Kelowna’s Tucker Alexander (left) tries to get back to third base after sliding past it, but Walla Walla’s Kalani Brackenridge tags him out Sunday at Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla J.J. Robinson allowed just one run over seven innings in his first start of the summer and the Sweets pounded out 12 hits as they closed out their home schedule with a 7-3 victory over Kelowna on Sunday night at Borleske Stadium.
For the first time in team history the Sweets (22-28) finished above .500 at home, going 14-13 this season. They were able to earn a split of the four-game series with the Falcons (28-25).
Ben Ruff had his first four-hit game of the summer and Alex Bonczyk and Brett Jacobs each drove in three runs to back a stellar outing from the freshman-to be Robinson. He allowed five hits, struck out five and walked five over seven innings to earn his first win.
After Robinson started his night by retiring the first six batters, he hit some trouble in the third. A leadoff single from Tucker Alexander started the inning and he was moved up on a sac bunt, but sped around second looking for third. Marc Garza's throw to third was late but Alexander slid past the bag and was tagged out.
The Sweets took advantage of the missed opportunity and scored in their very next at-bat. Garza and Ruff started the inning with singles to put runners on the corners and Bonczyk's ground ball to second gave the Sweets a 1-0 lead.
Kelowna tied the game in the fourth on an infield single with the bases loaded, but they were unable to take the lead as a ground ball destined for right field hit the baserunner to end the inning.
Walla Walla again took advantage, finally breaking the deadlock in the fifth inning against WCL wins-leader Brandon Marris. Kalani Brackenridge led off the fifth with a double and scored as Ruff ripped a double down the left field line. That broke a 1-1 tie and Bonczyk followed with a two-out single up the middle to make it 3-1.
The Sweets put the game away with four runs in their final two at-bats. Ruff singled and Paulino walked to start the seventh before Jacobs cranked his first home run of the summer over the wall in left to make it 6-1. Bonczyk's single to right in the eighth scored Garza with the Sweets' final run of the ballgame. Simon Anderson pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Joe Arlt allowed two runs in the ninth before getting a line drive double play to end the game.
Walla Walla finishes its season with a four-game series in Bellingham starting at 7:05 p.m. today.
Sweets 7, Falcons 3
Falcons 000 100 002 - 3 9 0
Sweets 001 020 31x - 7 12 0
Marris, Cagle (7), Hermes (8), DSouza (8) and Qualls. Robinson, Anderson (8), Arlt (9) and Fraser.
HR - WW: Jacobs.
Hits - Kel: Alvarado, Pearson, Conyers, Alexander 2, Slavin, Lavallee 3. WW: Paulino, Bonczyk 2, Jacobs, O'Neil, Fraser, Brackenridge, Garza, Ruff 4.