BELLINGHAM — Over the years, the Wenatchee AppleSox have proven that if given an inch, they’ll take a mile.
In the final two games of their season-opening series against the Bellingham Bells, they just needed more inches.
The AppleSox bats fell short and they ended up with a split in the four-game series, falling 8-6 Monday night and 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader Sunday night. Wenatchee also won 5-3 in the first half of Sunday’s twinbill.
While Bellingham struck for 11 hits Monday, Wenatchee was held hitless until the sixth inning and finished with just six knocks on the day.
“If we had one or two base hits in the first three innings, it would have been a lot different game,” AppleSox manager Ed Knaggs said on KPQ-AM.
Even with its hitting woes, Wenatchee led 6-3 until a three-run homer by Bells designated hitter Nate Causey tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Bellingham took the lead in the seventh, with Causey drawing a bases-loaded RBI walk and Rouric Bridgewater adding another run with a groundout.
The AppleSox nearly sent the game to extra innings, as Kyle Dockins hit a long fly ball to right field with a runner on that just sailed wide of the foul pole with two outs in the ninth inning. But just pitches later, the Eastmont alum and Wenatchee Valley College player went down on strikes to end the game.
With its roster still lacking depth early in the season, Wenatchee turned to another Eastmont alum and WVC player, Jordan Osborn, to take the hill. Osborn was in line for the win after allowing just three runs on six hits and two walks in six innings.
“Osborn really battled and competed really well,” Knaggs said. “He gave us a chance to win that game.”
The AppleSox bats were silenced in the final three innings, as Mark Lambson (three innings, two hits, one walk, no runs, two strikeouts) earned the save for the Bells.
On Sunday, Wenatchee opened the pair of seven-inning contests by putting together nine hits and riding a stellar performance from starting pitcher Beau Kerns, who went the distance on the mound. Kerns allowed just three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks, and he struck out four.
Cabe Reiten put the AppleSox on the board with an RBI single in the top of the fourth, and Derek Blankenship and Mitchell Gonsulus both had run-scoring singles in a three-run fifth.
The Wenatchee bats had a much tougher time in the nightcap, as they were stifled by Corey Carma (five innings, one run, five hits, two walks, four strikeouts) and Karl Meyers (two innings, no runs, two hits, two strikeouts).
The game was knotted 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh, but the Bells loaded the bases with two outs, and Johnny Farrington delivered with a walkoff single for Bellingham.
Wenatchee (2-2) makes its home debut at the refurbished Paul Thomas Sr. Baseball Stadium at 7:05 p.m. today against the Bend Elks (2-0) in the first of a three-game set.