The crack of the bat continues to draw big crowds to Borleske Stadium as the Walla Walla Sweets are battling for a spot in the playoffs.
The team is locked in a fight with the Bellingham Bells for the second -- and final -- playoff spot. But that, frankly, is just an added bonus for the crowds gathering nightly at Borleske.
Sweets' games have become community events -- a nightly festival. The stadium is the place where people of all ages come to hang out on a warm summer evening, enjoying quality baseball as they enjoy the company of family and friends. Sweets games have become central to the social life of Walla Walla's youths, who flock to the stadium just to "hang out."
This is the second season for the Sweets, who joined the West Coast League last year. The league draws some of the nation's best college players, guys who could be playing in the pros now if they had not opted to go to school. They use wood bats just like the pros. Frankly, the baseball being played is top notch.
The community has embraced the Sweets, which is probably why the 2012 WCL All-Star game will be played in Walla Walla.
The Sweets are on the road right now. They return to Borleske on Monday for their final three games of the season against the league-leading Wenatchee AppleSox.
It's going to be a challenge for the Sweets to earn that final playoff spot.
But win or lose, the season has been a great success. Night after night the Sweets bring the community together.