Knights post 2-0 shutout to open series with SweetsPosted: Updated:
By Tristan Hobbes, Walla Walla Sweets
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Three Corvallis pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts and limited the Sweets to just four hits to post a 2-0 victory on Wednesday night at Goss Stadium.
Bryan Granger struck out four over five scoreless innings, Blake Burrell tossed two scoreless innings and Brandon Jackson earned the save by striking out five of the six batters he faced over the final two innings to lead the Knights (7-4). The loss was the fourth-straight for the Sweets (3-7).
With the game scoreless in the seventh, Austin Hamilton walked to start the inning and then stole second base. It then appeared that Caylen Clardy had flown out to center but a balk was called, nullifying the out. Clardy eventually walked to put runners on the corners. Marc Gallegos' third hit of the night brought Hamilton home with the first run and Tyler Campbell made it 2-0 with a sac fly to left.
Prior to that, Wednesday's series opener was a pitcher's duel between Sweets starter Arturo Reyes and Corvallis' Granger. The two matched zeros over the first five innings before Granger left to start the sixth.
Making his second start of the summer, Reyes worked around trouble all evening, leaving seven Knights runners on base. After Gallegos led off the game with a bunt single, Reyes left him at third with a fly ball to left. Reyes then struck out Alex Michaels to leave a runner on second in the third and got a ground ball to third to leave Torres at third in the fourth.
Corvallis had its best chance against Reyes in the fifth as a pair of singles put runners on the corners with one out. Reyes came back to get a ground ball to the mound for the second out and then got Michaels to ground to second to end the inning.
Granger matched Reyes pitch-for-pitch, allowing just three hits in his first start of the summer. He stranded Jared Jordan on second in the third with a ground ball and a fly out and then was able to work around a Ben Ruff two-out double in the fourth.
Walla Walla had its best chance against Granger in the fifth but came away empty handed. Chance Kopacz led off the inning with a triple to left-center, and J.J. Robinson walked to put runners on the corners with no outs. Granger buckled down and worked himself out of the inning however. He picked off Robinson for the first out, struck out Jordan and got a ground ball to third to end the inning. The Sweets would not threaten again.
Alex Bonczyk's leadoff single in the sixth was the last Sweets baserunner as the Knights set down the final 11 in a row. Luke West suffered his first loss of the season as he walked the only two batters he faced in the seventh. Garrett Tygerson tossed two scoreless innings to finish the game for the Sweets.