Walla Walla, WA – A ray of sunshine and warmth as the cold and dreary winter weather settles in…that is what the release of the 2018 Walla Walla Sweets schedule represents. After another thrilling World Series, and the baseball world ready to work the off-season, the Sweets are excited to continue preparations for what will be the team’s ninth campaign at historic Borleske Stadium.
“After some record-breaking games in 2017, we are excited to welcome our fans and community to the stadium this coming season,” said Sweets general manager Dan Ferguson. “Is there a better place to spend a perfect Walla Walla summer night? We don’t think so.”
This season’s schedule has significant notes of importance:
The Sweets have moved from the WCL North division to the WCL South division, having flip-flopped with the Yakima Valley Pippins. The Sweets will now welcome Bend, Corvallis, Cowlitz and newly added Portland as division foes. The WCL will maintain a split-season format to determine who qualifies for the playoffs.
For the first time in club history, the team will open with a 6-game road trip – visiting Yakima Valley (also owned and operated by Pacific Baseball Ventures) and Bellingham before returning back to the Walla Walla Valley.
As previously announced, the Sweets will move regular start times for the 2018 season. The team will still have gates opening at 6 P.M., but first pitch will move to 6:35 PM, instead of the 7:05 P.M. that has been in place since the 2010 season. Sunday games will move to a 4:35 P.M. start instead of a 5:05 P.M. start. Special times for select games will be determined and publicized with the release of the promotional schedule.
The Sweets will play 32 regular-season games and 27 regular-season road games.
The WCL Opening Day will be Friday, June 1st. Opening Day at historic Borleske Stadium will fall on Friday, June 8th, as the Sweets will welcome the Corvallis Knights. The Sweets swept the Knights in their visit to Borleske in 2017, outscoring the eventual WCL champion 16-6. Other key notes on the schedule include:
Six weekend series – the entire Walla Walla community is planning to head to the ballpark on Friday after work, as the Sweets have six Friday-Saturday-Sunday match-ups.
The Relish Series – the Sweets will welcome the Pickles in what has to be the first-ever sports contest between onions and cucumbers.
Home for Fathers Day – an afternoon at the ballpark is on the docket for Fathers Day 2018 as the Sweets will host the Bend Elks
Ferguson and team president Zachary Fraser are busy with staff building and finalizing the details of the promotional schedule, with plans to release that after the New Year. From fireworks, to Bobbleheads, to an Alternative Facts Night, it will be another fun and family-friendly gathering over the course of the season.
Of course, the primary goal is a return to the playoffs and playing for a WCL Championship.
“Frank, Kyle and Raul have extended their efforts to see more of our incoming players in person this fall,” said Fraser. “We are also really excited about the returning players – all are significant contributors who are excited to come back to our community.
“This is a year where the playoffs are expected.”
Opening Day Tickets to go on sale Friday, December 1: Opening Day continues to be one of Walla Walla’s grandest celebrations. Last season, a record crowd saw the Sweets shut out the Wenatchee AppleSox. Tickets for the 2018 Opening Day will be on sale starting December 1, with a goal to get the building full before the calendar turns the page to January 2018.
“We’re about 35% of the way there,” said Ferguson, noting that the goal is to top the 2,196 that came through the gate in ’17. “I see no reason why #SweetsCountry can’t beat that number – even if it is by 1 additional person.”
Remaining single-game tickets will be on sale Monday, April 2, 2018. Season, mini-plan and group tickets are now on sale and moving swiftly.