PORT ANGELES — The Lefties won their second straight over the Walla Walla Sweets on Sunday at Civic Field, but it was a nervous ending to their 7-4 win.
The Lefties went into the ninth inning with a 7-1 lead, but the Sweets rallied for three runs and had the bases loaded with the go-ahead run at the plate in the form of Cesar Lopez, who had hit a home run earlier in the game (and also hit a home run at Civic Field in the West Coast League All-Star game a couple of weeks ago.). Reliever Tyler Tan got Lopez to pop up to end the game.
Ron Brown and Justin VanDebrake, who has been red-hot lately for the Lefties, provided much of the pop to get the Lefties out to a 4-0 lead. Brown hit a two-run home run in the first inning, driving in VanDebrake, who had singled earlier in the inning. In the second, VanDebrake padded the lead with an RBI single, driving in Drew Minter.
VanDebrake finished the game 3 for 4 with a run scored and has built his season average up to .325. Jason Dicochea added a two-run home run, his seventh of the year, in the eighth inning to open up a 7-1 lead over the Sweets.
Brown finished 2 for 4 with his fifth home run of the season, a run scored and three RBIs. Austin Earl was 2 for 3 with a run scored and a walk, while Minter was 2 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI and Trevor Rosenberg was 2 for 4 with a run scored.
Starter Tyler Oldenberg went seven innings, giving up just five hits and one walk, while allowing one earned run. He struck out eight while picking up the victory.
Lefties 3, Sweets 2
The Lefties, leading the West Coast League in runs scored, have struggled to win at times this year because their pitching hasn’t kept up with their prodigious hitting, but on Saturday, their pitching came through in a 3-2 win.
Both Avery Santos and Riley Beneditti were outstanding on the mound. Santos started and went 5 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and five walks, while striking out seven.
Beneditti pitched the final 3 2/3 in relief, giving up one hit, no walks and no runs, while striking out five. Beneditti picked up the hard-earned win.
The powerful Lefties managed just six hits on the day, with much of the damage coming from Justin VanDebrake. VanDebrake hit a home runs and went 2 for 4 on the day with two runs scored and two RBIs. Most critically, with the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, he scored the go-ahead run after getting on base with a single and coming all the way around to score on an error.
Tristan Hanoian scored the other run for the Lefties, while Trevor Rosenberg, Ron Brown and Cameron Allie all had singles.
The Lefties (8-13 second half) get a day off on Monday, then travel to Wenatchee (9-9 second half) to play the AppleSox beginning at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday.
Lefties 7, Sweets 4
Sweets 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 — 4 8 0
Lefties 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 x — 7 12 1
WP: Oldenberg LP: Sullivan
Sweets — Sullivan 1.1IP, 5H, 4ER; Reed 1.2IP, 2H, BB, 2K; Sellers 2.2IP, 3H, ER, 2K; Hirai 2.1IP, 2H, 2ER, BB, K.
Lefties — Oldenberg 7IP, 5H, ER, BB, 8K; Tan 2IP, 3H, 3ER, 3BB, 2K.
Sweets — Caufield 2-4, Lopez 1-5, HR, R, RBI; Soderstrom 1-1, R, RBI; Sinatro 1-1, 3B, R.
Lefties — VanDebrake 3-4, R, RBI; Brown 2-4, HR, R, 3RBI; Earl 2-3, R; Minter 2-4, 2R, RBI; Rosenberb 2-4, R; Dicochea 1-5, R, 2RBI.
Lefties 3, Sweets 2
Sweets 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 — 2 6 1
Lefties 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 x — 3 6 3
WP: Beneditti LP: Collins
Sweets — Quioas 5IP, 3H, 2ER, 2BB, 9K; Collins 2.1IP, 2H, ER, 3K; Hirai 0.0IP, H; Farris 0.2IP, BB.
Lefties — Santos 5.1IP, 5H, 2ER, 5BB, 7K; Beneditti 3.2IP, H, 5K.
Sweets — Caufield 2-5, Sinatro 1-5; Lopez 1-2, R, 2BB; Filby 1-4; Soderstrom 0-2, R, 2BB; Pritchard 1-3, RBI, BB.