Walla Walla Sweets pull off sweep of Kitsap BlueJackets

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BREMERTON - Walla Walla scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to win game one and then scored the 10 consecutive runs to pull away in game two to sweep Kitsap on Sunday evening at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.

Facing the BlueJackets (6-16) in a doubleheader for the second time this season, the Sweets (6-12) did something they couldn't do the first time, complete the sweep.

It is the first time since June 3-5 that the Sweets have won back-to-back league games.

Game One

Chance Kopacz ripped a game-winning two-out, two-run single in the top of the ninth to snap a 1-1 tie and send the Sweets to victory.

Kris Paulino started the winning rally with a leadoff single to left field. Alex Bonczyk moved him to second with a sac bunt and Brett Jacobs sent him to third with a single to left. Jacobs then stole second and that brought up Kopacz with two outs. He didn't wait long, ripping the first pitch through the left side to score both runners.

Game one was a pitching duel between Walla Walla starter Matt Imhof and Kitsap starter Kevin Baumgartner. Making his first start against league opponents, Imhof was brilliant in seven innings. He allowed just one run on three hits, struck out nine and walked two. Baumgartner tossed all nine innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out four.

Baumgartner was good early, retiring the first nine batters of the game before the Sweets got to him the second time through the lineup. Trailing 1-0, Paulino singled to start the fourth inning and advanced all the way to third as the ball caromed passed the right fielder. Bonczyk followed with a sac fly to right to tie the ballgame.

Imhof was equally impressive from the beginning, striking out the side in the first inning. He then worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second. He allowed back-to-back singles to start the inning and fielding error loaded the bases with no outs. The Sweets got the first out as the BlueJackets missed a squeeze play and the runner on third was tagged out between third and home. The Sweets then brought the infield in and Imhof got a ground ball to short for the second out and then got out of the inning with a fly ball to right.

Kitsap finally got to Imhof in the third as Jordan Ellis led off with a triple off the wall in center. Scotty Burcham grounded to second to score him and that was the last threat the BlueJackets had.

Following the Ellis triple, the combination of Imhof and Simon Anderson did not allow another hit the rest of the game. In fact, only three runners reached for Kitsap the rest of the night. Entering in the eighth inning, Anderson struck out three over two scoreless innings to earn his first win of the season.

Game Two

Kitsap scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 3-2 lead but the Sweets answered with 10 runs over the next three innings to earn the sweep with a 12-6 victory.

Moments after the BlueJackets took the lead, Paulino started the Sweets' fifth-inning rally with a single up the middle. Bonczyk moved him to second with a sac bunt and Jacobs tied the game with a sharp single to center. Spencer O'Neil followed that with a single to center to score Jacobs and Kopacz made it 5-3 with a fielder's choice ground out.

The Sweets put the game away with six runs in the sixth inning. With Paulino on first, Bonczyk knocked a hit-and-run single through the right side to put runners on the corners and Jacobs recorded his second RBI single to make it 6-3. O'Neil then doubled off the left-center field wall to make it7-3 and Kopacz ripped a two-run single to left-center to make it 9-3. Ryan Cooper added an RBI single and Jarrod Turner drove in a run with a ground out to cap the scoring.

Zach Brandon started for the Sweets and pitched well before hitting trouble in the fourth. He issued a leadoff walk and then allowed an RBI double to Tyler Baumgartner to make it 2-1. After issuing a walk to Mitch Bluman, Brandon was lifted for Joe Arlt with runners on the corners and one out. Arlt struck out the first batter he faced but walked the next to load the bases. Zach Aaker then came through with a two-out, two-strike, two-run single through the right side to put Kitsap on top, 3-2.

Arlt was dominant after that, allowing just one hit over the next two innings while striking out four to pick up his first win of the summer. J.J. Robinson pitched the seventh inning and allowed a three-run home run to Jerad Casper.

The top five hitters in the Sweets lineup - Paulino, Bonczyk, Jacobs, O'Neil and Vilter - combined to score 11 of the 12 runs and drive in five. Bonczyk had three hits and scored three runs and O'Neil had three hits, two runs and two RBI.

The Sweets and the BlueJackets wrap up their three-game series tonight with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch. Kody Young will make his season debut for the Sweets on the mound.

Sweets 3, BlueJackets 1

Sweets 000 100 002 - 3 7 1

BlueJackets 001 000 000 - 1 3 2

Imhof, Anderson (8) and Turner. Baumgartner and Zarate.

HR - none.

Hits - WW: Paulino 2, Jacobs, Vilter, Kopacz, Garza, Brackenridge. Brem: Ellis, Hoskins, Hewey.

Sweets 12, BlueJackets 6

Sweets 011 036 1 - 12 15 0

BlueJackets 000 300 3 - 6 9 6

Brandon, Arlt (4), Robinson (7) and Turner. Fewel, Holback (5), Tato (5), Prihar (6), Mack (6), Stidham (7) and Zarate.

HR - Brem: Casper.

Hits - WW: Paulino, Bonczyk 3, Jacobs 2, O'Neil 3, Vilter, Kopacz 2, Cooper 2, Brackenridge. Brem: Jewett, Burcham, Gallaway, Casper, Baumgartner 2, Zarate, Aaker 2.

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