Bend completes sweep over Walla Walla, 6-4Posted: Updated:
By Tristan Hobbes, Walla Walla Sweets
BEND, Ore. – Walla Walla put the tying runs on base in the top of the ninth but Bend was able to escape with a 6-4 victory and a series sweep of the Sweets on Tuesday night at Vince Genna Stadium.
For the third night in a row the Sweets (3-6) made a late game rally only to fall short. They put the tying run on base or in the batters box in all three games against Bend. The Elks (7-2) picked up their fourth-straight win and remained undefeated at home this season.
Trailing 6-1 entering the ninth, the Sweets started their rally as Alex Bonczyk's ground ball to first was misplayed. Jarrod Turner followed with a line drive to the gap in left-center that scored Bonczyk all the way from first. The hit also extended Turner's hitting streak to eight games. Spencer O'Neil followed Turner and crushed a 3-2 pitch well over the wall in dead center for his second home run of the season.
Down by just two, 6-4, Marc Garza drew a two-out walk and Chance Kopacz reached on an infield single to put the tying runs on base. Dan Grazzini, however, was able to get Jared Jordan to fly out to right to end the game.
The Elks scored in each of the first three innings and led 5-0 after three. The first opened with an error and Ryne Clark drilled a one-out triple to score Darian Ramage. Bo Walter followed with a single up the middle to make it 2-0.
Bend added to its lead over the next two innings. Parker Guinn delivered an RBI single to left to make it 3-0 and Steven Halcomb's single made it 4-0 in the second. Shawn O'Brien's ground out pushed the lead to 5-0 in the third.
Relief pitcher Joe Arlt would hold Bend there over the next 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander allowed just one run on four hits and struck out four in his longest outing of the summer. He held the Elks scoreless over the first 3 2/3 of his outing before allowing a run in the seventh.
While the Sweets made things interesting late for the third game in the series, Tuesday was another game of missed opportunities for the Sweets. Walla Walla put the leadoff runner on in seven of the nine innings Tuesday night. Bonczyk led off the game with a walk and moved to third with one out but the Sweets could not drive him in. In the fifth, J.J. Robinson and Kalani Brackenridge led off with singles but were stranded on second and third.
The Sweets finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh. It marked the third-straight game the Sweets had scored in the seventh. Jordan led off with a single down the right field line and moved all the way to third on an errant pick-off throw. Brackenridge would bring him home with a sac fly to right to make it 5-1.
Over the final three innings, the Sweets stranded six runners and left 12 total in the game. Robinson was the only Sweet to register multiple hits in the contest.
The Sweets continue their six-game road trip on Wednesday as they begin a three-game series in Corvallis against the Knights. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m.