Comeback Crew: Sweets Pull Ahead Late to Win - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Comeback Crew: Sweets Pull Ahead Late to Win

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WALLA WALLA, WA - Entering the bottom of the eighth inning, it appeared as though the Walla Walla Sweets would be the team down to its final few outs in the following frame.

But trailing the Wenatchee Applesox 7-2 in that eighth inning, the Sweets pulled off an incredible six-run comeback, winning by a score of 8-7 Tuesday at Borleske Stadium.

Spencer Hobson got off to a rocky start for the Sweets. With one out and two men on base, Ty Jackson drove a two-run double into the right-center field gap, moving to third on a late throw home. He would then score on a groundout by Michael McCann, giving Wenatchee starter Drew Rasmussen a 3-0 lead before he even set foot on the mound.

Neither team scored in the second, and Hobson continued to bounce back from his first inning by adding a scoreless third inning. The Sweets got on the board in the bottom half when John Skrbec, who had led off with a single, scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Mikey Duarte, making the score 3-1.

The two clubs exchanged runs in the fourth, as Nick Brooks hit a solo home run for the Applesox, and John Skrbec hit an RBI double.

Both teams failed to score in the fifth and sixth—Rasmussen made it through all six innings for Wenatchee, and Hobson had help from reliever Jake Campeau, who recorded the final out of the fifth inning and shut the Applesox down in the sixth.

But disaster struck in the seventh. Singles by Nate Esposito and Evan Cassolato, plus a walk to Trenton Brooks, loaded the bases with only one out. Campeau struggled in avoiding the Applesox' bats, as Caleb Wood hit an RBI single and Jackson added a two-RBI single. Campeau then retired the side on a double-play grounder, but the damage was done and the Applesox had extended their lead to 7-2.

Trailing by five, the Sweets were down, but not out. Facing Colton Loomis, who had pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief, Duarte led off the bottom of the eighth with a solo homer over the left field wall, bringing the Sweets to within four runs. Cooper Hummel and Andrew Mendenhall followed with back-to-back singles, setting the stage for Mike Paulson, who was called upon to pinch-hit for Sean Bouchard. Paulson responded perfectly, driving the second pitch of the at-bat over the right-field fence for a three-run homer, making the score 7-6.

With still none out in the inning, Wenatchee manager Ed Knaggs summoned Trenton Brooks from left field to replace Loomis on the mound. Kyle Nixon, pinch-hitting for Parker Osborne, struck out looking, but Russell Crippen drew a walk. Renae Martinez then drove a 2-1 fastball over the left-field fence for a two-run homer, giving the Sweets their first lead of the evening, 8-7.

“I was just looking for a ball up, one I could handle,” said Martinez of his go-ahead blast. “It was right there, and I just extended on it. I didn't really know it was going out, it just looked like a line drive, and it ended up going. I was happy about it.”

Jay Flaa once again got the call to pitch the ninth, and he struck out the side in order, earning his fourth save of the season and sending the Sweets home with the series-tying, 8-7 victory.

Cody Mathews (2-2), who pitched a scoreless eighth inning, got the win for the Sweets, while Brooks (0-2) took the loss.
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