$n$ BlueJackets overcome Young's gem to defeat Sweets

Walla Walla starter Kody Young goes seven strong innings, but Kitsap waits until he leaves to score six runs and take the 7-4 victory.



Ball in glove, Walla Walla Sweets' Kevin Kuntz (left) slides toward Kitsap BlueJackets' base runner Nick Smith for the out during the second inning of their game Tuesday night.


An entire section of Walla Walla Sweets fans pays close attention as a pop-fly bounces into a group reaching and jostling for the ball Tuesday evening during the Sweets' game against the Kitsap BlueJackets.

WALLA WALLA - Kitsap waited out Walla Walla Sweets starting pitcher Kody Young here in West Coast League baseball action in front of 1,602 fans Tuesday night.

Young was forced to leave after seven complete innings, but did so with the Sweets on top 3-1.

The BlueJackets then took advantage of four walks to score six runs over the last two innings and earn a 7-4 win.

"He (Young) was phenomenal," BlueJacket manager Matt Acker said. "He pounded the same thing over and over. You just tip your cap when you see that.

"We were a little upset because we had a chance early," Acker continued. "After that frustration settled, our guys were just trying to battle him out of the game. We got him up to 129 pitches and that's what we wanted - to get him out of the game."

The BlueJackets got Young in trouble in the top of the first inning, when Chris Escobar walked with one out.

Chase Anselment doubled Escobar to third, and after Young walked Zack Gagnon, Andrew Mistone fouled out for the second out as Young got an out away from escaping. But a passed ball scored Escobar before Young struck out Bobby Tannehill looking to end the threat.

That was it for the BlueJackets as Young slammed the door. Dan Zylstra collected a second-inning single, and singled again to lead off the BlueJacket seventh, but those were the only hits Young allowed after the first.

Young left after seven innings, allowing one unearned run, three hits and striking out seven, but the BlueJackets worked Young for six walks to push his pitch count to 129.

"We had to make a decision on Kody (Young), and get him out of there," Sweets manager J.C. Biagi said. "His pitch count was way up there. We walked 10 guys (six by Young and four by the bullpen) tonight. Anytime you walk 10 guys, you're going to be fighting uphill all day. If we eliminate (some) of that, it's a different game entirely."

The Sweets took a 2-1 lead in the home first. Kevin Kuntz beat out an infield hit, Denver Chavez bunted Kuntz to second, and Elliot Stewart ran his hit streak to 10 games with an RBI line drive to right.

Andy Matthews and Dennis Holt followed with singles, and a bobble by Kitsap center fielder Kyle Baskett, allowed Stewart to score to give Walla Walla a 2-1 lead.

Oral Roberts University left hander Mike Torrence came on in relief to open the second for the BlueJackets. Torrence stopped the Sweets, only allowing one run - Denver Chavez's single plated Matt Comer in the Sweets' seventh - and five hits while striking out five in his six and a third innings of work.

"We got out of our approach (at the plate)," Biagi said of Torrence. "The lefty had a pretty good change. We helped him by swinging at a lot of pitches in the dirt, and rolled over on a few ground balls."

With Young gone, the BlueJackets took advantage of two walks - RBI singles from Mistone and Tannehill, and a sacrifice fly from Zylstra - to score three times in the eighth to take a 4-3 lead.

Two walks in the ninth set the stage for Anselment. The University of Washington catching prospect lined his 11th double, an opposite-field shot into the right-field corner, to score two and Anselment scooted all the way to third on an errant Sweets throw. Anselment scored on a passed ball to give the BlueJackets an insurmountable 7-3 lead.

Kitsap had to use three pitchers in the home ninth as Walla Walla drew three one-out walks to load the bases. Stewart was hit by a pitch to force in a run, but Antone Saltvick came on in relief to get out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout.

The Sweets saw their five-game WCL win streak come to an end as they drop to 14-22 on the season and lose a game to Moses Lake, a 6-4 winner over Bellingham Tuesday, in their battle for the last East Division playoff spot.

"You can't win them all," Biagi said. "(But) at least you give yourself a chance by throwing strikes and, on the other end, swinging at strikes. We struggled with that tonight. We'll get better at those things and keep at it."

Kitsap has won all four meetings this season with the Sweets as the two teams match up for the fifth time at 7 p.m. tonight.

Kitsap 100 000 033 - 7 6 1

Walla Walla 200 000 101 - 4 9 1

Cimber, Torrence (2), Kohorst (8), Outram (9), Saltvick (9) and Anselment; Young, Johnson (8), Burke (9) and Daniel.

HR - none.

Hits - Kit: Anselment 2, Zylstra 2, Mistone, Tannehill; WW: Kuntz 2, Stewart 2, Matthews, Holt, Yanzick, Chavez, Ramirez.

WCL Standings

East Division


Wenatchee 23 14 .622 -

Moses Lake 17 20 .459 6

Kelowna 19 24 .442 7

Walla Walla 14 22 .389 8.5

West Division


Corvallis 25 14 .641 -

Bend 26 16 .619 .5

Kitsap 22 16 .579 2.5

Bellingham 19 22 .463 7

Cowlitz 10 27 .270 14

Tuesday's Games

Corvallis 9, Kelowna 6

Wenatchee 9, Cowlitz 4

Kitsap 7, Walla Walla 4

Moses Lake 6, Bellingham 4

Today's Games

Wenatchee at Cowlitz, 6:35 p.m.

Kitsap at Walla Walla, 7:05 p.m.

Corvallis at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Bellingham at Moses Lake, 7:35 p.m.


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