Wenatchee Rallies to Win Saturday Slugfest, 10-6
Joel Norman AppleSox Media
The Wenatchee AppleSox earned their 30th win of the summer with a 10-6 victory over the Nanaimo NightOwls on Saturday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
Wenatchee (30-11, 12-3) trailed 5-1 after an inning-and-a-half but scored the games’ next nine runs to take a commanding lead. Michael Cunneely (1-1) fired a season-high six shutout innings in relief to earn the win. The AppleSox’ bats awoke for a five-run fifth inning to break a 5-5 tie and help secure the series victory.
This is the fifth time in franchise history that the AppleSox have won 30 games in a season and they’re most since also reaching 30 victories in 2014. Wenatchee picked up its 11th series victory of the summer Saturday night and can break the team’s single-season wins record with 10 more wins over the final 13 games.
Nanaimo came out swinging, sending 10 men to the plate in the top of the first and scoring four times. The AppleSox got a run back in the bottom of the inning on a wild pitch but gave it right back in the top of the second. Cunneely came in relief and got the final three outs of the inning.
Wenatchee went to work in the bottom of the second, chipping away with a three-spot. Josh Williams recorded a two-out RBI single to make it a one-run game after a bases-loaded groundout followed by a sacrifice fly began the rally.
MJ Sweeney helped tie the game in a funky way in the bottom of the third. After Reeve Boyd drew a two-out walk Sweeney hit a soft line-drive to shallow left-center field. Shortstop Elijah Ickes made the catch but collided with centerfielder Riley Paulino and momentarily lost the ball. Boyd took off on contact and scored from third and Sweeney kept running while the two players were down before eventually being thrown out at home to end the inning.
Two innings later the AppleSox took the lead for good with a five-spot. Each of the first five hitters reached base and scored with the big hits in the inning coming on an RBI single by Austin Ohland to open the scoring and a 2-RBI single by Carson Ohland to cap it. Boyd brought in a run on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded and Izzy Lopez hit a sacrifice fly in between the Ohland singles.
While the AppleSox chipped away at the deficit and eventually took the lead, Cunneely dominated. He only allowed four baserunners to reach on a dropped third strike, two hits and an error, none of which occurred in the same inning. Cunneely struck out four and did not issue any walks.
The AppleSox will attempt to record their seventh sweep of the summer on Sunday in the series finale.