AppleSox Ring Victory Bell in Bellingham, Head to Kelowna
Joel Norman AppleSox Media
The Wenatchee AppleSox avoided a sweep by defeating the Bellingham Bells, 3-1, on Thursday night at Joe Martin Field.
MJ Sweeney hit a go-ahead home run in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie and Jadon Williamson fired 5.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Wenatchee (36-15, 17-7 second half) remains a half-a-game ahead of the Victoria HarbourCats for first place in the North Division in the second half with three games left in the regular season.
The Bells scored first in the bottom of the first inning but the AppleSox scored the final three runs. A bases-loaded fielder’s choice tied the game in the top of the second before Sweeney launched a 338-foot home run in the fifth. A stolen base and a throwing error in the top of the ninth plated an insurance run to cap the scoring.
Williamson (4-1) entered with a runner at second and one out in the fourth and shut the door, getting each of the final 17 outs. His most impressive inning was the eighth when he allowed a leadoff single but struck out the next three hitters to strand the tying run at the second. Williamson fired at least five innings in relief for a third time this summer and also pitched at least four innings for a fifth time in 10 appearances.
The AppleSox wrap up the regular season this weekend in Kelowna against a Falcons team that has rattled off four consecutive victories. Kelowna is two games out of first place in the second half and has already punched a playoff berth after sweeping Kamloops.
This is Wenatchee’s final series of the regular season before opening up the 2023 West Coast League Playoffs on Tuesday night. The location for Game 1 of the North Division Series will depend on how the AppleSox fare this weekend. If the AppleSox can hang onto the second seed, then they will have home-field advantage in the best-of-three North Division Series against the team with the best overall record in the division that did not win the first or second half. Game 1 will be played at the site of the team with the lower record before the higher seed hosts Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3.
This is the first time that the AppleSox have faced the Falcons since taking two-of-three games against them June 16-18.
Trei Hough makes his second start of the summer and his fourth appearance for the AppleSox. He is 1-0 with a 3.11 ERA, eight strikeouts, three walks and 11 hits over 8.2 innings. Hough started last Friday and allowed three runs on eight hits, one walk and four strikeouts. He has started 19-of-21 games in the past two years at the University of Jamestown in the spring.
Cory Lawson makes his third start and fourth appearance overall for Kelowna. He gave up four runs on seven hits, three walks and four strikeouts over five innings. Lawson is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA, six strikeouts, eight walks and 15 hits over five innings.