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Corvallis Too Much for Walla Walla, 3-1

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Corvallis, Ore. -- Despite collecting seven hits, the Walla Walla Sweets could never put anything together offensively, dropping their fourth straight game and the first game of their six-game road trip, 3-1, to the Corvallis Knights Thursday night at Goss Stadium.

Walla Walla (5-8) scored the first run of the game but was held off the scoreboard for the final seven innings.  In that span the Knights (8-7) were able to scratch across the tying run in the third and then used two ground balls to take a 3-1 lead in the fifth.  It was more than enough for starter Dylan Stuart and relievers Nick Hoover and Mark Trentacosta.

Stuart allowed a two-out single in the first to Elliot Stewart but picked him off to end the inning and then picked off Goose Kallunki after hitting him to start the inning.  Walla Walla rallied though, and scored their only run of the game as Alex Stanford's single went under the glove of Connor Hoffman and allowed Brenton Allen to score all the way from first.  The lefty from UC-Riverside settled down and allowed just two hits over the next four innings.  He left Denver Chavez on second after his leadoff double started the third and left the game after Kevin Hawk's one-out single in the seventh.

The Knights called on Hoover and the right-hander got the next two Sweets out, pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and then handed the ball to UC-Irvine teammate Trentacosta in the ninth.  The lefty struck out the first two batters in the ninth but Stanford and Hawk followed with back-to-back opposite field singles before Trentacosta finished the game with a strikeout.

Trailing 1-0, Corvallis tied the game in the third but were left looking for more.  An errant throw on a bunt put runners on the corners with one out and Trent Oleszczuk singled to tie the game.  A bunt single loaded the bases but Walla Walla starter Aaron Hoverson induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.  The Knights eventually took the lead in the fifth, chasing Hoverson.  Corvallis loaded the bases with two hits and a hitter batter and Jimmy Allen broke the tie with a fielder's choice ground out.  Brett Watson relieved Hoverson and got two ground outs, the first scoring the third Knight run, to get out of the inning.

It was a pitchers duel from then on.  Watson allowed only a one-out walk in the sixth as he pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.  The left-hander picked off that runner and then finished his outing by striking out two batters in the eighth.  Hoverson pitched well too.  Making his first start, the right-hander retired the first six Knights before allowing a run in the third and left two on in the fourth with a strikeout before exiting in the fifth.

The Sweets actually out-hit the Knights and only made one error.  Hawk collected his first  multi-hit game of the summer, singling in each of his last three at-bats.  Stanford chipped in two hits but the Sweets left eight men on base. 

Walla Walla's six-game road trip continues on Friday night in Corvallis.  Friday's game is scheduled for a 6:40 p.m. first pitch.  Kyle Anderson will be making his first start of the summer for the Sweets and will be opposed by Adam Duke.