The Walla Walla Sweets, in just their fourth season, are once again in a pennant race. The local West Coast League team is just a half-game behind Bellingham in the North Division heading into the final weeks of the season.
The team is playing solid baseball in front of good crowds at Borleske Stadium, which has been upgraded year after year to a top-notch venue.
Walla Walla quickly embraced the Sweets and that affection has not dwindled. Spending a warm summer night at Borleske enjoying a ballgame, cool drink and great food — from an old-fashioned hot dog to an AK-47 (a quarter-pound hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with poutine, a mix of hand cut fries, gravy, cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions). And a local favorite, Walsh’s Sweet Onion sausage, is back on the ballpark menu.
Speaking of local favorites, a couple of homegrown players have played for the Sweets this season. Drew Christina, a left-handed pitcher, is still on the roster. Jake Campeau, a right-handed pitcher, and Conner Holbrook, a catcher, played earlier this year on 10-day contracts. All three played at Walla Walla Community College this year and all are headed to Montana State University-Billings to play for the Yellowjackets. In addition, two other WWCC Warriors are on the Sweets roster, pitcher Connor Lawhead and first baseman Jarod Gonzales.
But all the players, regardless of the college or university they come from, are considered local boys once they put on a Sweets uniform.
The baseball played by these college athletes, many of whom were drafted by Major League Baseball teams, is excellent. If these players had opted to not go to college they would by playing Single A Minor League Baseball for teams such as the Tri-City Dust Devils.
Like the pros, the players swing wood bats.
There is nothing quite like the crack of the bat at a great ballpark enjoying the company of family and friends. Sweets games have become the place to hang out.
And with first place in sight, folks in the Valley are looking forward to spending a few extra nights at Borleske watching playoff games.