortly after lunch. First from host family coordinators, then past coaches, a few fans, and finally confirmation that Hall had become the first former Walla Walla Sweet to be called up to the Major Leagues.
“I don’t think Matt’s call-up to Detroit is a huge surprise for any of us (former Sweets staff),” said Biagi. “He demonstrated a terrific demeanor, toughness and a certain level of intelligence while he was here that clearly still separates him even today.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Matty. There isn’t a more deserving guy out there.”
It is an exciting “first” in the history of the club, particularly as the Sweets prepares to celebrate the 10th anniversary in the Walla Walla market. While Hall is the first, he will most certainly not be the last. In addition to his 2013 brethren, there have been many talented draft selections in subsequent years that are currently working their way through farm systems.
“It will be exciting to put Hall on the wall here in the office,” said Fraser, smiling at the rhyme. “How great it will be to highlight our first – and to create a space for the many to follow.”Read Less
Ferguson will head sales for the Lancaster (PA) Barnstormers
Dan Ferguson has announced that he is stepping down as General Manager of the Walla Walla Sweets, effective immediately. He will be starting a position with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League, where he will serve as the Vice-President of Sales & Service for the team.
Ferguson was hired in 2015 to serve as the team’s Director of Ticket Sales & Service. Following a successful first season, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager for the 2017 season, and was again promoted to General Manager for the 2018 season.
The senior leader was not an unknown talent to Sweets senior management. He had worked with Sweets founding General Manager and current team President Zachary Fraser in Seattle with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, and has enjoyed a career in professional sports management for nearly 15 years. Ferguson specializes in running ticket sales departments, and that specialty is reflected in a 35% increase in ticket business over the past three seasons with the Sweets.
“We are grateful for all of the good things that Dan has brought to the team and to the Walla Walla community,” said Fraser. “He did a wonderful job of changing the trajectory of ticket sales, improved our internship program and was adept at discovering talented members of our current staff.
“I wish my friend great success in a really cool stadium in Lancaster.”
The Sweets are preparing for their 10th season in the Walla Walla market and as members of the West Coast League. Fraser anticipates moving quickly to solidify the team leadership for the season and the next decade of Sweets baseball. He does not plan to assume the GM role again, as he did in 2017 following the three-year tenure of Katie Biagi. However, Fraser will continue to be very active in the interim in working with fans, sponsors, front office and coaching staff while a new general manager is identified and on-boarded.
“We have a few great options to consider, and I am confident that we will soon have a dynamic, experienced, day-to-day operator for what will be a season-long celebration of our first decade at Borleske.
“As remarkable as the past decade has been, our best days as an organization are in front of us.”
We’re are already knee-deep in planning and preparation for the 2019 WCL season. One of our key members of the team is retiring, and we need to replace this All-Star with another All-Star.
View the job description by CLICKING THIS LINK, and if it’s the right fit for you – apply! If it isn’t for you, but you know of the right person, please send them our way.
In Walla Walla, we are preparing to celebrate the 10th season of Sweets Baseball at Borleske Stadium and welcome our 500,000th fan since inception. In Yakima, we’ve developed a dynamic and growing business that is at the heart of the Valley all year long.
We can’t wait to welcome our next teammate to the club!Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – The All-WCL teams have been announced and the Sweets saw two of their players receive nods while several teammates received honorable mention. Bryce Moyle (First Team) and Nick Nyquist (Second Team) headline the 2018 Walla Walla Sweets All-WCL selections.
First Team All-WCL
Bryce Moyle – LHP (Washington State University, Sophomore)
Few pitchers in the West Coast League performed as well as Moyle did in the second half of the 2018 season. From July 8 on he went 3-0 with a 0.72 ERA and 32 strikeouts over 25 innings of work. His best performance of the year came July 21 when the Sweets hosted the Cowlitz Black Bears. Moyle put in six innings of work to earn the victory while allowing no runs on just three hits with 11 strikeouts. That outing earned him WCL Pitcher of the Week honors for July 16-22.
Second Team All-WCL
Nick Nyquist – IF (Gonzaga University, RS Senior)
He might as well go by ‘Mr. Sweet’ after the three-year career Nyquist put together for Walla Walla. He capped off his Sweets tenure with his best season yet in 2018 including a career best batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He was named to the WCL All-Star Game for the third consecutive year in addition to being named to an All-WCL team for the third straight year, as well. Nyquist finished his Sweets career as the all-time leader in games played (147), at-bats (516), hits (145), runs scored (89), runs batted in (81), triples (6), homeruns (11), walks (73), and stolen bases (34).
Jordan Hovey – IF (Creighton University, Junior)
Hovey became one of the best hitters in the Sweets’ lineup once he settled into hitting in the West Coast League. After a slow start through his first 17 games in which he was hitting under .200, he tore through the remainder of the season. Over his final 34 games, Hovey had a .309 batting average with a .428 OBP and cut his strikeout percentage down by .127 points. He also tallied 21 runs, 20 RBI, nine doubles and four homeruns over that stretch.
Cesar Lopez – OF (Cal Poly Pomona, Sophomore)
The Cal Poly Pomona walk-on Lopez excelled playing in his first season in the WCL with the Sweets. He was selected to the WCL All-Star game where he was named co-MVP of the game after going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a homerun. There was a stretch during the 2018 season that Lopez was nearly impossible to get out. Over 15 games from June 22 through July 10, he had a .462 batting average, a .517 on-base percentage, a .596 slugging percentage, scored nine runs and had eight RBI.
Haydn King – LHP (UNLV, Junior)
In his second year with the Sweets, King was dominant on the mound at times in 2018. He got two starts against the highest scoring offense in the league in the Portland Pickles and simply shut them down. Over those two games he went 10.1 innings with just two earned runs allowed. On the road against the Pickles on July 11, King had one of the most impressive outings of the season. He tossed five innings while allowing just one run and struck out 11 hitters. That performance got him the nod as WCL Pitcher of the Week for July 9-16.
Zach Penrod – Utility (Northwest Nazarene University, Signed)
Penrod proved to be – if not the best – then certainly one of the best two-way players in the WCL in 2018. He was selected to the WCL All-Star team as a pitcher but also participated in the homerun derby. Offensively Penrod helped to pace the Sweets by accounting for 32 runs over just 28 games. It was his promise on the mound however that caught the eye of MLB scouts. As a result, Penrod signed a professional minor league contract with the Texas Rangers as a pitcher midway through the WCL season. He is currently playing for the Rangers’ rookie ball affiliate in the Arizona League.
Darius Vines – RHP (Arizona State University, Junior)
Vines once again flashed why he was one of the most talented pitchers in the WCL in 2018. He earned his second consecutive selection to the WCL All-Star Game this past year. While he cooled off in the latter portion of the season, Vines was devastating on the mound over his first few appearances. He went 3-0 over his first three starts with just one earned run allowed and 19 strikeouts over 17 innings pitched.Read Less
We asked former manager J.C. Biagi to share his thoughts on a player that almost was for the Sweets...
Note: this piece is penned by former Sweets manager, J.C. Biagi, as we are collectively reflecting on key moments from nine seasons in the Walla Walla Valley.
The most avid of Sweets fans might fondly recall some of the more prominent players in our 9 years of history. Names like Stewart, Mendenhall and Stanford starred in our early years to the more recent contributions of Nyquist, Johnston, Lincoln and MacIver.
One player who few likely remember was from our 2014 squad, a right-handed pitcher Jacob (Jake) Nix.
Nix was part of a quartet of UCLA incoming freshmen who’d signed with the Walla Walla Sweets prior to the 2014 season. Had it not been for their respective selections in the top 5 rounds of the MLB draft, Grant Hockin, Josh Morgan and Nix would have most probably joined the lone arrival of Sean Bouchard that summer.
Jake notified the team the day he was drafted that he wouldn’t be coming to Walla Walla – he intended to sign with the Astros after being selected in the 5th round. Though he never put on a Sweets uniform, his personality, demeanor and maturity stood out to us in the interactions we had leading up to the summer.
Weeks later, in an unprecedented hiccup, Jake would go onto lose the opportunity to sign with the Astros. Fortunately, his mid-90’s fastball kept the interest of Major League teams and he went onto sign with San Diego Padres the next year.
Players come and go and each leaves an indelible mark on our organization, some clearly larger than others. When they depart from their summer home they can disappear into the galaxy of college athletics, where it can be difficult to keep tabs on their progress. A small contingent eventually enter the bottleneck of professional baseball where 98% of careers go to die (if they weren’t already lost in college). This situation becomes even more obscure in situations where players like Nix don’t even “arrive on campus” – few remember their name and certainly have little reason to keep track of them.
In #SweetsCountry, however, we do remember.
Tonight the Seattle Mariners visit the San Diego Padres. Our beloved Felix Hernandez will take the mound as the Mariners look to close the gap in the AL West pennant race. Standing in his way across the diamond, will be a 22-year-old rookie named Jake Nix.
Our former ‘Almost-Sweet,’ Nix, will toe the rubber in his 4th career MLB start. After a stellar first outing, Nix’s performance in the big leagues has been a mixed bag. He’ll look to find his level against an imposing King whose found his 2018 season to be less than the dominant force we’ve come to know.
Oddly, situations like this bring about mixed emotions in how to root, conjuring up thoughts of those split jerseys that adoring mothers wear when their children face-off in competition. The best we could hope for tonight is 6 innings of masterful shutout work by Jake, and 8 by Felix. A Mariners barrage in the top of the 7th would have Felix in line for the win, and of course an Edwin Diaz save to follow.
While we await the arrival of our first official big-leaguer we celebrate Jake Nix, the one that almost was.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – There were a lot of great moments captured at Borleske Stadium this summer, but only one could be voted the best. The ‘Splashdown!’ photo from the Sweets’ walk-off victory against the Kelowna Falcons on August 1 was voted by fans the Best Picture of the 2018 Season.
The late-season victory against the Falcons came with a little extra meaning for the Sweets. Heading into the game on August 1, the Sweets had lost three-straight and were coming off a road trip in which they went 1-5.
It was a wild game early between the Sweets and the Falcons that saw the scoreboard swing back and forth. Walla Walla jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run double by Jordan Hovey and an RBI double by Cesar Lopez.
The hot start was short lived however as Kelowna responded with six runs in the top of the second inning to take the lead 6-3. Walla Walla then slowly began to chip away at the lead.
Tate Soderstrom drove home Danny Sinatro on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third to make it 6-4. The score stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth when with runners on second and third, Ryan Johnston drove home a run on a groundout to cut the lead to 6-5.
It can not go without mentioning the performance turned in by Johnston on the mound in the game. He took over in the top of the fifth inning and was virtually untouchable.
Johnston went five scoreless innings with five strikeouts and allowed just one hit. Perhaps most impressive is that retired the final 13 batters he faced on nothing but strikeouts and groundouts with the ball never leaving the infield.
Walla Walla came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 6-5 with a final crack at trying to extend or win the game. Ben Fariss was called on to pinch hit to lead off the inning and with one swing he turned the game on its head.
On the very first pitch he saw, Fariss launched a towering drive into the trees out past the left field wall for a solo homerun which tied the game at 6-6. Quentin LaFontaine then drew a walk to put the game-winning run on with nobody out.
Darius Vines came on to pinch run for LaFontaine to give the Sweets a little added speed on the base paths. After an error put runners on first and second, a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position with only one out.
That brought up Nick Nyquist for a chance to play hero and give the Sweets a much-needed win. On a 1-1 count, he lifted a fly ball into left field.
The ball was caught as Vines tagged from third and headed for home. The throw to the plate was wide as Vines scored standing up with Nyquist walking the Sweets off winners by the final score of 7-6.
The celebration ensued and the Best Picture of the 2018 Season, ‘Splashdown!’, was captured as Sweets players spilled onto the field and doused Nyquist with the Gatorade jug. Stay tuned on Saturday for the upcoming Look Back at the 2018 Walla Walla Sweets Season to check out all the great photos from Borleske Stadium this past year.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – Vote now on the best picture of the 2018 Walla Walla Sweets season! Scroll down to view the images and to vote on the poll!
Walla Walla, Wash. – It was another great season of Sweets baseball at Borleske Stadium in 2018 thanks to the tremendous support of the Walla Walla community. For the ninth consecutive season, the Sweets ranked in the top 50 of Ballpark Business’s 2018 Summer Collegiate Top 100 Attendance Rankings.
“The continued support for this team from the community has been truly incredible,” said Sweets team president Zachary Fraser. “Year in and year out our fans pack Borleske Stadium and make it such a fun and electric environment. It means a great deal to all of us to have such a passionate fan base that continues to get acknowledgement as one of the top draws in collegiate summer baseball.”
The Sweets came in at 49 on this year’s Ballpark Business attendance rankings with an average of 1,255 fans per game. Including non-league games, Walla Walla drew over 38,000 fans to Borleske Stadium this summer.
Fans that came out to watch the Sweets play at home this season were treated to a lot of winning. Walla Walla finished with an impressive overall record of 24-8 at Borleske Stadium in addition to going 9-0 in series at home against West Coast League opponents.
There were a lot of exciting promotions throughout the 2018 season at home for the Sweets as well. Adam West Night featured caped crusader inspired uniforms, a commemorative Sweets statue giveaway, and a fantastic post-game firework display.
The famous ‘Who’s on First?’ skit was brought to life on Abbott and Costello Night with St. Louis Wolves jerseys that featured players’ names from the routine. Fans saw what could have been with the three-game Walla Walla Wallabies series where the Sweets wore alternate reality Wallabies uniforms.
Mariner Moose came out and put on a show for Walla Walla fans while terrorizing the team’s on-field emcee Sean McKillip. There were Terrific Tuesdays, BOGO Wednesdays, Throwback Thursdays, Bud Light Batting Practices and much more.
The collective efforts of the team’s management and staff culminated into what was yet another terrific season of Walla Walla Sweets baseball, which as always was made entirely possible by the team’s incredible fan base. With the team’s tenth season upcoming in 2019, expect more of the same in what will undoubtedly be another fun and thrilling summer of Walla Walla Sweets baseball.Read Less
Longview, Wash. – For the second time in three games, the Sweets offense fell silent against the Black Bears. Walla Walla dropped the season finale to Cowlitz by the final score of 3-0 at Story Field on Wednesday night.
Michael Peterson got the start for the Sweets and ran into some trouble in the bottom of the first inning. A walk, a single and an error loaded the bases with two outs.
Then a weakly hit fly ball into right field looked as though it was going to drop in to score multiple runs. Instead, Cesar Lopez laid out and made a miraculous diving catch to end the inning which kept the Black Bears off the scoreboard.
Cowlitz finally broke through though in the bottom of the third. A single through the left side of the infield put a runner on first with two outs in the frame.
Andrew Walling then laced a ball into the left-centerfield gap that got out to the wall for an RBI double to give Cowlitz the lead at 1-0.
The only other offense in the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning. With Peterson still on the mound, back-to-back walks to start the frame put runners on first and second with nobody out.
A questionable balk to the next batter then moved both runners into scoring position at second and third. After a flyout, the infield was drawn in with two strikes on the batter Jonathan Hodo.
He then flipped a base hit just over the head of Jack Filby at shortstop for an RBI single to make it 2-0. That brought Brayde Hirai to the mound for Walla Walla as he inherited a one out, runners on the corners situation.
On an 0-1 count, a ball in the dirt was blocked down by Josh Prizina behind the plate. The runner from third took an aggressive jump on the low pitch, and Prizina came up throwing to third.
He ended up launching the throw into left field which allowed the runner from third to score easily to make it 3-0. It was nothing but goose eggs on the scoreboard for the remainder of the way for both teams.
Hirai finished his outing on the mound tossing three and two-thirds innings with just three hits allowed in addition to three strikeouts. Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the game for Walla Walla was the fact that Ryan Johnston played all nine defensive positions throughout the course of the game.
He saw limited action in positions outside his usual left field spot. He did flag down a fly ball in right field, and then he had to make an impressive stretch at first base to reel in a wide throw.
Johnston even looked sharp behind the plate in the bottom of the seventh with some good pitch frames in addition to holding on for a strikeout to end the inning. He then finished his evening out on the mound as he tossed a scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth on just one hit to go along with one strikeout.
The offense for the Sweets just failed to put together any consistency throughout the course of the game as the Black Bears pitching staff kept hitters off base all game long. Walla Walla only mustered three total baserunners throughout the course of the game on two hits and one walk.
Marty Maves got the ball in the top of the ninth for Cowlitz, and he closed the books on the game. He did allow one hit but struck out the other three batters he faced to earn the save and seal the victory for Cowlitz by the final score of 3-0.
The Sweets had a fun and entertaining campaign throughout the 2018 season. They finished with an overall record of 28-26 which included going 9-0 in WCL series at home at Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla will return for the tenth season of Sweets baseball in 2019!Read Less
Longview, Wash. – It was not exactly pretty, but a win is a win in the dog days of the season. The Sweets took game two from the Cowlitz Black Bears by a final score of 5-3 at Story Field on Tuesday night.
The Sweets jumped out to an early lead in the top of the third inning. Tyler Pritchard led off the frame by singling into left-centerfield.
After a strikeout, Patrick Caulfield ripped a ball down into the left field corner. Pritchard tried to score from first but wound up being cut down at the plate for the second out of the inning.
With Caulfield standing on second after the double, Nick Nyquist hammered a ball into the left field corner to allow the run to score easily to make it 1-0. A wild throw in on the play put Nyquist at third, and a wild pitch to the next batter got back to the backstop to allow him to come home to make it 2-0.
It did not take long for the Black Bears to respond in the bottom of the fourth inning off Sweets starter Will Blackburn. Ryan Kim led off the inning by singling through the left side of the infield.
He then stole second base, and a low throw to the bag was kicked away and got out into left field which allowed Kim to move to third on the play. Austin Bell then drilled a single back up the middle to push across the run to make it 2-1.
Bell then stole second base as Blackburn retired the next two batters on a flyout and a strikeout. With two outs and a runner on second, Dutton Elske hit a slow roller out toward shortstop.
Matt Whitney failed to reel the ball in as it got past him for an error which allowed the runner to come all the way around and score from second base to tie the game at 2-2. The seesaw game continued as the Sweets took the lead right back in the top of the fifth.
Caulfield reached base with two outs on an error by the third baseman. Then on a 3-2 count and the runner in motion off first, Nyquist hammered a ball off the centerfield wall.
The hit resulted in an RBI double as Caulfield scored all the way from first to make it 3-2. Blackburn surrendered a leadoff walk to kick off the bottom of the fifth inning.
A pickoff attempt to first base was then wide and got out to the right field corner which moved the runner over to third base on the play. After a strikeout, a groundout to the shortstop allowed the runner from third to score to tie the game at 3-3.
It was all Walla Walla the rest of the way as the tie was short lived. Jordan Hovey strode to the plate in the top of the sixth inning and gave the Sweets the lead with one swing of the bat.
On a 3-1 count, he launched a ball over the right field wall for a solo shot to put Walla Walla back out in front at 4-3. Blackburn then came out and tossed a shutdown inning in the bottom of the sixth to end his evening on the mound.
He finished with an impressive outing, going six strong innings while allowing three runs, albeit just one earned, on three hits to go along with six strikeouts. Samuel Reed took over for the Sweets in the bottom of the seventh and put up another scoreless inning with just one hit surrendered.
Walla Walla was able to give themselves a bit of breathing room in the top of the eighth. Back-to-back singles kicked off the inning for Cesar Lopez and Hovey.
With runners on the corners and nobody out, Matt Elser lifted a ball into the deep part of left field. The hit was flagged down as the run came home to score on a sacrifice fly which extended the lead out to two at 5-3.
Jack Filby was then called on to shut the door, and he did just that. He took to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and threw back-to-back shutout innings while allowing just one base runner on a walk, in addition to striking out three.
That earned Filby a save and propelled the Sweets to victory by the final score of 5-3.
It is the final game of the 2018 season for Walla Walla on Wednesday night in Cowlitz. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – For the third time this season, the Sweets pitching staff has taken home a West Coast League award. Michael Peterson had been named WCL Pitcher of the Week for July 30 – August 5 after an impressive outing in his first start since the beginning of the season.
At Borleske Stadium on August 2, Peterson got the ball against the Kelowna Falcons and was virtually untouchable throughout the game. He tossed seven shutout innings while allowing just one hit, one walk, and struck out nine en route to earning the victory.
Peterson had his entire arsenal of pitches rolling that night and utilized his changeup frequently throughout the start to keep the Falcons hitters off balance at the plate. The Sweets needed that type of outing from Peterson on the night as they squeaked out a win behind the tremendous start by a final score of 2-0.
The tall right-hander from Walla Walla Community College has put together an excellent campaign in his first year with the Sweets. Peterson carries a 1-2 record with a 4.15 ERA and 27 strikeouts over 30.1 innings pitched on the season.Read Less
Longview, Wash. – Sometimes when it is not your night, it is really not your night. That was the case for the Sweets as they got shutout and blown out by the Cowlitz Black Bears 13-0 at Story Field on Monday night.
It looked as though it was going to be a low-scoring game early as both teams went scoreless through the first three innings. Sweets starter Luke Short then ran into a boat load of trouble in the bottom of the fourth.
A walk, a single and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out in the frame. It was then three straight RBI singles for the Black Bears to push across the first three runs of the game to make it 3-0.
With the bases still loaded and nobody out, Isaak Gutierrez took over in the inning. The first batter he faced ripped a double down the third base line.
Two runs scored on the play to extend the lead out to 5-0. With runners on second and third and still nobody out, a single drove home yet another run to cap off the six-run inning which made it 6-0.
The Black Bears’ offense erupted for a big inning once again in the bottom of the sixth. With Gutierrez still on the mound, a walk, a single and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out.
A wild pitch to the next batter got back to the backstop which pushed home a run to make it 7-0. Then a sacrifice fly into left field scored the runner from third to make it 8-0.
With a runner on second and two outs, Tony Boetto drilled a ball over the left field fence for a two-run homerun to make it 10-0. The runs kept on coming for Cowlitz in the bottom of the seventh inning.
With Cole Schoepke taking over on the mound, a single, a strikeout and a passed ball put a runner on second. Three straight singles then drove home two runs in the inning to make it 12-0.
Tyler Pritchard came on in relief in the bottom of the eighth inning for his first pitching appearance of the season with the Sweets. After getting a groundout to the first batter he faced, a double and a single put runners on the corners with one away.
A slow roller groundout to third base then pushed across the runner from third for the final run of the game to make it 13-0. The Sweets offense struggled throughout in the series opener against Cowlitz.
They accrued just five hits and drew only one walk on the night as the Black Bears rolled through game one and took home the shutout victory by the final score of 13-0.
The Sweets look to bounce back with some offense to try to even the series on Tuesday night. First pitch is slated for 6:35 PM.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins broke out their power bats in the series finale against the Sweets. The Pips offense rolled behind four homeruns as they trounced the Sweets 9-3 on Sunday night in the final home game at Borleske Stadium for the 2018 season.
The game began with a bang for Yakima Valley in the top of the first. With Brayde Hirai on the mound for the Sweets and one out in the inning, Nick DiCarlo hit a towering homerun into the trees out in left field for a solo shot to make it 1-0.
Things went from bad to worse for Hirai out on the mound in the top of the second. A hit-by-pitch, a strikeout and a walk put runners on first and second with one out.
Cam Campbell then launched a ball deep down the left field line. It cleared the manual scoreboard and got out for a three-run homerun which extended the lead out to 4-0 for the Pippins.
A single and back-to-back walks with two outs still in the inning loaded the bases. That brought Carson Woolery to the mound in relief for the Sweets.
On the second pitch he threw, it got past Matt Elser and back to the back stop which allowed the runner from third to score to make it 5-0. The offense kept rolling for Yakima Valley in the top of the fifth inning.
With Tanner Cunha on the mound, a leadoff double was followed by back-to-back flyouts. Bryce Wooldridge then laced a base hit into right field to score the runner from second to make it 6-0.
The Sweets pushed across their first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan Johnston drew a walk to lead off the inning.
Jack Filby then roped a ball deep into the left-centerfield alley. It got out to the wall for an RBI double as Johnston scored all the way around from first to make it 6-1.
The Pippins answered right back with a big inning in the top of the sixth. With Cunha still on the hill, Kyle Dean smacked a one out double up the left field line.
Tyler Lasch then hammered a shot over the right field wall for a two-run homerun which extended the lead out to 8-1. After a groundout, Chris Arpan drilled a ball over the left field scoreboard for a solo homerun to make it 9-1.
Walla Walla tried to rally late but came up short. Johnston led off the bottom of the seventh with a double into left-centerfield.
Johnston tagged from third and made it home safely on the RBI sacrifice fly to make it 9-2. With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Nick Nyquist strode to the batter’s box for what would be his final at-bat at Borleske Stadium.
He then promptly drilled a double into right-centerfield to put himself in scoring position. Jordan Hovey then flipped a base hit into left field which scored Nyquist as the lead was trimmed down to six at 9-3.
That proved to be all the offense the Sweets would produce as Jake Moberg came to the mound for the Pippins in the bottom of the ninth. After a leadoff walk, Moberg rolled up a double play groundout.
Then a slowly hit ball back to the mound was flipped onto first in time for the final out as the Pippins sealed the victory by the final score of 9-3.
The Sweets hit the road for one final series in the 2018 season. They take on Cowlitz in a three-game series beginning at 6:35 on Monday.
Walla Walla, Wash. – After a stretch of close games, the Sweets were able to win by a more comfortable margin on Saturday night. They defeated the Yakima Valley Pippins by a final score of 7-3 at Borleske Stadium behind an all-around great team performance.
It was a fast start for the Sweets’ offense in the game. Cesar Lopez singled and stole second base in the bottom of the first inning.
With two outs, Jordan Hovey flipped a base hit into left field to drive home the run and make it 1-0. Walla Walla was able to add on in the bottom of the second inning off Pippins starter Mason Wells.
Back-to-back singles from Isaak Gutierrez and Josh Prizina put runners on first and second with two outs. It was then three straight RBI singles from Patrick Caulfied, Lopez, and Nick Nyquist to drive home three runs in the inning which extended the lead out to 4-0.
The Pips pushed across their first run of the game in the top of the third with Sweets starter Tyson Quolas out on the mound. With a runner on first and one away, Kyle Dean hammered a ball off the centerfield wall for an RBI double to make it 4-1.
The offense kept rolling for Walla Walla in the bottom of the fourth off Pips reliever Jack Gonzales. With the bases loaded and one away, Nyquist drilled a fly ball out to centerfield for an RBI sacrifice fly which scored Prizina from third to make it 5-1.
Tanner Inouye came to the mound for Yakima Valley in the bottom of the fifth, but he could not slow down the Sweets offense. With one out and runners on second and third, Prizina smoked a double into left-centerfield.
Both runners scored on the play as the lead swelled out to six at 7-1. Quolas’ strong outing was over after the fifth inning.
He allowed just one run on four hits to go along with seven strikeouts. Will Blackburn then took over for Walla Walla in the sixth and threw up a shutdown inning in addition to striking out two batters.
Cole Schoepke came on in relief for the top of the seventh inning as the Pippins tried to rally late. A pair of singles with one out put runners on first and third.
A Jake Moberg single into left-centerfield drove home a run to make it 7-2. With runners still on the corners and two outs, a wild pitch got back to the back stop which scored another run as the lead was trimmed down to four at 7-3.
Dimick Wood was called on to close the door late in the game, and he did just that. He tossed back-to-back shutout innings in the eighth and ninth on just one hit with two strikeouts to seal the victory for the Sweets by the final score of 7-3.
The final home game of the 2018 season at Borleske Stadium begins Sunday evening against the Pippins. First pitch is slated for 7:05 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – For the second time in three games, the Sweets walked-off winners. Walla Walla defeated the Yakima Valley Pippins by a final score of 4-3 at Borleske Stadium on Friday night thanks once again to some late game heroics.
Ben Fariss got the scoring started for the Sweets with another long ball to lead off the bottom of the second inning. He roped a homerun over the left field wall to make it 1-0 for what was his third homerun over the last three games.
The slim lead was short lived however as the Pippins answered in the top of the third off Sweets starter Bryce Moyle. A leadoff double was followed by an RBI single from Cody Jefferis to tie the game at 1-1.
Another big fly kept the offense rolling for the Sweets. Nick Nyquist led off the bottom of the fourth inning by hitting an absolute bomb to the deepest part of the yard out in centerfield.
The blast cleared the fence for a solo homerun to give Walla Walla the lead back at 2-1. Moyle finished what was yet another strong start going five innings with just the one run allowed and three strikeouts.
Luke Short took over on the mound for the Sweets in the top of the sixth inning. A single to lead off the frame was followed by back-to-back punchouts.
A wild pitch moved the runner over to second base with two outs. Cole Jones then flipped a single right back up the middle to drive home the run which tied the score at 2-2.
With Pippins starter Cullen Kafka still on the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Sweets took advantage for another run. Ryan Johnston led off the inning by smoking a double up the left field line.
A groundout to the second baseman moved the runner over to third base with one out. The Pippins pulled their infield in as Matt Elser came to the plate.
He then lined a base hit over the head of the second baseman and into right field for an RBI single to score Johnston which made it 3-2. The lead proved to be short lived yet again as Yakima Valley looked to break the game wide open in the top of the eighth inning.
Back-to-back singles to start off the frame with Sweets reliever Will Blackburn on the mound put runners on first and second. Fariss then took over on the bump to try to keep the lead intact.
A bunt attempt to the next batter rolled right out in front of home plate. Newly entered catcher Josh Prizina picked up the ball and threw it to third base to try to cut down the lead runner.
Jordan Hovey at third caught the ball but missed putting his foot down on the bag which left everybody safe on a fielder’s choice. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Nick DiCarlo peppered a ball into right field for an RBI single which moved everybody up 90 feet and tied the game at 3-3.
Fariss then was able to bear down with the bases still loaded by punching out the next two batters he faced. With two outs, he got a groundout to Jack Filby at shortstop to end the inning which kept the score deadlocked in a tie.
That gave the Sweets a chance to rally late yet again, and they delivered in front of a great Borleske Stadium crowd. With Bryce Wooldridge on the mound for the Pippins in the bottom of the ninth, Fariss led off the frame by drilling a long single off the left-field scoreboard.
A sacrifice bunt moved the runner into scoring position at second base. A strikeout to the next batter made it two outs, and it looked like the game may extend into extra innings.
Back-to-back great at-bats by Prizina and Filby resulted in both hitters drawing two-out walks. It was then the scenario that every young kid playing the game of baseball dreams of: bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, two outs, tie game.
Patrick Caulfield strode to the batter’s box looking to take advantage of the late-game opportunity to be the hero, and he got the job done. On an 0-1 count, Caulfield lined a base hit into right-centerfield to score Fariss from third as the Sweets won on a walk-off 4-3 over the Pippins.
Just two games remain at home on the schedule for the Sweets as they look to win their fourth straight game on Saturday night against Yakima Valley. First pitch is slated for 6:35 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – The WWCC Warriors are going to have quite a pitching staff to be dealt with next year, and it was on full display Thursday night. Led by two Warriors, the Sweets shut out the Kelowna Falcons in the series finale at Borleske Stadium by a final score of 2-0.
The Sweets got their first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. After hitting the game-tying homerun last night, Ben Fariss dug in to lead off the frame against Kelowna starter Trevor Brigden.
He then promptly drilled a moonshot over the left field wall that got all the way out into the trees for a solo homerun to make it 1-0. That proved to be one of the biggest swings on the night as it was almost entirely pitching and defense the rest of the way.
Michael Peterson got the start for Walla Walla on the mound and was sensational throughout. He had all of his pitches working and was able to keep the Kelowna hitters off balance all game long.
As a result, Peterson tossed seven shutout innings for the Sweets while racking up nine strikeouts. Perhaps even more impressive was the fact that over those seven innings, he allowed just two baserunners on one hit and one walk.
The offense for the Sweets finally arrived once again in the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out in the frame, Cesar Lopez ripped a ball deep into the right-centerfield gap.
The ball got all the way out to the wall which allowed Lopez to reach third base on a triple. Ryan Johnston then lifted a ball into shallow right-centerfield.
The right fielder caught the ball and relayed the throw home with the runner tagging from third. The throw bounced in and got away from the catcher to allow Lopez to score on the RBI sacrifice fly which made it 2-0.
Brayde Hirai took over on the mound for the Sweets in the top of the eighth inning. He followed suit with an impressive performance just like his collegiate teammate Peterson.
Hirai went back-to-back scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth inning while allowing just two hits and striking out three. That secured the shutout in an all-WWCC Warrior pitching performance as the Sweets got the victory in the series finale against the Falcons by a final score of 2-0.
Walla Walla gets set to open up their final home series of the 2018 season on Friday as the Yakima Valley Pippins come to town. First pitch of game one is slated for 6:35 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – Few things in sports compare to the excitement of a walk-off victory. The Sweets experienced that first hand as they walked off winners against the Kelowna Falcons at Borleske Stadium on Wednesday night by a final score of 7-6.
It was a seesaw game early as the Sweets took the lead in the bottom of the first. With Falcons starter Stone Churby on the hill, a walk and a hit-by-pitch put two runners on with one out.
A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position at second and third. Jordan Hovey then laced a double into the left-centerfield gap to plate both runs which gave the Sweets a 2-0 lead.
A pop out to the next batter left a runner on second with two outs. Cesar Lopez then drilled a ball into left-centerfield for an RBI double to extend the lead out to 3-0 early.
The bats came alive for the Falcons in the top of the second inning with a massive two-out rally. After striking out the side in the first inning, Sweets starter Trent Sellers surrendered back-to-back singles to kick off the second.
A sacrifice bunt, a walk, and a strikeout loaded the bases with two outs. Tylor Nixon then lined a shot into left-centerfield which cleared the bases on a double as the Falcons tied it up at 3-3.
A single into right field to the next batter scored the runner from second as Kelowna took the lead 4-3. A single into left field then put runners on the corners with still two outs.
Back-to-back singles to the ninth and tenth batters of the frame pushed across two more runs to cap off the scoring in a huge second inning as the Falcons moved out in front 6-3. Walla Walla was able to answer back in the bottom of the third inning.
Danny Sinatro reached on an error by the second baseman to lead things off. Back-to-back singles then loaded the bases with nobody out.
Tate Soderstrom then lifted a deep fly ball into centerfield which resulted in an RBI sacrifice fly to make it 6-4. Samuel Reed tossed an impressive two and a third innings in relief for the Sweets without allowing a single baserunner.
It was then all Ryan Johnston the rest of the way for Walla Walla as he dazzled on the mound to keep the game close. He was sensational in tossing five scoreless innings while striking out five and only allowing one hit.
Perhaps most impressive, Johnston retired the final 13 batters he faced consecutively on nothing but strikeouts and groundouts, so the ball never left the infield. That effort kept the Sweets in a position to rally back late.
In the bottom of the eighth with Kellan Richards on the mound for Kelowna, a single and a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second with nobody out. After a strikeout, Sinatro stole third base to put runners on the corners.
Johnston then came to the plate and hit a slow roller back to the mound. The throw went to first base which allowed the run to come across to score from third which trimmed the lead down to one at 6-5.
Cal Hehnke took over on the mound for Kelowna in the bottom of the ninth to try to rack up his second save in two games against the Sweets. Ben Fariss refused to allow that to happen as he was called on to pinch hit to lead off the inning.
On the very first pitch, Fariss blasted a towering drive over the left field wall for a solo homerun to tie the game at 6-6. The rally was on as Quentin LaFontaine drew a walk to put the game-winning run aboard.
Darius Vines came on to pinch run for LaFontaine to give the Sweets a little added speed. A bunt attempt to the next batter was hit right back to the mound.
Fortunately, the throw back to second base could not be pulled in by the shortstop as it was dropped for an error which allowed both runners to reach safely. After a sacrifice bunt was executed to move both runners into scoring position, the Falcons chose to intentionally walk Sinatro to load the bases with one out.
That brought up Nick Nyquist to try to be the hero, and he played the role perfectly. On a 1-1 count, he lifted a ball just deep enough into left field.
Vines tagged from third and headed home after the ball was caught. The throw in to home plate was wide as Vines scored standing up to give the Sweets the walk-off win on an RBI sacrifice fly from Nyquist by a final score of 7-6.
Walla Walla wraps up their three-game series against Kelowna on Thursday evening. First pitch is slated for 6:35 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – Pitching and defense was the theme of the game on Tuesday night. The Sweets lost a pitcher’s duel to the Kelowna Falcons by a final score of 3-2.
The Falcons came out swinging right away in the top of the first inning off Sweets starter Ty Hueckman. Back-to-back singles to the first two batters he faced put runners on first and second with nobody out.
The potential West Coast League MVP, Trent Tinglestad, then drilled a line shot out to the left field wall for an RBI double to make it 1-0. With two runners in scoring position and still nobody out, Lucas Soper lifted a ball just deep enough into left field to score the runner from third on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Hueckman was able to settle in after the rocky start. He tossed six straight shutout innings with just three hits allowed and two walks surrendered.
The offense finally woke up for Walla Walla in the bottom of the sixth inning with Falcons starter Andrew Alvarez still on the bump. Jack Filby led off the frame by singling right back up the middle.
A hit-by-pitch to Patrick Caulfield put runners on first and second with nobody out. Jordan Hovey then flied out deep into right field which allowed Filby to tag up and move over to third to put runners on the corners with one away.
On an 0-2 count, Nick Nyquist hit a slow roller to the shortstop. The throw went to second as the Falcons tried to turn the double play to get out of the inning.
Nyquist was able to hustle down the line though and beat out the throw to first which resulted in an RBI fielder’s choice to make it 2-1. The Sweets tied things up in the bottom of the seventh inning thanks to a fortunate throwing mistake.
Ryan Johnston drew a walk with one out in the frame. Alvarez then tried to snap a pickoff throw over to the first base bag.
He launched the throw over the head of the first baseman as it got out into the right field corner which allowed Johnston to move all the way over to third base. Danny Sinatro then dropped down a squeeze bunt attempt.
Johnston crossed home plate safely with the head start from third as that tied the game at 2-2. The tie was short lived however as the Falcons took the lead right back in the top of the eighth.
With Hueckman still battling out on the mound, a single with one out gave Kelowna a runner on. A fielder’s choice groundout then put a runner on first with two outs.
After a stolen base moved the runner into scoring position, Taylor Wright hammered a ball deep into the right field corner. It banged up off the wall for an RBI double as the Falcons moved back out in front 3-2.
Hueckman was able to finish off the inning thanks to a spectacular defensive effort. With a runner on second and two away, a sinking fly ball was hit into shallow centerfield.
Sinatro utilized his tremendous speed to cover a lot of ground and got within range. He then laid out to make the diving catch which saved another run from scoring in the inning to keep Walla Walla close.
That wound up being the last bit of excitement that Sweets fans would get to see on the night though. James Brooks and Cal Hehnke worked back-to-back shutout innings in the eighth and ninth to seal the victory for the Falcons in game one by a final score of 3-2.
The Sweets try to bounce back and even the series in game two on Wednesday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – With the forecast in Walla Walla calling for afternoon temperatures over 100 degrees, the Sweets have made the decision to push back their start time for the game on July 31st against the Kelowna Falcons (when temperatures are forecast to be in the mid- to low-90s). The gates at Borleske Stadium will open at 6:30 PM with the game slated to begin at 7:05 PM.Read Less
Port Angeles, Wash. – The long and winding road trip came to an unpleasant end on Sunday afternoon. The Sweets lost the series finale at Civic Field to the Port Angeles Lefties by a final score of 7-4.
It did not take long for the Lefties to jump out to an early lead off Sweets starter Sean Sullivan. After a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, back-to-back groundouts moved the runner over to third base with two away.
Ron Brown then hammered a high fastball over the right field wall for a two-run homerun to make it 2-0. Things went from bad to worse for Sullivan in the bottom of the second inning.
The frame began with a leadoff double that was smoked deep down the left field line. After a groundout to second base moved the runner over to third, an RBI single into left-centerfield plated the run to make it 3-0.
A single to the next batter ended Sullivan’s day on the mound as Samuel Reed took over with runners on first and second and one out. The first batter he faced flipped a bounding ball back up the middle that eluded the grasp of Jack Filby at shortstop.
The ball got out into centerfield for what was ruled an RBI single which made it 4-0. The Sweets tacked on their first run of the ball game in the top of the fourth inning.
With the bases empty and one away, Cesar Lopez blasted a ball over the right field wall for a solo homerun to make it 4-1. The Lefties answered right back in the bottom of the fourth with Sweets pitcher Trent Sellers out on the mound.
After a leadoff single, Sellers was able to get a strikeout and a groundout to put a runner on second with two outs. A hit-by-pitch and a passed ball then put runners on second and third.
Brown came up once more and drilled a single right back up the middle for an RBI as the runner from third scored to make it 5-1. That was where the score stood until late in the game as Sellers settled in for the next few innings.
Brayde Hirai took over with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and rolled right along until the bottom of the eighth. A leadoff single in the frame was followed by a flyout and a strikeout.
With two outs and the runner still on at first, Jason Dicochea hammered a ball over the left field wall for a two-run homerun which extended the lead out to 7-1. The Sweets then put together a late-game rally.
A leadoff triple in the top of the ninth by Danny Sinatro into the right-centerfield gap was followed by an RBI single by Tate Soderstrom which made it 7-2. Filby then flared a base hit into centerfield to make it first and second with still nobody out.
After a strikeout, Patrick Caulfield was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A called strike three to the next batter on an insanely outside pitch made it bases loaded with two outs.
He ended up popping out into shallow right field for the final out of the game as the Lefties were able to hold on late and seal the victory by the final score of 7-4. The loss on Sunday afternoon capped off what was a tough road trip that saw the Sweets go 1-5.
They head back home to open up their final two series of the regular season at Borleske Stadium beginning on Tuesday against the Kelowna Falcons. First pitch of game one is slated to begin at 6:35 PM.Read Less
Port Angeles, Wash. – Even when both teams play a competitive game, ultimately only one team can win. That was the case as the Sweets dropped game two to the Port Angeles Lefties by a final score of 3-2.
The Sweets got the scoring started in the top of the second inning. They loaded the bases with one out on a pair of walks and a single.
Josh Prizina then lifted a ball down the line into left field. The left fielder could not make the play as the ball glanced off his glove for an error which allowed Cesar Lopez to score from third to make it 1-0.
Tyson Quolas got the start on the mound for the Sweets and he was rolling early. He sent the Lefties down in order through the second inning, including striking out five straight.
Quolas got bit by the long ball though in the bottom of the third inning. With a runner on first and two outs, Justin VanDerBrake drilled a shot over the left field wall for a two-run homerun to give Port Angeles the lead at 2-1.
That is where the score stood through the fifth inning as Quolas tossed a gem. He finished going five innings with just two runs and three hits allowed to go along with nine strikeouts.
Walla Walla finally tied things up in the top of the sixth. Tate Soderstrom led off the inning by drawing a walk.
A strikeout was followed by a Tyler Pritchard single to put runners on first and second with one away. Patrick Caulfield then flipped a ball just over the head of the shortstop and into left-centerfield for an RBI single to drive home Soderstrom which made it 2-2.
That wound up being all the offense the Sweets could muster as Riley Beneditti came on in relief for the Lefties and shut the door the rest of the way. Port Angeles ended up taking the lead in the bottom of the eighth on what was an incredibly bizarre play.
After back-to-back shutout innings in the sixth and seventh, Patrick Collins gave up a single with one out in the bottom of the eighth. That brought out Brayde Hirai for the Sweets, and he gave up another single to the first batter he faced.
Ben Fariss then took over on the mound with runners on first and second and one away. The Lefties then tried to execute a double steal and confusion ensued.
The runner from first went on the pitch toward second base, but the runner on second did not try to steal third. As a result, both runners were hung up around the second base bag with virtually nowhere to go without at least one of them being tagged out.
Prizina strolled out near the mound from behind home plate trying to chase both baserunners back to the second base bag. Instead of running them all the way back, he tried to throw the ball to second base.
The throw was launched over the head of both infielders and go out into centerfield. That allowed the runner from second to come all the way around to score which gave the Lefties the lead at 3-2.
The Sweets were able to get a runner in scoring position with two outs in the top of the ninth. Beneditti then got a punchout to end the game and seal the victory for Port Angeles by the final score of 3-2.
Walla Walla heads back to Civic Field for the rubber match of the series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM.Read Less
Port Angeles, Wash. – After a tough series in Victoria, the Sweets took out some frustration on the baseball on Friday night. Walla Walla defeated the Port Angeles Lefties in the series opener by a final score of 11-6 at Civic Field.
It was a fast start for the Sweets in this one as they jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first off Lefties starter Ron Brown. Back-to-back walks to start off the game put runners on first and second with nobody out.
Jordan Hovey then smashed a ball into the right-centerfield gap for an RBI-single as the runner from second base came around to score to make it 1-0. With runners on second and third, Nick Nyquist then lifted a ball into deep left field which resulted in an RBI sacrifice fly as the runner from third scored to make it 2-0.
Hovey advanced to third on the play and stood there with one out in the inning. Ben Fariss then hit a hard ground ball to the shortstop which resulted in an RBI groundout to push across the third run of the inning as the lead swelled to 3-0.
The Sweets tacked on another run in the top of the second inning. A walk, a single and a walk loaded the bases with one out in the frame.
Hovey then delivered once more as he flipped a base hit into right field for an RBI single to make it 4-0. The Lefties tallied their first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning off Sweets starter Bryce Moyle.
With two outs, a fly ball into right field that should have been caught wound up dropping in between the right and centerfielder for a single. Kyle Schimpf then took advantage of the miscue and ripped an RBI double into the left-centerfield gap to plate the run and make it 4-1.
The offense then exploded for the Sweets in the top of the fourth inning as they put together a huge inning. Patrick Caulfield led off the frame by singling and swiping the second base bag.
After a strikeout, a Hovey single put runners on first and third with one out. Nyquist then hit a hard groundball into the hole at short which resulted in an infield single and an RBI to push across another run which made it 5-1.
With runners on first and second, Farris blasted a ball into the left-centerfield gap for an RBI double as another run scored to make it 6-1. A pop out and a walk loaded the bases with two outs.
Matt Elser then ripped a two-RBI single through the hole at second and third to push across a pair which made it 8-1. Jack Filby then put a bow on the big inning as he strode to the box with runners on first and second.
He then hammered a ball deep into right field that cleared the wall for a three-run homerun which capped off the seven-run inning as the lead extended out to 11-1. That wound up being all the offense the Sweets would produce in the game, but it was more than enough.
The Lefties pushed across another run in the bottom of the fifth off Moyle, albeit an unearned run. A couple of throwing errors in the inning allowed a run to score which made it 11-2.
Moyle’s day ended after the fifth, but he tossed another gem after being tabbed the WCL Pitcher of the Week just last week. He finished the day going five innings with two runs, one earned, just three hits allowed and nine strikeouts.
Port Angeles kept trying to claw back as they added some runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. With Will Blackburn on the mound, two walks and a flyout put runners on first and second with one away.
Then a flyball into deep left field could not be reeled in by Fariss as it dropped in for an error which loaded the bases. An RBI sacrifice fly to the next batter pushed across a run to make it 11-3.
With both runners advancing on the play, it was second and third with two outs. A base hit by Nicolas Israel drove home both runs to make it three unearned runs in the frame as the lead was trimmed down to six at 11-5.
Dimick Wood then took over on the mound for the Sweets in the bottom of the ninth to try to hold onto the lead. He did give up a run after a single, back-to-back strikeouts, and another single, which made it 11-6.
Two batters later, Wood got another strikeout to end the game as the Sweets wrapped up a big victory in game one against Port Angeles by a final score of 11-6.
Walla Walla takes back to Civic Field for game two against Port Angeles on Saturday night. First pitch is slated for 6:35 PM.Read Less
Victoria, B.C. – For just the second time this season, the brooms came out against the Sweets. The Victoria HarbourCats sealed the series sweep against Walla Walla with a 6-4 victory at Royal Athletic Park on Thursday night.
The Cats jumped out to an early lead off Sweets starter Haydn King. In the bottom of the first, a double and a groundout put a runner on third with one away.
Nick Plaia then singled into right field to plate the run to make it 1-0. The next batter lined a base hit into left field.
Cesar Lopez came on to field the ball, but it skipped under his glove. With the ball rolling past Lopez, the runner from first came all the way around to score on a single and an error to make it 2-0 right away.
The lead was extended for Victoria in the bottom of the second inning. A walk and a single to lead off the inning put runners on first and second with nobody out.
An unassisted groundout to Nick Nyquist at first base moved both runners up 90 feet with one away. Rowdy Jordan then roped a ball up the third base line to drive home both runs on a two-RBI single to make it 4-0.
King was able to settle in and keep the score put as he finished his outing tossing six innings with seven hits and the four runs allowed. The Sweets finally put together some offense in the top of the seventh to trim the lead down and put them back in the game.
With one out, Ryan Johnston drilled a shot over the left field wall for a solo homerun to make it 4-1. After a lineout, Walla Walla sparked a two-out rally.
Filby came all the way around to score from first base on the hit, and the throw back in from left field to home plate went out of play near the Cats first base dugout. That allowed Prizina to be waved around to score on the play as well on an RBI double and an error to cut the lead down to one at 4-3.
Victoria responded right away though to extend their lead back out in the bottom of the seventh. With Michael Peterson on the mound for the Sweets, a single with one out brought Jordan to the plate for the Cats.
He then promptly blasted a ball into the right-centerfield gap that cleared the wall for a two-run homerun to push the lead right back out to 6-3 for Victoria. Johnston then took to the mound for the Sweets and got out of the inning in addition to tossing a scoreless eighth to keep the score put which gave Walla Walla a chance.
A walk to Filby put runners on first and second with nobody out. Prizina then hammered a ball into the left-centerfield gap that just missed leaving the yard by a few feet.
It wound up being caught on the warning track for the first out of the inning with Vines tagging from second and moving up to third to put runners on the corners. Tyler Pritchard then lifted a ball just deep enough into centerfield to score Vines from third on a sacrifice fly to make it 6-4.
That was where the score stood though as the next batter struck out to end the game to give Victoria the win by a final score of 6-4 and ultimately wrapped up the sweep for the HarbourCats.
The Sweets now go port-to-port as they head to Port Angeles to open up a three-game series against the Lefties. First pitch of game one on Friday night is slated for 6:35 PM.Read Less
Victoria, B.C. – A hard fought game for Walla Walla went the other way with one swing of the bat late. The Victoria HarbourCats defeated the Sweets by a final score of 4-3 at Royal Athletic Park on Wednesday night.
The Sweets jumped out to an early lead in the top of the second inning off Cats starter Mason Shaw. Jordan Hovey got the frame started with a leadoff walk.
The throw back in from the right fielder glanced off the glove of Victoria’s catcher and got away. That allowed Hovey to come across to score to make it 1-0.
Johnston wound up being cut down at third base on the play which put a runner on second with one out. Matt Elser then singled back up the middle which moved Fariss up 90 feet and put runners on the corners.
A pop out made it two outs in the inning, then Danny Sinatro ripped a hard groundball to the right side of the infield. The second baseman could not reel the ball in which left everybody safe with a run coming across to score on what was ruled an RBI single to make it 2-0.
Victoria answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the second inning. With Sweets ace Darius Vines on the mound, three straight singles to start the frame pushed across a run to make it 2-1.
The Cats added on in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead. A flyout to lead off the frame was followed by back-to-back walks to put runners on first and second with one away.
After a strikeout, Matt Clayton lifted a ball down the right field line. Cesar Lopez ranged over and laid out to try to make the grab, but the ball eluded his grasp.
Two runs came across to score on the play as Victoria moved out in front 3-2. The lead was short lived however as the Sweets swung right back in the top of the fourth.
Elser doubled deep into centerfield with one out in the inning to give Walla Walla a runner in scoring position. Tyler Pritchard then flared a ball into right field for an RBI single which tied things up at 3-3.
Brayde Hirai took over on the mound for the Sweets in the bottom of the fifth inning and continued his great season on the mound. He tossed two and a third scoreless innings to keep the Sweets in the ballgame.
Ty Hueckman then took over with one out in the bottom of the seventh with the game still tied at 3-3. After a groundout to the first batter he faced, Harrison Spohn came up and hammered a shot deep up the left field line.
The ball hugged the foul pole in fair territory for a solo homerun which gave the HarbourCats a lead that they did not relinquish at 4-3. The Sweets tried to rally late but could not muster any offense off Victoria reliever Aidan Goicovich.
He worked back-to-back shutout frames in the eighth and ninth inning to earn the save and seal the victory for the HarbourCats by a final score of 4-3.
The Sweets have one last crack at trying to salvage the series as they will take on Victoria in the series finale on Thursday. First pitch is slated for 6:35 PM.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – For the second consecutive week, the Sweets pitching staff has taken home a West Coast League award. Bryce Moyle has been tabbed WCL Pitcher of the Week for July 16-22 after a sensational pair of appearances.
Moyle got the start against the Cowlitz Black Bears at Borleske Stadium on July 21 and was absolutely lights out. He earned the win in the outing by tossing six shutout innings with 11 strikeouts and just three hits allowed.
He utilized tremendous location and a devastating slew of off-speed pitches to keep the Black Bears’ hitters off balance and led the Sweets to a 9-0 victory. Moyle also made an appearance against the Bellingham Bells a few days prior and went two innings while allowing just one hit and struck out two batters.
The talented left-hander from Washington State University has put together a strong summer campaign for the Sweets. On the year for Walla Walla, he holds a 3-2 record with an impressive 2.22 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 36.1 innings pitched.Read Less
Victoria, B.C. – The lopsided-game streak continued Tuesday night but this time against a different opponent and in a different location. The Victoria HarbourCats hammered the Sweets at Royal Athletic Park on Tuesday night by a final score of 10-3.
The scoring got started early for the Cats as they jumped on the board in the bottom of the first off Sweets starter Sean Sullivan. A single, a double and a walk loaded the bases right away with nobody out in the inning.
A sacrifice fly to the next batter drove home the runner from third to make it 1-0. With runners on the corners and one away, a slow roller to second base left only the play at first which pushed home another run to give Victoria a 2-0 lead.
Things went from bad to worse for Walla Walla in the bottom of the third inning. Hunter Vansau led off the inning by hammering a homerun off the scoreboard in left field to give the Cats a 3-0 lead.
Back-to-back singles after that put runners on first and third with still nobody out. Then a ball hit down the line into right field was fielded on hop by Cesar Lopez with the runner from third scoring easily.
Lopez’s throw back in to second base was overthrown which scored a second run on the play to extend the Victoria lead out to 5-0. A flyout and a groundout kept the runner on second base with two outs.
Jaxxon Fagg then came up and hit a ball that might still be traveling. The shot soared over the left field scoreboard for a two-run homerun to extend the lead out to 7-0.
That ended the day for Sullivan on the mound. Samuel Reed then took over and got the final out of the inning to end the five-run frame.
The HarbourCats tacked on once again in the bottom of the fourth after a single to lead off the inning. After a flyout and a stolen base, Michael Malinchak singled into left field to drive home the runner from second which moved the score out to 8-0 in favor of Victoria.
The Sweets scored their first two runs of the game on one swing of the bat in the top of the sixth inning. Nick Nyquist led off the inning by drawing a four-pitch walk.
Jordan Hovey then came up and smoked a shot deep into right field. It cleared the wall for a two-run homerun which trimmed the lead down to six at 8-2.
Dimick Wood took over on the mound for the Sweets in the bottom of the seventh inning for his first pitching appearance of the summer. After a pop-out and a groundout to start the frame, Dustin Demetter drilled a wall-scraper homerun over the right field fence for a solo shot to extend the lead back out for Victoria at 9-2.
In the bottom of the eighth, Wood walked the leadoff batter of the inning. AJ Lewis was called on to pinch run for the Cats, and he promptly stole second base.
The throw down to the bag on the play was right in-line with the runner’s path. As a result, Lewis wound up kicking the ball away as he slid in.
The ball then squirted away from both Sweets infielders and got into shallow left field. That allowed Lewis to come all the way around and score on the play which extended the lead out even further at 10-2.
Walla Walla did not go down without a fight at the end. In the top of the ninth with Tyler Yoshihara on the mound and one away, Jack Filby smacked a single into right field.
Danny Sinatro then grounded into a fielder’s choice right back to the mound where the out was made at second base. A Lopez single then put runners on first and second with two outs in the frame.
On a 3-2 count, Matt Whitney peppered a ball back up the middle for an RBI single to give the Sweets their final tally. Nyquist then flew out to center for the final out as the HarbourCats sealed the victory in game one by a final score of 10-3.
The Sweets take to Royal Athletic Park once again on Wednesday evening to try to even the series against Victoria. First pitch of game two is slated for 6:35 PM.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – After back-to-back lopsided games to start the series, it was more of the same at Borleske Stadium on Monday night. The Sweets won in a rout over the Cowlitz Black Bears by a final score of 11-3.
Cowlitz tallied first with Walla Walla starter Isaak Gutierrez on the mound. In the top of the second, an error, a passed ball and a flyout put a runner on second with two outs.
A double by Dutton Elskee deep into left field plated the runner to make it 1-0 in favor of the Black Bears. Cowlitz tacked on once more in the top of the third inning.
A Ryan Kim leadoff single was followed by a groundout to first base to move the runner over to second with one away. Another double into left field, this time from Blake Burton, scored the runner from second to give Cowlitz a 2-0 lead.
Walla Walla then began their offensive outpouring in the bottom of the third. A Patrick Caulfield double with one out put a runner on second base.
After a groundout, Whitney stood on third base with two outs. Ryan Johnston then drilled a shot into left-centerfield for a double which drove home the third run of the inning to make it 3-2.
The Black Bears tied things up once more in the top of the fourth with Sweets newest addition Will Blackburn on the mound. Jonathan Hodo led off the inning by blasting a shot over the left field scoreboard for a solo homerun to tie the game at 3-3.
The tie was short lived though as Walla Walla got a homerun of their own in the bottom of the fourth. A hit-by-pitch to the leadoff batter Jordan Hovey was followed by a wild pitch and a lineout to the second baseman.
With one out and a runner on second, Robby Teel strode to the box and worked a 2-0 count. He then teed off on a fastball and rode it over the left field wall for a two-run homerun to give the Sweets the lead back at 5-3.
It was all Walla Walla the rest of the way as they added on in the bottom of the fifth with another big inning. A Johnston walk and a Ben Fariss single put runners on first and second with nobody out in the frame.
Hovey then smashed a double into the left-centerfield gap to plate the runner from second to make it 6-3. With runners on second and third and still nobody out, Jack Filby and Teel got back-to-back RBIs on a pair of sacrifice flies to extend the lead out to five at 8-3.
The score stood for several innings after Brayde Hirai took over for the Sweets and worked two and two-third shutout innings. In the bottom of the seventh, it was once again time for Walla Walla’s offense to keep on flowing.
Johnston led off the frame by doubling into the left-centerfield gap. After a strikeout, Hovey hammered a ball into right-centerfield for an RBI triple as the run came across to score to push the lead out to 9-3.
Filby then flipped a single into shallow right field to drive home Hovey which made it 10-3. Haydn King took over on the mound in the top of the eighth and worked a near flawless inning.
He sent the Black Bears down in order by striking out the side with an electric fastball and devastating off speed pitches out of the pen. The Sweets were not done just yet as they added on once more in the bottom of the eighth.
After a pop out to lead off the inning, Nick Nyquist strode to the plate. On a 3-1 count, he took a big swing and connected on a long drive over the left field wall for a solo homerun to give the Sweets their final tally of the ballgame as the lead swelled to 11-3.
Hovey took to the mound in the top of the ninth and closed the books on the game. He sent the side down in order to seal the victory for the Sweets by a final score of 11-3 over the Cowlitz Black Bears.
The Sweets get back to action on Tuesday as they travel to Canada to take on the Victoria HarbourCats for a three-game series. First pitch for game one on Tuesday is slated for 6:35 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – After back-to-back great performances, the wheels came off for the Sweets on Sunday afternoon. The Cowlitz Black Bears defeated Walla Walla by a final score of 10-3 at Borleske Stadium.
Cowlitz struck first off Sweets starter Trent Sellers, who is the latest new addition to the team. A leadoff double was followed by a pair of groundouts which pushed across a run to make it 1-0.
Walla Walla tied things up in the bottom of the second inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Willy Chang dropped down a safety squeeze bunt.
Jordan Hovey sprinted home and slid in safely to tie the game at 1-1. On the play though, Sweets manager Frank Mutz waved Matt Whitney around third to try to score him from second base. Whitney ended up sliding in just a bit late and was cut down at the plate to end the inning.
The back-and-forth game continued in the third inning as the Black Bears struck for a pair to kick off the top of the frame. They got back-to-back homeruns from Ryan Kim and Austin Bell to get the lead right back at 3-1.
Ryan Johnston then took over on the mound after a flyout and a double. With a runner on second and one away, Johnston worked back-to-back groundouts to end the inning and limited the damage.
The right fielder was unable to field the ball on the fly as it dropped in for a single which plated Pritchard to make it 3-2. With runners on first and second, Cesar Lopez ripped a single through the right side of the infield to score Sinatro which tied the game at 3-3.
It was all Cowlitz for the rest of the way as that wound up as all the offense that the Sweets could muster. The sixth inning proved to be fruitful for the Black Bears as they doubled their run total.
A walk, a single and a sacrifice bunt to lead off the inning put runners on second and third with one away. Then Samuel Reed took over for Johnston on the mound to try to wiggle out of it.
Unfortunately, the first batter he faced drilled a single into right field to score the runner from third to make it 4-3. Tony Boetto then hammered a shot into right-centerfield that one-hopped the wall which resulted in an RBI triple as the lead moved out to two at 5-3.
The next batter singled through the left side of the infield to plate Boetto from third which capped off the three-run inning as the Black Bears led 6-3. Cowlitz tacked on another run in the top of the seventh off Sweets reliever Patrick Collins.
With one out and the bases empty, Blake Burton hit a wall-scraper homerun to left field for a solo shot to make it 7-3. Things continued to unravel for Walla Walla in the top of the eighth inning.
A hit-by-pitch, a stolen base, and back-to-back strikeouts put a runner on second with two outs. Then a bunt attempt was fielded by Collins out in front of home plate.
The throw to first base was just a bit too far inside the bag as Nyquist could not field it. The ball got into the right field corner which pushed across the runner from second on the throwing error with the batter winding up at second as the lead extended to 8-3.
Ryan Kim then flipped a single into right field to score yet another run which moved the Black Bears out in front by six at 9-3. Carson Woolery took over in the top of the ninth to try to keep the score put but was unable to do so.
Back-to-back walks to start the inning was followed by a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners with one out. Jonathan Hodo then singled into left field to score the runner from third to make it 10-3.
The Sweets were unable to push across any runs in the bottom of the ninth as the score stayed right where it was. The Cowlitz Black Bears ultimately took game two by the final score of 10-3.
Walla Walla will host Cowlitz for the final game of their three-game series in a rubber match on Monday. First pitch is slated for 6:35 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – The Sweets’ offensive firepower was on full display Saturday night. Walla Walla downed the Cowlitz Black Bears at Borleske Stadium by a final score of 9-0.
It did not take long for the Sweets’ new arrivals to feel right at home as Patrick Caulfield and Matt Whitney got things started offensively in the bottom of the first. Caulfield led off by smashing a triple deep into the right centerfield gap.
On the very next pitch, Whitney drilled a shot into left centerfield for an RBI double to give the Sweets a 1-0 lead. With Whitney on third after a wild pitch and a groundout, Ben Fariss lifted a ball deep into centerfield that was flagged down for an RBI sacrifice fly which extended the lead out to 2-0.
Matt Elser led off the bottom of the second inning by hitting a high pop up into shallow left field. The Black Bears shortstop was parked underneath it but missed the ball completely which resulted in a double.
A groundout to the first baseman moved Elser over to third with one out. Then Caulfield peppered a ground ball to the shortstop which drove home the run as the Sweets moved out in front 3-0.
The offense kept on rolling in the bottom of the third after Ryan Johnston drew a walk with one out and then advanced to second on a balk by Cowlitz starter Matt Gannon. After a flyout, a wild pitch moved Johnston over to third with two away.
Then Jack Filby drew a walk to put runners on the corners with two outs. After a steal by Filby put runners on second and third, Elser smoked a shot into the left-centerfield gap for a two-RBI double as both runs came across to score and the lead swelled to 5-0.
The bottom of the fourth was then led off by a single from Caulfield. Whitney then doubled again but this time up the left field line.
The relay throw in was sent to the plate as Caulfield was waved around third, but he was cut down at the dish with Whitney winding up at third base on the play. Then Nick Nyquist came up and hammered a ball over the left-centerfield wall for a two-run homerun as the lead grew to 7-0.
Bryce Moyle got the start for Walla Walla and was exceptional throughout his outing. He finished the day tossing six shutout innings while allowing just three hits and striking out 11, including striking out the side in both the fifth and sixth innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Sweets tacked on their final two runs of the game. Caulfield led off with a single and wound up at second after a stolen base.
Then Whitney singled into centerfield to plate the runner from second and pushed the lead out to 8-0. After Nyquist reached on a fielder’s choice, a flyout kept him on first with two outs.
Michael Peterson finished off the game on the mound for Walla Walla and was just as sharp as Moyle. Peterson went three innings of shutout work while allowing just three hits to go along with four strikeouts as he ended the game to give Sweets the victory by the final score of 9-0.
Walla Walla gets right back to it against the Cowlitz Black Bears with an afternoon game on Sunday slated to begin at 4:35.
Walla Walla, Wash. – More often then not, pitching and defense is the name of the game when it comes to baseball. That was the case on Friday night as the Sweets shut out the Bellingham Bells by a final score of 5-0 at Borleske Stadium.
The Sweets struck for their first run of the game on one swing of the bat from one of their newly acquired players in the bottom of the third inning. On a 3-2 count, Matt Whitney hammered a fastball over the left field wall for a solo homerun to put Walla Walla on the board 1-0.
With two outs in the frame and the bases empty, Nick Nyquist flipped a single into left field. Then Ben Fariss drilled a shot deep into the right-centerfield gap that got out to the wall for an RBI triple as Nyquist scored all the way from first to push the Sweets lead out to 2-0.
Tyson Quolas got the start for Walla Walla on the mound and was absolutely electric. He finished the day tossing four and a third shutout innings to go along with five strikeouts.
He did run into some trouble in the fourth inning after a leadoff double and a walk. Then Landen Kimbro tried to drop down a bunt but popped it into the air as Quolas sprinted over to make the running catch for the first out of the frame which kept the runners put at first and second.
A flyout deep to centerfield and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with two outs in the inning. Quolas then got a groundout to Nyquist at third base which ended the inning to keep the lead at 2-0.
After a walk and a single with one out in the top of the fifth, Ty Hueckman took over on the mound for Walla Walla. He got a harmless pop out to the shortstop and a strikeout which ended the fifth to keep the shutout intact.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Sweets added on thanks to a fortunate error. A walk, a single and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with two outs in the inning.
Then Josh Prizina hit a bounding ball toward the hole between the first and second basemen. Matt McClain, the second baseman for the Bells, fielded the ball and tried to relay the throw to the pitcher covering at first base.
The throw was wide at the bag as it eluded the pitcher’s grasp and got into the first base dugout for a throwing error. Two runs scored on the play as the Sweets extended their lead out to 4-0.
Huckeman’s day on the mound came to a close after the top of the seventh inning, but he was as sharp as he’s been all year in his outing. He finished going two and two-thirds shutout innings while only allowing one hit, one walk, and striking out five.
Walla Walla pushed across their final tally of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. Another new addition, Patrick Caulfield led off the frame by hammering a double into the right-centerfield gap.
A walk and a pair of strikeouts put runners on first and second with two outs in the inning. Then on a 3-2 count and the runners in motion with two outs, Ryan Johnston peppered a ground ball through the left side of the infield.
Caulfield sprinted around third and scored on the RBI single which gave the Sweets a comfortable lead to work with at 5-0. Jack Filby then came on in relief for Walla Walla, and he closed the books on the game.
He tossed a pair of shutout innings in the eighth and ninth without allowing a hit and striking out three which ended the game and sealed the victory for the Sweets by a final score of 5-0 over the Bells. Walla Walla gets right back to action as they open up another three-game series at home, this time against the Cowlitz Black Bears.
First pitch of game one on Saturday night is slated for 6:35 PM.
Walla Walla, Wash. – A team can play a great baseball game but still lose due to a lapse in execution in a few keys moments. That was the case as the Sweets dropped a hard-fought close game to the Bellingham Bells by a final score of 4-2 at Borleske Stadium on Thursday night.
Zach Penrod got the start for the Sweets coming off his nod as one of the top three MLB prospects in the WCL All-Star Game. He was sharp throughout his appearance but had to battle through a couple of tough innings in the first and second.
The Bells finally got to Penrod in the top of the third. With two outs in the inning, Matt James drilled a single through the left side of the infield.
Then Dusty Stroup hammered a ball deep into the right field corner that bounced up off the wall which resulted in an RBI triple as James came all the way around to score from first to give Bellingham a 1-0 lead. The Sweets mustered their only offense of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning off Bells starter Nick Hull.
Nick Nyquist led off the frame by ripping a single into left field. Jordan Hovey then drilled a ball deep into left-centerfield that eluded the grasp of the Bells centerfielder and got out to the wall for an RBI double as Nyquist came across to score to tie the game at 1-1.
Ben Fariss followed suit by smoking a double up the left field line that got out to the manual scoreboard which plated Hovey from second to give the Sweets the lead at 2-1.
Penrod’s day on the mound ended after the fourth as he finished with just the one run allowed on five hits to go along with seven strikeouts. Michael Peterson took over and immediately worked himself into a jam.
A double, a hit-by-pitch and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out for the Bells in the top of the fifth. That brought Bryce Moyle to the mound, and he was able to limit the damage for the Sweets.
He struck out the first batter he faced but then a slow roller to second base resulted in a groundout and an RBI as the runner from third scored to tie the game at 2-2. Still in a tough spot with runners on second and third and two outs, Moyle got a swinging strikeout to end the inning with just the one run having come across to score after inheriting the bases loaded nobody out jam.
The score remained tied until the top of the eighth when the Bells struck yet again. With Isaak Gutierrez on the mound, a bounding ball to third could not be fielded cleanly by Hovey which allowed the leadoff batter to reach on an error.
Then Cody Pasic looked to drop down a bunt on the first pitch of his at-bat but took a called strike which changed his game plan. He squared around to bunt yet again which pulled Hovey in at third. Pasic then pulled the bunt back and swung as he drilled a shot up the third base line that got out deep into left field for a double.
With runners on second and third and nobody out, Gutierrez pulled a slider that ran well off the outside part of the plate. The pitch got back to the backstop and allowed the runner from third to score on a wild pitch to give Bellingham the lead at 3-2.
Then a walk put runners on the corners with nobody out, and Matt McClain hit a slow roller to short. With no play at the plate, the throw went to first for a groundout and an RBI as the run came across to score to push the Bells lead out to 4-2.
Ben Leeper then came on for Bellingham in the bottom of the ninth and shut the door. He worked a one-two-three inning by striking out the side to earn the save and seal the win for the Bells by a final score of 4-2.
Walla Walla hosts Bellingham for the rubber match of the series on Friday night with first pitch slated for 7:05. Be sure to attend as there with be fireworks following the conclusion of the game!
Walla Walla, Wash. – After a much needed few days off for the All-Star break, the Sweets put together an impressive all-around team performance in their first game back in action. Walla Walla defeated the Bellingham Bells at Borleske Stadium on Wednesday night by a final score of 5-4.
The Sweets tallied first on one swing of the bat in the bottom of the second inning off Bells starter Wesley Moore. Jordan Hovey worked a 2-2 count to lead off the inning, then promptly blasted a ball over the right-centerfield wall for a solo homerun to make it 1-0.
The Bells wasted no time in responding with a good inning of their own in the top of the third off Sweets starter Sean Sullivan. With two outs in the inning, a walk and a double for Bellingham put runners on second and third.
Dusty Stroup then singled into left field to drive home both runs which made it 2-1. The next batter singled for the Bells which ended Sullivan’s day on the mound after just two and two-thirds innings as he began to experience some tightness in his back.
Brayde Hirai came on in relief to strike out the first batter he faced which ended the inning. Walla Walla then evened things right back up in the bottom of the third.
Danny Sinatro led the inning off with a base hit back up the middle. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and stole third with one out in the frame.
Then Nick Nyquist dribbled a slow roller to the shortstop which had just enough on it to drive home the run as Sinatro scored easily on the RBI groundout to tie the game at 2-2.
In the top of the fifth, the Bells struck for their first run off Hirai. A double and a walk once again put runners on second and third with one out.
The next batter rolled a groundball to third where Nyquist made a savvy play to cut the runner down at home plate on a fielder’s choice for the second out of the inning. Matt McClain then smoked a hard grounder through the right side of the infield to score the runner from second to push the score out to 3-2.
After a Sinatro flyout to left field, Austin Weiermiller came on in relief of Moore for the Bells with runners on first and second and one out. The Sweets took advantage as they started their rally.
Cesar Lopez got the ball rolling by roping a single into right field which plated Filby from second and moved Johnston all the way around to third to tie the game 3-3. A hard lineout from Nyquist to the third baseman kept runners on the corners now with two outs.
Then Hovey battled with two strikes and flipped a single into right field to score Johnston from third while moving Lopez to third as the Sweets finally took the lead back at 4-3. Ben Fariss strode in and smashed a line drive into left field to score the third run of the inning as Lopez came across to score to extend the lead out to two at 5-3.
The Bells put their final tally on the board in the top of the seventh off Hirai. Zach Needham led off the inning by hammering a shot over the left field wall for a no-doubt solo homerun to cut the lead down to one at 5-4. After a single to the next batter, Hirai’s day ended on the mound as he did a great job coming on in relief of Sullivan on short notice.
It was pitching and defense the rest of the way for Walla Walla as they trotted out Patrick Collins, Samuel Reed and Ben Fariss in the seventh, eighth, and ninth inning respectively. All three pitchers had identical lines finishing with an inning pitched, no hits allowed, no walks allowed and one strikeout.
With Fariss shutting the door in the ninth by working a one-two-three inning, he earned the save and sealed the win for the Sweets by a final score of 5-4. Walla Walla gets back to action in search of back-to-back wins against the Bells on Thursday night with first pitch slated for 6:35.
Port Angels, Wash. – The Sweets shined bright in the 2018 WCL All-Star Game despite the South dropping the game. The WCL North All-Stars defeated the WCL South All-Stars by a final score of 10-6 at Civic Field on Tuesday night.
Cesar Lopez paced the South’s offense as he showed off his offensive prowess throughout the All-Star Game. He went 3-for-5 with a homerun, two runs scored and an RBI. Lopez was named co-MVP of the game along with Kyle Schimpf of the Port Angeles Lefties.
Nick Nyquist did not register a hit on the day. However, he still accomplished an impressive feat by participating in his third consecutive WCL All-Star game.
Sweets utility man Zach Penrod was the only other W2 player to enter the game as he took to the mound late in the game. He did allow two runs on just one hit but still impressed many scouts. So much so that Penrod was named one of the three top prospects in the WCL All-Star Game by the 20+ MLB scouts that were in attendance.
The Sweets All-Stars return home to join the rest of the team as they get set to host the first-half WCL North Division Champion Bellingham Bells for a three-game series beginning at 6:35 PM on Wednesday.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – Holding down one of the most potent lineups in the West Coast League while in the smallest park in the league is an accomplishment worthy of recognition. Haydn King did exactly that and as a result has been named the WCL Pitcher of the Week for July 9-16.
King took to the mound on July 11th against the Portland Pickles at Walker Stadium and was absolutely electric. He finished his outing against the first-half South Division champion Pickles going five strong innings with an impressive 11 strikeouts and just one run allowed in a no decision.
Despite not earning the win on the night, King’s start was pivotal to the Sweets taking the game by a final score of 2-1. In two starts against Portland this year, King is 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA over 10.1 innings pitched.
The University of San Francisco lefty hurler has been as good as advertised in his second season with the Sweets. On the year he carries a 2-1 record with a 2.88 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 25 innings pitched.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – The Sweets head into the All-Star break with a bang as they brought out the power bats on Saturday night. Walla Walla downed the River City A’s by a final score of 14-1 thanks to a four-homerun performance that accounted for nine of the Sweets runs.
It did not take long for Walla Walla to move out in front on the scoreboard. A leadoff single for Mitch Lesmeister in the bottom of the first was followed by a two-out, two-run homerun by Ben Fariss to left field to make it 2-0.
The Sweets added on in the bottom of the fourth off A’s starter Blake Collier. Josh Kutzke led off the frame with a single through the right side of the infield which was followed up by an Isaak Gutierrez single to put runners on the corners with nobody out.
Then a wild pitch allowed Kutzke to scamper home safely to make it 3-0. With Gutierrez on third and two outs, Lesmeister blasted a ball over the head of the centerfielder for an RBI double to extend the lead to 4-0.
Ty Hueckman got the start for the Sweets and was sensational out on the mound. He finished the day going five impressive innings while not allowing a run and only surrendering one base hit.
The flood gates opened up in the bottom of the fifth for Walla Walla. Tyson Quolas led off the inning with a single through the right side of the infield.
Then Kutzke drilled a two-run homerun over the left field wall that left the yard in a hurry to push the lead out to 7-0. Back-to-back singles from Willy Chang and Quentin LaFontaine put runners on first and second which ended Collier’s day on the mound as Drew Daves took over for River City.
Wood then singled to left field to load the bases with two outs. Elser followed suit with a single to left field to drive in another run which made it 8-0.
With the bases still loaded, Fariss drew a walk on a 3-2 count which pushed across the fourth run of the inning as the lead swelled out to 9-0. River City got their only run of the game in the top of the sixth off Sweets reliever Cole Schoepke.
Carson Green smoked a ball into right field that got out to the wall for a one-out triple. Then Cody Kale flipped a single into left field to plate the run which trimmed the lead down to eight at 9-1.
With Daves still on the mound for the A’s, Walla Walla poured on some insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. A Fariss walk, a Quolas double and a Kutzke walk loaded the bases with one out in the frame.
Gutierrez then strode to the plate and crushed a ball well over the left field wall for a grand slam homerun to make it 13-1. The very next batter, Robby Teel, followed suit as he hammerd a shot deep to left field that cleared the wall for a solo homerun which gave the Sweets their final tally of the ball game and pushed the lead out to 14-1.
Bryce Moyle and Gutierrez tossed scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth respectively to end the game by the final score of 14-1.
The Sweets will have a few days off for the All-Star break before getting back to West Coast League play. They open up a three-game series on Wednesday as the first-half WCL North Division champs, the Bellingham Bells, come to town.
Walla Walla, Wash. – Sometimes all it takes is one good inning for a team to win a ballgame. The Sweets tallied all their runs in the bottom of the fifth to defeat the River City A’s on Friday night by a final score of 3-1 at Borleske Stadium.
Carson Woolery got the start for the Sweets in the non-league matchup and put together a truly impressive performance. He ran into some trouble several times, but that was when he was at his best as he battled through some tough innings.
A single and a walk to leadoff the top of the third put two runners on right away off Woolery. Then a balk moved both runners into scoring position at second and third with nobody out.
Woolery stood tall and wound up striking out the next three batters consecutively to strand both runners in scoring position which kept the game scoreless.
In the top of the fifth, the A’s once again tried to strike first with the score still 0-0. With runners on first and second and two outs, they executed a double-steal to put both runners in scoring position at second and third.
Then the ball was hit into the hole at short, but Quentin LaFontaine made a savvy play. Recognizing he had no shot at first, LaFontaine threw the ball to third base where Josh Kutzke slapped the tag on the runner before the runner from third had crossed home plate.
As a result, River City wound up without a run on the play as the Sweets got out of the inning while keeping the game tied at 0-0. Walla Walla rode the momentum from the big play to end the inning right into the bottom of the fifth.
Tyson Quolas led off the frame by smashing a double into the left-centerfield gap. He then made a bold play and stole third base while sliding in safely around the tag.
Then LaFontaine dropped down a safety squeeze bunt to plate Quolas from third for the first run of the game to make it 1-0. Mitch Lesmeister then singled through the left side of the infield to reach base with one out.
He promptly stole second base which brought up Matt Elser after a pop-out for an RBI opportunity with two outs. Elser delivered by drilling a double off the wall in left field which scored Lesmeister from second to make it 2-0.
Ben Fariss then strode to the box with another two-out RBI opportunity with Elser still on second. Fariss dropped a sinking line drive into right field which gave Elser enough time to cross the plate safely to extend the lead out to 3-0.
Tanner Cunha took over in the top of the sixth and immediately worked a one-two-three inning. The top of the seventh proved to be a much taller task after a single and a double to the first two batters put runners on second and third with nobody out.
Cunha got a strikeout to the next batter but walked the following hitter to load the bases with one out. He rolled up a fielder’s choice to the first baseman Isaak Gutierrez who wisely threw home to cut down the runner.
So with two outs and the bases still loaded, Cunha punched out Andrew Vargas swinging for the final out to get out of the inning with the lead still at 3-0. The A’s did not go away quietly however as they put together another daunting inning in the top of the eighth.
With Cunha still on the mound, River City got back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Then Brayden Collier hit a ball just deep enough into left field to allow the runner from third to score on a sacrifice fly to cut the lead down to two at 3-1.
After a flyout to centerfield, Carson Green singled to put runners on first and second with two outs which ended Cunha’s day on the mound. Brian O’Rourke took over and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases with two outs.
Then Chase Oldham smashed a ball deep into right field that looked like it was going to drop in to tie the game or possibly give the A’s the lead. Quolas got on his horse though and flagged the ball down deep in the alley to make the catch and end the inning with the lead still intact.
A walk, a fielder’s choice and another walk put runners on first and second with one out in the top of the ninth off O’Rourke. He then worked a fly out and a groundout to end the game and give the Sweets the win by a final score of 3-1.
Walla Walla plays host to River City for one more non-league matchup on Saturday before heading to the All-Star break. First pitch for game two between the Sweets and A’s is slated for 6:35 PM.
Portland, Ore. – No two baseball games are ever the same. As it turned out, all three games in the series between the Pickles and the Sweets in Portland were very, very different.
The Pickles defeated the Sweets handily at Walker Stadium on Thursday night by a final score of 12-0 to take the series 2-1.
Portland wasted no time in jumping out to an early lead off Sweets starter Darius Vines. The bottom of the first inning kicked off with a hit-by-pitch and was followed by a two-run homerun from Gio Diaz to make it 2-0 right out of the gate.
Things went from bad to worse in the bottom of the second inning for Vines. Back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out in the frame.
A fielder’s choice to Walla Walla first baseman Nick Nyquist was relayed home for the first out of the inning with the bases still loaded. Then a hit-by-pitch once again to Portland leadoff man Carson Breshears pushed across a run to make it 3-0.
The wheels came off with Diaz at the plate and the bases still loaded with just one out. A passed ball and a wild pitch in the at-bat pushed across two more runs to make it 5-0.
Then with the runner on third, Diaz singled home the run to cap off the four-run inning and extend the lead out to 6-0 early. Vines day came to a close after just those two innings in what was an inexplicably uncharacteristic start for the Sweets ace.
Michael Peterson took over in the bottom of the third and threw extremely well over three innings of work. He allowed just two hits with no walks and no runs to keep the Sweets in the ballgame.
The lone bright spot offensively on the day for Walla Walla came in the top of the fourth inning. With one out and a runner on first, Nyquist ripped a ball down the left field line and into the corner for a standup double.
With that base hit, Nick Nyquist became the All-Time Career Hit Leader for the Walla Walla Sweets as he now has 123 hits over his three-year stint with the team. He also holds the team’s career records for games played, at-bats, stolen bases, runs scored, RBIs, and triples.
Things unraveled for Walla Walla even further in the bottom of the sixth inning as Portland put together a huge inning. Cole Schoepke took over for Peterson and promptly loaded the bases on back-to-back walks and a single to start the inning.
Breshears flared a single into shallow left field with the infield drawn in to push across a pair of runs and make it 8-0. Nick Strange then took to the mound for Walla Walla and surrendered a single to the first batter he faced to load the bases once more with still nobody out.
Then Mikey Perez lifted a ball deep into the left field corner that dropped in for a two-RBI double to extend the lead out to 10-0. A sacrifice fly to the warning track in left field scored another run for an 11-0 Portland lead.
Adding insult to injury, a wild pitch two batters later allowed Perez to scamper home to end the scoring in the six-run sixth inning as the Pickles held a commanding lead at 12-0.
Samuel Reed and Jordan Hovey finished the game out on the mound for the Sweets with both players not allowing any more runs to go up on the board. The Sweets could muster no offense in the game however as the margin stood and Portland got the win by a final score of 12-0.
Walla Walla heads back home on Friday to open up a two-game non-league series against the River City A’s. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:35 PM.Read Less
Portland, Ore. – One play can change the entire complexion of a game. That was the case as Walla Walla won a low scoring game 2-1 over the Portland Pickles thanks to a bizarre pickoff play that scored the game-winning run for the Sweets.
The Pickles tallied their only run of the game in the bottom of the first inning off Sweets starter Haydn King.
Gio Diaz singled back up the middle with one out in the frame. Then with two outs, Jack Murphy doubled off the right field wall which allowed Diaz to score all the way from first to make it 1-0 early.
Pitching and defense was the name of the game for the remainder of Wednesday night, and the Sweets pitching staff rose to the challenge of limiting offense in the small dimensions of Walker Stadium.
King paced Walla Walla on the mound and was virtually untouchable at times. He finished his start going five strong innings while allowing just the one earned run and racked up an impressive 11 strikeouts.
He ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fifth but locked in when it mattered most. A single, a sacrifice bunt, a walk and a passed ball put runners on second and third with just one out in the inning.
With the capable duo of Zander Clarke and Jack Murphy due up, it looked as though the Pickles were set to take the lead. Instead, King bested both hitters by getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning which kept the game tied.
Brayde Hirai followed suit with a great showing out of the bullpen after taking over in the bottom of the sixth. He went two and two-thirds innings while not allowing a single hit.
The only baserunner Hirai allowed came on a one-out walk in the bottom of the eighth to Clarke. After a stolen base and a groundout, Clarke stood on third with two outs which ended Hirai’s outing.
Samuel Reed took over in a role that he has excelled in all season long, being the stopper in high-pressure situations. With Joey Cooper at the dish and a 2-2 count, Reed ran the high fastball right past the bat of Cooper for a swinging strikeout to end the inning with the score still tied at 1-1.
In the top of the ninth, the Sweets finally struck for the go-ahead run in the game in rather unconventional fashion. With two outs and the bases empty, Josh Prizina ripped a double up the left-field line to give Walla Walla a runner in scoring position.
Then on a 3-2 count, Vines took off running for third base. While going into his motion, Wyatt spun around to attempt a pickoff move to second base.
He ended up launching an awkward throw over the head of Diaz at short that got all the way out into centerfield. With Vines already in a full sprint, he rounded third base and glided home safely to score on a wild play which gave the Sweets the lead at 2-1.
Sean Sullivan then took over in the bottom of the ninth to try to shut the door. He worked a one-two-three inning to earn the save and seal the win for Walla Walla by a final score of 2-1.
After back-to-back close games to start off the series, it is safe to expect more of the same in the rubber match. The Sweets and Pickles square off for the series finale on Thursday night with first pitch slated for 7:05.Read Less
Portland, Ore. – The ball was flying around but primarily out of Walker Stadium on Tuesday night. The Portland Pickles defeated the Walla Walla Sweets thanks to a slew of homeruns by a final score of 10-7.
Filby ended up getting caught in a pickle and tagged out with Hovey staying put on third. Then Robby Teel drilled a ball into right field to plate Hovey to make it 1-0.
Walla Walla tacked on a pair in the top of the third on the first of many homeruns hit during the game. Unfortunately, it was the only homerun hit by Walla Walla.
Portland then began their first comeback of the game in the bottom of the third inning. With Sweets starter Zach Penrod on the mound, a single, a walk and a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position at second and third with one out.
Then Zander Clarke pushed a soft line drive through the left side of the infield to plate the runner from third to make it 3-1. With runners on the corners and two outs, Clarke attempted to steal second and get caught in a pickle to allow the runner to score from third.
Instead, the throw down to second base got past Filby and into centerfield with the runner scoring easily from third to cut the lead down to one at 3-2.
The Pickles tied things up in the bottom of the fifth on Clarke’s second RBI of the game. With two outs and nobody on, he crushed a homerun deep into the trees out in left field for a solo homerun to tie the game at 3-3.
Leo Nierenberg kept the Sweets at bay over two and two-thirds shut out frames that included seven strikeouts. However, Walla Walla sparked a huge two-out rally off him in the top of the sixth to take the lead back.
Sinatro then chopped a bounding ball to the shortstop but was able to beat the throw to first base thanks to his tremendous speed for an infield single and an RBI to make it 4-3. Then Nyquist flipped a single into right field to plate two more runs and push the lead out to three at 6-3.
Still with two outs and runners now on the corners, Cesar Lopez hammered a ball deep to center. Joey Cooper leaped at the wall to try to make the grab but could not corral the ball in which allowed the runner from third to score easily.
On the play, Nyquist tried to come around and score all the way from first base. The throw to the plate was high but the tag came down just in time to cut down Nyquist for the third out of the inning after four runs had scored as it was now 7-3.
It ended up being all Portland the rest of the way. With Penrod’s day on the mound coming to an end after five innings with five strikeouts and three runs, albeit just two earned, Ty Hueckman took over in the bottom of the sixth.
Cooper gave Hueckman a rude welcoming to the ballgame as he led off the inning with a solo homerun to centerfield to make it 7-4. A single, a strikeout and a walk put runners on first and second which brought Tyson Quolas to the mound for the Sweets.
A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position at second and third. Then Carson Breshears peppered a hard ground ball into the hole at short.
Filby was able to lay out to make the diving stop, but his throw back to first base got past Nyquist. Two runs came around to score on the play to trim the lead back down to one at 7-6.
Then with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, a big fly tied the game once again for the Pickles. Jake Berry came up with two outs and the bases empty to hit a wall-scraping solo homerun to left field which made it 7-7.
The biggest hit of the game came in the next inning as Johnston took over for Walla Walla on the bump in the bottom of the eighth. A single, a sacrifice bunt and a pop out put a runner on second base with two outs.
The Sweets chose to intentionally walk Clarke to put runners on first and second. The next batter, Mikey Perez, put three runs on the board with one swing of the bat as he homered to deep left field for a three-run shot with the lead swelling out to three at 10-7 for Portland.
Walla Walla was able to get the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth after a single and a walk with one out. Then Adam Davenport shut the door with a strikeout and a groundout to earn the save and seal the win for Portland by a final score of 10-7.
Game two between the Sweets and Pickles will take place on Wednesday evening with first pitch slated for 7:10.Read Less
Walla Walla, Wash. – The 2018 West Coast League All-Star Game rosters have been announced. Four members of the Walla Walla Sweets have been selected to the team. The quartet is headlined by now three-time WCL All-Star Nick Nyquist (IF), two-time WCL All-Star Darius Vines (RHP), and a pair of first-time WCL All-Stars in Cesar Lopez (OF) and Zach Penrod (Utility).
“We are extremely proud of the recognition that Nick, Darius, Cesar and Zach are receiving,” said Sweets manager Frank Mutz. “Not only has their on-field play been worthy of the recognition, but their contributions off the field in the clubhouse and the community have been significant factors in creating a winning culture.”
|Name: Nick Nyquist|
|Team: Walla Walla Sweets||School: Gonzaga University||Year (2019): (RS) Senior|
|Hometown: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho||Height: 6’3”||Weight: 210 lbs|
|Position: 3B, 1B||Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
Nick Nyquist has been nothing short of exceptional in his third year with the Walla Walla Sweets and fourth year in the West Coast League overall. Currently on the season he holds a .317 batting average, a .449 on-base percentage, 17 runs scored, nine RBI and seven stolen bases. Since his arrival back in Walla Walla, Nyquist has been firmly planted into the number three spot in the Sweets lineup. As a result, he is frequently keyed on by opposing teams as they try to limit the damage that he can cause. Despite those efforts by opposing teams Nyquist has continued to roll at the plate all season long, which is a big reason as to why he is back in the WCL All-Star game for the third consecutive year.
|Name: Darius Vines|
|Team: Walla Walla Sweets||School: Arizona State University||Year (2019): Junior|
|Hometown: Oxnard, California||Height: 6’1”||Weight: 180 lbs|
|Position: RHP||Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
It does not take more than an inning of watching Darius Vines pitch to know that he is the real deal with a big-league ready arm. On the season with the Walla Walla Sweets, Vines carries a 3-0 record with a 0.50 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched. His arsenal of pitches is one of the best in the West Coast League, which is a big part of why he was named the number eight prospect in the WCL after the 2017 season with Walla Walla. Vines comes at hitters with a low 90s fast ball, a filthy slider, and a devastating curveball that can fool even the most prolific hitters. At every turn, he has proven that he is ready to play at the next level and will have a chance to showcase that on the mound in the WCL All-Star Game for the second consecutive year.
|Name: Cesar Lopez|
|Team: Walla Walla Sweets||School: Cal Poly Pomona University||Year (2019): Sophomore|
|Hometown: Downey, California||Height: 6’1”||Weight: 185 lbs|
|Position: OF||Bats: Left||Throws: Right|
It is becoming increasingly hard to figure out how it is possible that so many collegiate coaches missed out on the incredible talent of Cesar Lopez. A walk-on at Cal Poly Pomona, Lopez impressed all year long with the Broncos, and he continued that roll right into the 2018 season with the Walla Walla Sweets. On the year he is hitting .382 with a .962 OPS, 17 runs scored, 12 RBI, five doubles, a homerun and seven walks. He also may very well be the hottest hitter currently in the WCL. Over his last 14 games, Lopez is 22-47 at the plate for a gaudy clip of .468. His ability to hit to all parts of the field out of the left-handed batter’s box is invaluable and is undoubtedly a big reason as to why he has been selected to the WCL All-Star Game in just his first year in the league.
|Name: Zach Penrod|
|Team: Walla Walla Sweets||School: Northwest Nazarene University||Year (2019): Senior|
|Hometown: Nampa, Idaho||Height: 6’2”||Weight: 220 lbs|
|Position: OF, 1B, LHP||Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
Zach Penrod is the epitome of a two-way player, as he can swing it and throw it with the best of them. At the dish for the Walla Walla Sweets this season, he carries a .273 batting average with 17 runs, 15 RBI, six doubles, 13 walks and seven stolen bases. On the mound for the Sweets, he has an 0-1 record with a 0.94 ERA and an impressive 26 strikeouts in just 19 innings pitched. Penrod is an extra-base hit waiting to happen with great power and tremendous speed from the left side of the plate. His arsenal when pitching is nothing short of electric, running in a low 90s fastball with a slew of off-speed pitches to keep hitters off balance. The utility man from Northwest Nazarene University, Penrod is a five-tool player and has shown them off all season long to earn himself a spot in the 2018 WCL All-Star Game.
Walla Walla, Wash. – You simply cannot win if you do not score any runs, and the AppleSox learned that the hard way on Sunday afternoon. The Wallabies sealed the win and the series with a shutout against the Wenatchee AppleSox by a final score of 2-0.
Walla Walla tallied right away in the bottom of the first inning off AppleSox starter Curtis Bafus. Danny Sinatro reached on a single through the left side of the infield with one out.
He promptly stole second base and was then moved over to third on a groundout. So with a runner on third and two outs, Cesar Lopez yanked a double down the right field line to drive in the run and make it 1-0.
The only other offense in the game for the Wallabies came a few innings later in the bottom of the third. Sinatro once again reached base safely but this time on a walk.
After another stolen base for Sinatro, he stood on second with two outs in the inning. Then Nick Nyquist hit a grounder to short that went right under the glove of Wenatchee’s shortstop.
The ball got all the way out into left field to allow Sinatro to come all the way around and score on the error to make it 2-0.