CORVALLIS, Ore. – Corvallis broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the fifth inning and put the game away with a three-run seventh, defeating the Sweets 5-1 on Thursday night at Goss Stadium.
The Knights (8-4) had their lead cut to one in the top of the seventh but they responded by scoring three runs on four hits in the bottom of the seventh, sending the Sweets (3-8) to their fifth-straight defeat.
Thursday's game was similar to the series opener through the first four innings as both starting pitchers tossed up zeros. Walla Walla's Tyler Roberts faced the minimum over the first three before giving up a two-out single in the fourth inning. Corvallis start Max Beatty was just as good, retiring the first 11 batters he faced in his first start since last August. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in December and missed the whole spring season getting treatment. Working on a pitch count, Beatty exited after Spencer O'Neil dropped a single into center with two outs in the fourth.
Just like on Opening Night, Corvallis put a big inning together against Roberts. This time it came in the fifth as the Knights scored two runs on four hits. Alex Michaels and Matt Nylen started the inning with singles and Marc Gallegos followed with a ground ball up the middle that was thrown into the stands, allowing Michaels to score the first run of the game. Beau Fraser then ripped an RBI single to left to make it 2-0. Corvallis eventually put runners on second and third with one out but Roberts got out of further damage with a ground ball and pop out.
As they have all trip long, the Sweets had plenty of opportunities to get on the board. Jarrod Turner singled with one out in the fifth and Jared Jordan followed with a double off the wall in left-center. Trying to score from first, Turner was cut down at the plate on a perfect relay throw from the shortstop Tyler Campbell. The Sweets would leave Jordan stranded at third. In the sixth, a Corvallis error with two outs extended the Sweets' inning and they eventually loaded the bases. They came up empty-handed though as Chance Kopacz flew out to right.
Walla Walla finally broke through in the seventh. Turner led off with a double but was caught in a rundown on a Jordan dribbler. J.J. Robinson worked a two-out walk to put two runners on and Alex Bonczyk came through with a big two-out single up the middle to score Jordan and send Robinson to third. The Sweets couldn't complete the comeback, however, as Knights reliever Aaron Corwin got a strikeout to end the inning.
Corvallis didn't waste any time snuffing out the Sweets' momentum as they scored three runs on four hits in the bottom of the seventh. Nate Roberts, Caleb Whalen and Nick Torres all delivered RBI base hits.
Roberts suffered his first loss of the season, allowing two runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three. Corwin earned the win, allowing just one run on four hits over 3 1/3 innings of relief. Simon Anderson pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for the Sweets and gave up his first runs since June 17 of last year.
The Sweets conclude their road trip on Friday night with the series finale against the Knights. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m.