WENATCHEE — The weather was hot but the AppleSox were not Tuesday in their first game back at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
Portland (8-8) thrashed Wenatchee (8-11), plating seven in the second inning and five in the fifth en route to a 17-3 victory. Portland has outscored Wenatchee 36-8 in four games this season and won three times.
AppleSox starter Cole Hatton got through the first inning unscathed but got into trouble in the second after giving up three straight singles to the Pickles’ Leo Mosby, Carter Booth and Kyle Dernedde. Hatton was able to get two outs in the inning but he walked three, beaned another and allowed seven runs to come in, forcing head coach Ian Sanderson to go to the bullpen.
Former Cashmere Bulldog Tyler Chipman came in relief and doused the fire after getting Dernedde to pop out to second to end the inning. But that seven-run inning was all the Pickles needed to seize momentum.
Wenatchee had a chance to take an early lead with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the first, but Luc Stuka lined out to right field and Michael O'Hara was then thrown out at the plate on a strike from right field. The AppleSox didn’t muster much of an offensive threat from there.
John Newman Jr. led off the second inning with a solo blast over the left-field fence but Wenatchee failed to get another runner in scoring position until the seventh inning. Portland’s Jared Villalobos, who relieved starter Ian Lawson at the start of the second inning, didn’t overpower or blow anything past the AppleSox batters but he hit his spots and fanned six through five innings of relief — securing the win.
Chipman battled for a couple innings on the mound but got into a jam in the fifth and loaded the bases. He was taken out for Cole Mayes, who faced just one batter after giving up a grand slam to Jacob Jablonski, allowing Portland to take a 14-1 lead.
The Pickles added three more runs in the sixth, highlighted by a two-RBI triple from Eamonn Lance off Wenatchee’s Jasper Nelson. The AppleSox scratched across two runs in the seventh and eighth inning, but they were inconsequential with Portland ahead by double-digits.
The AppleSox have lost four straight but will look to end the streak Wednesday night in their second of three games with the Pickles. First pitch is at 7:35 p.m.