No bad Apples: Wenatchee beats Sweets for 13th straight

The AppleSox win their 13th straight WCL game with Saturday's 4-1 victory over Walla Walla.


WALLA WALLA - Lucky 13.

Wenatchee rode a three-run fifth and Aaron Brooks' pitching to its 13th consecutive West Coast League baseball victory here Saturday night.

The AppleSox took a 4-1 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets to run their record to 13-1 atop the East Division standings.

"They are a very good team," Sweets manager J.C. Biagi said. "We've seen it the last two days. They have good athletes at every position and guys that can swing it."

Two Gonzaga teammates hooked up in an old fashion pitching dual over the first three innings.

Derek Peterson took the hill for the Sweets and blanked the AppleSox on no hits over three innings, but escaped a bases loaded, one-out jam in the third. Third baseman Goose Kallunki grabbed a grounder off the bat of Ryan Barnes. Kallunki retreated to tag third and fired to first to double Barnes and Peterson was out of the jam.

Brooks, on the hill for Wenatchee, was perfect through three.

"It was definitely a better effort than last night (Friday's 15-2 loss)," Biagi said. "We did everything we could last night to put us in the position we were in. Tonight was much better in terms of our approach."

Adam Nelubowich led off the Wenatchee fourth with the first hit of the game, an opposite-field single to left. Peterson got two pop ups, but Payden Cawley Lamb drilled a double to right center and Nelubowich scored for a 1-0 AppleSox lead.

Wenatchee added three more in the fifth. An error, a hit batsman, and a Nelubowich triple followed by a Brock Gates single and Wenatchee had all it needed with a 4-0 lead.

"They can swing it," Biagi said of the fifth.

Brooks sailed into the seventh with the perfect game intact. The Sweets did not get a ball out of the infield against the right handed 6-foot-6 Gonzaga star over the first six innings.

Brooks got the first out in the seventh, and faced his Bulldog teammate Alex Stanford. Stanford lined a shot to left, Cawley Lamb made a diving attempt but couldn't come up with it, and Stanford stood at second with a double, ending Brooks' bid for a perfect game.

"I had all my pitches working," Brooks said. "In high school, I went perfect one game, but this is another level. I'm very proud of this.

"I guess it was fitting that my teammate (Stanford) from Gonzaga got the hit," Brooks continued. "I was happy that he (Cawley Lamb) made that (diving) try. If he would've let it go, I would've been upset."

With two out, Elliot Stewart lined a single to center, and Stanford tried to score the first WW run. Breland Almadova made a perfect throw to the plate to gun down Stanford.

Cole Baylis came on for Brooks - eight innings, no runs, two hits, seven strikeouts - in the ninth and the Sweets mounted a threat. Nick Gentili worked a walk, Kevin Hawk singled, and Brenton Allen was plucked by a pitch. Bases loaded, no outs, tying run at the plate.

Kalani Brackenridge, in his first appearance since injuring his thumb during the last home stand, pinch hit. Keeler Brynteson relieved Baylis.

Brackenridge hit a tailor-made double-play grounder to second baseman Andrew Daniel, who turned the double killing and the AppleSox got Chance Kopacz to ground out, ending Kopacz's seven-game hitting streak and sending Wenatchee to its 13th straight win.

"It (the ninth inning rally) is good to see," Biagi said. "You would love to see that the entire game long. If you see that the entire game, you give yourself a chance."

Wenatchee and Walla Walla conclude the three-game series at 6:05 p.m. today.

"The key will be to come out and have an aggressive approach," Biagi said. "We're going to get after the fast ball and see where it takes us."

Wenatchee 4, Walla Walla 1

Wenatchee 000 130 000 - 4 5 0

Walla Walla 000 000 001 - 1 3 1

Brooks, Baylis (9), Brynteson (9) and DeGuire; Peterson, Overbay (7) and Hawk.

HR - none.

Hits - Wen: Nelubowich 2, Cawley Lamb, Gates, Almadova; WW: Sanford, Stewart, Hawk.


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