BEND - Steven Holcomb's eighth-inning home run broke a 3-3 tie and led Bend to a 4-3 victory, spoiling a strong comeback from the Sweets on Sunday night at Vince Genna Stadium.
The Sweets (3-4) had battled back from 3-0 down to tie the game with a pair of runs in the seventh but Holcomb led off the eighth with his first home run of the season to put the Elks (5-2) ahead for good.
Walla Walla was held hitless over the first four innings and had just one hit and trailed 3-0 entering the sixth. Spencer O'Neil drew a one-out walk and worked his way around the bases thanks to three wild pitches. He moved to second on one, to third on another and scored the Sweets' first run on a passed ball.
The Sweets carried that momentum into the seventh inning. Jarrod Turner started the inning with a walk and Chance Kopacz greeted reliever Derek Peterson with a single through the right side to put two runners on. Alex Bonczyk brought the Sweets within one with a single down the right field line and Jared Jordan tied the game with an infield ground ball.
Bend jumped out to an early lead, scoring three times in the first three innings. Shawn O'Brien started the inning with a single, stole second and moved to third on an infield single from Taylor Ausbun. Two batters later, Parker Guinn brought both home with a sharp single up the middle. Bo Walter made it 3-0 in the third as he tripled with two outs and scored on a passed ball.
Kyle Kingsley delivered his second strong start on the mound for the Sweets. The right-hander worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. He struck out five and did not walk a batter in earning a no decision. Joe Arlt pitched a scoreless inning of relief and Garrett Tygerson was the tough-luck loser for the second time this season, allowing just one hit, the Holcomb homer, in 1 2/3 innings of relief.
At the plate, while many Sweets were stymied on Sunday, Turner had another strong performance. He picked up a pair of singles and walked twice, upping his batting average to .450 and his on-base percentage to .577.
The Sweets and the Elks continue their three-game series today with a rare early afternoon game. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.
Elks 4, Sweets 3
Sweets 000 001 200 - 3 5 1
Elks 021 000 01x - 4 9 0
Kingsley, Arlt (6), Tygerson (8) and Kopacz. Bauer, Guzzon (6), Peterson (7), Hildenberger (9) and Ausbun.
HR - Bend: Halcomb.
Hits - WW: Bonczyk, Garza, Turner 2, Kopacz. Bend: Halcomb 2, Walter 2, O'Brien 2, Ausbun 2, Guinn.