Dark Knight for Sweets in Game 1Posted: Updated:
Walla Walla--In the playoffs it ususally comes down to execution and Tuesday night was no exception. The Corvallis Knights did everything right and the Walla Walla Sweets didn't and it resulted in a 14-3 thumping by the Knights in game one of the West Coast League Championship Series at Borleske Stadium.
Corvallis scored two runs in their first at-bats and then erupted for a six-run fourth inning that pushed their lead to 8-1. The Knights never looked back and are within one win of their second championship in team history.
David Armendariz made it 1-0 with an RBI triple in the first and scored on Ryan Gorton's sac fly. Walla Walla cut the lead in the half in their first at-bat but in the fourth the first six Knights all reached and all scored. Gorton homered to start the inning, Corey Davis singled, Jimmy Allen singled, Cade Gotta doubled home both before a throwing error scored a fifth and Matt Nylen's single capped the scoring.
Despite the lop-sided score, Walla Walla was in the game all night but were undone by six errors and 15 men left on base. Alex Stanford started the game with a single and scored on Denver Chavez's double to left-center but that was it as far as crucial hits for the Sweets. WW left Chavez on third and that was the start of the nightmare. Corvallis starter Dylan Stuart was erratic, walking and hitting the first two Sweets batters in the second and they eventually made it to second and third with one out but the Sweets could not score them. The same happened in the third as a double steal put runners on second and third but Chavez tried to take third as the throw bounced away but was tagged out at the plate.
Down 8-1 to start the fifth, the Sweets had chances to make it a game in three-straight innings. They loaded the bases in the fifth with one out but a strikeout and ground out resulted in no runs. They loaded the bases in the sixth with one out and Andrew Mendenhall scored a run with a sac fly. They reloaded them but could not score. Walla Walla made it three-straight innings with the bases loaded in the seventh but only scored once on a Gottschling single before leaving them loaded.
Corvallis put the game away with three runs in the fifth, a single run in the seventh and two final runs in the eighth. Every Knight had a hit led by Gotta's 4-4 performance. He drove in three and scored three and five other Knights had multiple hits. Stanford and Gottschling each had a pair hits for the Sweets. Eric Yardley and Cory Mack pitched the final four innings and allowed three runs on six hits.
Game two of the best-of-three series will take place on Thursday night in Corvallis. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. at Goss Stadium. Kyle Anderson is scheduled to get the ball as the Sweets will look to force a decisive game three on Friday.