WALLA WALLA - Jump-started by Alex Bonczyk's leadoff triple and led by Spencer O'Neil's three hits and four RBI, Walla Walla earned its first win of the season, 9-1, over Corvallis on Sunday night at Borleske Stadium.
O'Neil's double off the center field fence tied the game in the first and Jared Jordan's bases-clearing double in the second put the Sweets (1-2) on top for good as they earned their first victory of the season. Walla Walla tied a team record with 16 hits on the night and collected 27 hits over the final two games of the series. Seven players had multi-hit games for the Sweets.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Bonczyk ripped a leadoff triple into right-center. Two batters later, O'Neil drilled a double off the wall in center to score Bonczyk to tie the game. Walla Walla kept the momentum going in the second with a two-out rally. Jarrod Turner knocked a single to right to start the rally, Kalani Brackenridge singled to left and Bonczyk beat out an infield single to load the bases. Jordan promptly unloaded the bases with a double off the left field fence to make it 4-1.
Walla Walla kept it rolling in the third as Ben Ruff drilled the first pitch of the inning into the tress in left field to make it 5-1. O'Neil pushed the lead to 6-1 in the fourth as he drove home Bonczyk with a single down the right field line.
O'Neil capped the offensive explosion in the eighth inning with an opposite field home run over the left-center field fence. It was his first of the summer and made it 9-1.
Lost in the offensive display was the stellar pitching and defense from the Sweets. Making his first start of the summer, Kyle Kingsley shook off a tough first inning to work into the seventh and pick up his first win. He allowed one run on seven hits, walked one and struck out two. After allowing a run in the first, Kingsley didn't allow a runner past second until the sixth inning. In the sixth, he left runners on second and third with a ground ball to short.
Kingsley was also helped out by his defense in the second inning. Bonczyk made a diving grab in left-center to rob Tristan Metcalf of extra bases to start the inning and Jordan went deep in the hole at short to throw out Tyler Campbell to end the inning.
Doug Ashby came on for Kingsley in the seventh and got a fielder's choice and fielded a comebacker to get out of the inning. He then got some help from the Sweets infield to get out of an eighth-inning jam. With runners on first and second and two outs, Jordan was unable to handle a chopper off the bat of Beau Fraser. Alertly, he looked to third and saw Caleb Whalen take a wide turn and flipped the ball to Ruff who applied the tag to end the inning.
Simon Anderson made his first appearance of the summer in the ninth and allowed just a two-out walk. Bonczyk finished with two hits and three runs scored from the leadoff spot and O'Neil and Jordan combined to drive in seven runs. Jordan, Ruff, Chance Kopacz, Marc Garza and Turner all had two hits on the night.
The Sweets continue their seven-game homestand on Monday when they welcome Kitsap to Borleske Stadium. It is the first Kids Day of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Walla Walla 9, Corvallis 1
Corvallis 100 000 000 - 1 7 2
Walla Walla 131 100 12x - 9 16 2
Hart, Bishop (4), Keenan (6) and Fraser; Kingsley, Ashby (7) Anderson (9) and Turner.
HR - Walla Walla: O'Neil, Ruff.
Hits - Corvallis: Gallegos 2, Lund, Whalen, Hamilton 2, Campell; Walla Walla: Bonczyk 2, Jordan 2, O'Neil 3, Ruff 2, Kopacz 2, Garza 2, Turner 2, Brackenridge.