WENATCHEE — Good pitching, good hitting and a good start for the AppleSox, who put up a five-spot in the second inning and coasted to a 10-1 victory over the Cascade Collegiate League in their season-opener Monday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
Wenatchee’s arms were dominant.
Leavenworth native Keegan Romig collected the win after tossing five strong and Brett Gillis and Trent Sellers both threw two innings of relief, punching out five apiece. All three were sharp and located their off-speed pitches well.
They got all the run support they needed in the second frame after Tyler Detloff drove in two with a double to right and Johnny Sage smashed a 1-2 high fastball over the right-field fence two batters later.
“(Ryan Isler) fooled me on a breaking ball the pitch before so I knew it was going to be another breaking pitch or a high fastball, I just guessed right,” Sage said after clubbing his first career home run with the AppleSox. “I’ve added some strength in the weight room and am looking forward to hitting some more extra-base hits and hitting some balls more to the pull-side.”
The AppleSox scattered five more runs in the fourth, fifth and eighth inning as Sage drove in two more on a single and Grant Gorrell picked up an RBI on a fielders choice in the eighth.
All in all, it was a solid opener for the AppleSox and the 1,197 fans who were on hand.
“It was nice to see the guys get out there and start playing together,” head coach Kyle Krustangel said. “I thought they did a good job putting together solid at-bats and we were strong from top-to-bottom.”
“I’ve seen Romig throw a lot, he’s a damage control type guy and he was a bulldog out there tonight. It was nice to get that five spot early, it’s easy to pitch with a lead.”
Romig did get in a spot of trouble with runners in scoring position in the second and fourth inning, but he worked his way out of it unscathed, which is exactly what you want to see out of your starter.
Of course, after coaching him the past couple years at Yakima Valley, Krustangel had confidence the senior would be able to get out of the jam.
“That’s exactly why you go to a guy like Romig,” Krustangel said. “He’s an elite arm, but he can also handle the crowd on opening night and the guys getting their feet wet. He’s even-keel and that was a big factor in giving him the ball.”
Krustangel is now (3-0) at Paul Thomas St. Stadium after his Yakima Valley Yaks swept WVC earlier this spring.
“I sure hope it continues, but unfortunately with baseball, it doesn’t happen as often,” Krustangel said. “Heck of a way to get started though, it was good to see Johnny leave the yard and you would have thought Gorrell hit a solo shot with the smile he had on his face after driving one in on the ball to short. This team has the chance to be something special with their personalities and even-keelness (sic).”
The AppleSox will look to improve to (2-0) tomorrow night when they open up league play against the Victoria HarbourCats.
First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.