KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Scoring two-and-a-half times as many runs as they’d scored the entire game in the ninth inning still wasn’t enough for the AppleSox.
Wenatchee couldn’t extend its three-game win streak Saturday as the Sox lost the last game of their series against Klamath Falls 10-7.
AppleSox starting pitcher Davis Engle struggled after cruising through the first two frames. He gave up a run in the third and three in the fourth, when Gems right fielder Nick Fisher hit his third home run of the series.
Engle gave up another two runs in the fifth on three hits and a hit batsman. Wenatchee was behind 6-2 after that inning.
Engle’s replacement, Houston Hibberd, allowed one run in the sixth and another three in the eighth before the AppleSox could add to their run total.
The Sox finally snapped out of their hitting slump in the top of the ninth, when Jake Bruml hit a pinch-hit leadoff single. Shortstop Joe Mello moved Bruml to second on a single of his own one hitter later. Next, Nate Steffler, of Wenatchee Valley College, reached base on an error by the Gems first baseman, scoring Bruml. Brock Slavin hit a double to plate Mello, and then Andre Real hit a sacrifice fly to bring Steffler home. Connor Spencer then reached on a single, and Ryan Barr hit a double. But Stockton Taylor’s sacrifice fly, followed by Eric Hutting’s fly out to center field ended the rally.
The AppleSox scored five of their seven run and had five of their 13 hits in the final inning.
The loss drops Wenatchee to 11-10, and concludes its Southern Oregon road trip, in which they went 3-3.
The Sox now have two days off before starting a home series against the Victoria HarbourCats on Tuesday at Paul Thomas Sr. Baseball Stadium.
Ex-Sox player receives award
Marco Gonzales, the highest-drafted player ever to wear an AppleSox jersey, won the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award on Saturday.
The Gonzaga Bulldog earned the award by leading his team in batting average and RBI, as well as carrying a 7-3 record with a 2.80 ERA. Gonzales was the Co-West Coast Conference Player of the Year, and was drafted No. 19 by the St. Louis Cardinals this year.
“I am extremely honored to accept such a prestigious award,” Gonzales said in a news release from the Gonzaga Athletic Department. “This means the world to me and my family. I want to thank my coaches and teammates for believing in me and giving me the chance to be on the field every day. This is simply a testament of my support group and how important they are to me and my passion for the game of baseball.”
WCL selects new president
The league’s Board of Directors announced Thursday that they have appointed Dennis Koho — an attorney and local politician in Keizer, Oregon — to be their new president.
Koho will begin serving as president tomorrow, July 1, when the league’s headquarters will officially move to Keizer. Koho was Keizer’s mayor from 1993 to 1999 and is currently on the Salem suburb’s City Council, according to a news release from the WCL. When Koho was mayor he was “instrumental in the construction of Volcanoes Stadium, where the short season Class A Salem-Keizer Volcanoes play.”
“My first order of business will be to meet each of the owners in person, tour their ballparks, watch their operations in action and listen to their visions for our future,” Koho said in the news release. “With all of this information in hand, we will begin evaluating new steps and strategies to further enhance the West Coast League brand. Our goal is to firmly position the WCL as the premier summer collegiate league in North America.”