KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The AppleSox didn’t let a rough first inning stop them from continuing their Southern Oregon hot streak.
Wenatchee had to overcome a seven-run bottom of the first from the hard hitting Klamath Gems, but eventually hung a couple crooked numbers on the board themselves en route to claiming a 10-9 victory on the road.
“Tonight was a real crazy deal,” Sox head coach Ed Knaggs said after the game in a phone interview. “That was a weird game. Give up seven in the bottom of the first and win the game, you don’t think you’ll hold them very well. They’re a very offensive team, especially in this park. You don’t think you’ll hold them down, you just hope you could and maybe make it close and get a shot at them, and we were real fortunate to do that. It was impressive to watch.”
AppleSox starter Vaughn Berberet struggled in the opening frame after recording a one-pitch out to start the inning. Tyson Dahl hit a single and then Nick Fisher sent a two-run home run to take a 2-1 lead. When it was all said and done, the Gems had scored seven times on seven hits and Berberet’s night was over.
“They did whatever they wanted that first inning. When they didn’t hit it well, it was where we weren’t. He throws one pitch and gets one out, seemed like it took a long time after that. Not that he was doing anything really wrong, they were just seeing it really well and squaring him up. Just couldn’t stop the bleeding.”
C.J. Burdick entered the game in relief and threw a near-flawless five innings, allowing three baserunners total.
“The story of the game was Burdick coming in and holding them,” Knaggs said. “Burdick gave us a chance to win and the offense overcame.”
But for the second night in a row, the Wenatchee offense made up for its struggling starter. The Sox scored two in the top of the third and seven in the fifth to take a 10-7 lead.
“It’s good to see the offense pick things up,” Knaggs said. “Our guys kept chipping away offensively. Connor Spencer crushed one off the center field wall. Everyone was swinging it and then (Gems pitcher Tyler Johnson would) walk a guy. They did have some walks and we took advantage. Those guys really swung the bats.”
University of Washington’s Tyler Kane entered the game in the ninth inning and did his usual of holding a slim margin for the Sox.
“Sealed the deal. He did a nice job. We brought in McDowell after Burdick, he gave up a two-run home run and then settled in, which got us to Kane. He did a nice job to settle in and finish. We weren’t able to score again, and a one-run cushion is tough on the road and Tyler threw very well on back-to-back nights.”
Wenatchee now finds itself on a three-game win streak and two games above .500 at 11-9. The Sox will look to complete the series sweep today at 6:35, before returning home for two days off. Davis Engle will start.
“I’m assuming (the Gems will) load up with lefties against (right handed pitcher) Davis,” Knaggs said. “Davis tends to throw his changeup very well. I think that’ll be a very good pitch against the left handed hitters.”
Jacob Palmer: @JPalmWW