MEDFORD, Ore. — The AppleSox recovered from a painful Tuesday by more than doubling their run output from their two previous games against the Medford Rogues, dominating the final contest of a three-game series with an 11-3 win.
A night after losing both games of a doubleheader — due to a rainout — in walk-off fashion, the Sox poured on their second-highest number of runs of the season at Harry and David Field in Southern Oregon.
“We scored more than (the opponent) did, finally,” AppleSox head coach Ed Knaggs said in a phone interview. “We got out to an early lead, made a big difference, got momentum going. We were swinging the bats, and put the pressure on them. It was good to see us get some hits, getting two-out hits, and stringing some things together, which we haven’t done. We kept knocking on the door, which makes it easier for our pitcher.”
Wenatchee had 14 hits: Designated hitter Andre Real got back on track, going 3-for-4 with three RBI, first baseman Connor Spencer went 3-for-5 accounting for the Sox’s only extra-base hit and Brock Slavin scored three runs to go along with a 2-for-4 with two RBI night at the plate.
“It’s nice having Brock and Andre and Connor in the middle of that lineup, those three guys can really swing it,” Knaggs said. “We were getting some guys on, and that’s a good thing.”
Starter Jake Bruml had another solid outing, throwing 7 1/3 innings. Not counting the rocky eighth, in which Bruml gave up all three runs the Rogues scored, the big righty from Pomona Pitzer College allowed only three hits.
“(Bruml) threw well, as he has, and the lead makes it nice for a pitcher,” Knaggs said. “He was doing a good job with his pitches, getting the proverbial first-pitch strike, makes a big difference.”
Knaggs was hoping that Bruml — a two-way player — could get through the eighth because the skipper was forced to move the DH, Real, to second base for Grant Palmer, who has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury, which meant the pitcher then had to hit for the remainder of the game. But when Bruml couldn’t get through the frame — giving up a walk, a triple and a home run — relief Mitch Yada was forced to lead off the top of the ninth for the Sox.
“We brought in Mitch, and he ends up getting a stinking base hit, pretty cool for him,” Knaggs said. “But now all the pitchers are going to want to hit.”
The AppleSox welcomed a new shortstop, Joe Mello, Wednesday.
“(Mello) gave us a spark,” Knaggs said “He played good defense and plays real hard. Mello — doesn’t play real mellow, that’s for sure.”
The Wenatchee head coach said it was nice to see his team put together a good win, but he was also quick to note that they were pretty close to sweeping the series in Medford. Knaggs also said that it wasn’t necessarily his offense that caused the Sox to lose the twinbill on Tuesday.
“I thought we swung the bat well (Tuesday) as well,” he said. “I don’t like making a big deal out of not hitting well, we’re just trying to keep a steady approach every day, and stay at it and not change things. We’ll get the lineup the way we want it, but I thought adding someone else would help and I think Joe (Mello) is going to bring a lot of energy to this team. … (AppleSox starter, who had a no-hitter going into the last inning of Tuesday’s nightcap, Trevor) Lubking didn’t get the win, but life isn’t fair, and baseball isn’t fair.”
Mello will join Lewis-Clark State College next fall. Fellow future Tiger Beau Kerns will take the mound today against the Klamath Falls Gems — a team Wenatchee beat two of three times earlier this season at home.
“Finally we get to see someone for the second time,” Knaggs said.
The fast-working righty will have to deal with the Gems’ effective lineup, which has propelled Klamath Falls to an early 11-7 record. But Knaggs said that Kerns (0-1 in three starts) isn’t cause for much worry going into the contest.
“We don’t worry about Beau so much,” the Wenatchee coach said. “We’re just worried about how we swing the bats.”