Brooks near perfect, Wenatchee wins 4-1 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Brooks near perfect, Wenatchee wins 4-1

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- If you arrived late on Saturday night you would have missed half the game.  Wenatchee Applesox starter Aaron Brooks had a perfect game through 6.1 innings and the Applesox and Walla Walla Sweets played a crisp 1:55 game that ended 4-1 in favor of the visitors at Borleske Stadium.

Brooks and Sweets starter Derek Peterson each retired the first six batters, finishing two innings in under ten minutes.  While Peterson faltered in the third, Brooks kept chucking.  The right-hander from Gonzaga induced weak swing after weak swing.  He got two ground outs to first in the third, two more ground outs in the fourth, three in the sixth and started the seventh by fielding a come-backer.

That's when his college teammate and Sweet Alex Stanford strode to the plate.  Stanford knocked a sinking soft-liner to left that dropped just out of the reach of the diving left fielder.  Wenatchee's defense backed him up two batters later as Breland Almadova ended the inning by throwing out Stanford at home as he tried to score on an Elliot Stewart single to center.

Unfazed, Brooks struck out two of the three batters in the eighth and handed the ball to his bullpen in the ninth with a 4-0 lead.  That's where it got interesting.  Cole Baylis started the ninth and walked Nick Gentili on four pitches, gave up a single to Kevin Hawk and then hit Brenton Allen on an 0-2 pitch to load the bases.  Keeler Brynteson was quickly summoned and induced a 4-6-3 double play and a ground out to second to end the game.

Wentachee scored their first run in the fourth on a Payden Cawley Lamb two-out RBI double.  Cawley Lamb's double came off his college roommate Peterson.  The Applesox tacked on all the runs they would need in the fifth, scoring three times on three hits.  Peterson hit the first batter of the inning, a sac bunt moved the runner to second and single put runners on the corners with one out.  The right-hander then balked, forcing in a run and threw a wild pitch that scored the third run of the night.  Brock Gates capped Wenatchee's scoring with an RBI single to left.

Beyond the rough fifth, Peterson pitched very well.  He set down the first six hitters and then hit trouble in the third, loading the bases on two hit batters and a walk.  He fell behind 3-1 to Ryan Barnes, worked the count full and then induced a ground ball to third that Goose Kallunki turned into an inning-ending 5-3 double play.  Peterson pitched around a one-out walk in the sixth but hit Barnes with one out in the seventh and handed the ball to Jacob Overbay. 

Overbay did his job, allowing just one hit over the final 2.2 innings.  He struck out Adam Nelubowich and got Gates to ground out to end the seventh, set down the side in order in the eighth and gave up a two-out single in the ninth before Hawk caught the runner trying to steal second.

It was the second time this season that Sweets had been perfect-gamed heading into the seventh inning.  Corvallis starter Max Beatty was also perfect through 6.1 innings before Chance Kopacz broke up the perfecto.  Tonight, Kopacz was 0-4, snapping a seven-game hitting streak.  In two games, Wenatchee has held the Sweets to three runs on six hits.  Almadova and Nelubowich each had two hits for the Applesox.  It was Peterson's first loss of the summer, while Brooks improved to 2-0 and Brynteson picked up his third save.