WALLA WALLA - Shane Zeile tied the game with a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning but Cabe Reiten clubbed a decisive three-run home run in the top of the eighth as Wenatchee earned a 5-2 over the Sweets on Thursday night at Borleske Stadium.
The Sweets (12-16) and Applesox (20-5) split their four-game series, with each team winning once on the road. It is the third time this season an eighth-inning home run has been the difference against the Sweets.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the eighth inning, Sweets reliever Matt Imhof hit the leadoff batter and then walked the next batter. He came back to get a strikeout but left a 1-0 pitch up in the zone and Reiten hit over the wall in left to break the tie.
It was an unfortunate break for Imhof who had worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning. He was called upon with the bases loaded and nobody out and worked his way out of it. He struck out back-to-back batters looking before inducing an inning-ending ground ball to short.
After scoring 25 runs the previous two nights, the Sweets were held in check by Wenatchee starter Trevor Lubking. The left-hander held the Sweets to just three hits over the first five innings before hitting trouble in the sixth. Kalani Brackenridge started the inning with a single through the left side and Zeile followed by driving an 0-2 pitch over Borleske Blue to tie the game. It was his second home run of the series. The Sweets nearly took the lead two batters later but Nick Vilter's deep fly to left lost momentum at the warning track.
The Applesox didn't waste any time getting on the board in the first. Ty Moore picked up a leadoff single and moved around the bases, eventually scoring on a two-out single from Mitchell Gunsolus. Ryan Drobny then started the second with a double to left and scored on a Taylor Sparks sac fly to make it 2-0.
Making his fifth start of the summer, Tyler Roberts allowed two runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. He retired the side in order in the third and fourth inning before walking two batters in the fifth. Joe Arlt came on with runners on the corners and two outs and got a pop out to end the inning. Arlt would toss 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Marc Garza led the Sweets offense with three hits on the night. Alex Bonczyk and Brackenridge both extended their hitting streak to six games.
The Sweets will now welcome the Central Oregon Bucks to Borleske Stadium for a three-game series over the weekend. Friday is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch and DJ Smith will get the ball for the Sweets.
Wenatchee 5, Walla Walla 2
Wenatchee 110 000 030 - 5 10 0
Walla Walla 000 002 000 - 2 7 1
Lubking, Jacobs (7), Kane (9) and Rapacz; Roberts, Arlt (5), West (7), Imhof (7), Anderson (9) and Turner.
HR - Wenatchee: Reiten; Walla Walla: Zeile.
Hits - Wenatchee: Moore 2. Stephens, Muelheims, Gunsolus, Howell, Drobney, Rapacz, Reiten 2; Walla Walla: Bonczyk, Brackenridge, Zeile, Robinson, Garza.