Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back to Borleske!

The Sweets are back in town after their six-game road trip and will start at three-game series against Cowlitz tonight.  We traveled all night on Tuesday night, leaving Kelowna at midnight and returning to Walla Walla at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

They used the day off to rest up and are looking forward to getting back in front of the home crowd tonight.  It will also be nice to get home after going 1-5 on the road trip.

Today also starts a string of 12 games in 12 days, nine coming on the road.

Notes and notables...

Walla Walla- 6-12
- The Sweets snapped an eight-game losing streak on Tuesday and will look to snap Cowlitz's seven-game win streak tonight.
- Walla Walla is 8-5 at Borleske Stadium this summer.  They are 4-5 in league play and 4-0 in non-league games.
- W2 lost two-of-three against Cowlitz earlier this month in Longview.  The Black Bears won 7-1 and 8-1 and the Sweets were victorious 9-3.
- Alex Stanford hit .391 on the road trip and has hit in 11-straight games at home.
- As a team, the Sweets are hitting .201 at home and .214 on the road.  Elliot Stewart and James Campbell are both hitting .294 at home to lead the team. 
- Chance Kopacz, .333 (4-12), had the most success against the Black Bears in their first meeting. 

Cowlitz- 11-9
- The Black Bears comes to Borleske on a 7-game win streak and are two games behind Corvallis in the West Division standings. 
- Kyle Garlick has joined Cowlitz and is hitting.  He leads the team with a .315 average and has three doubles, two triples and a home run.  He has scored 12 runs.  Braxton Miller's 16 walks are a team-high, 8 coming in the three games against the Sweets earlier this summer.
- Garlick currently is riding a seven-game hit streak and has a hit in all but two games this summer.
- High school senior Spencer O'Neil leads the Black Bears with 10 RBI and was drafted by the Yankees in this year's First-Year player draft.
- Cowlitz was swept by Wenatchee but since June 15 have gone 9-2.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We played all night...nearly!

When you are mired in a long losing streak things like Monday night happen.  Walla Walla and Kelowna played even baseball for 13 1/2 innings until the Falcons finally got the break in the bottom of the 14th.

The wild pitch that scored Kyle Pearson from third in the 14th was the only bad pitch that reliever Eric Yardley threw on the night.  From Seattle U., Yardley came on in the 12th with the bases loaded and two outs and struck out the batter to end the inning.  He then got a ground out and a fly out to left to leave a runner on a third in the 13th.  Despite the unfavorable outcome, both the Yardley and the Sweets have to pleased with how he pitched in a tight situation.

Another pitcher that continues to throw well is Jacob Overbay.  In his previous two appearances he had allowed just two hits over 4.2 innings of relief.  Last night, he went 3.2 innings and gave up three unearned runs.  He is showing confidence and is pounding the strike zone consistently.

Here's a look at some more notes...

Walla Walla- 5-12
- The eight-game losing streak matches last year's high set June 20-27.
- A night after his seven-game hitting streak was snapped, Alex Stanford had three hits and scored twice on Monday.  He leads the team in average (.288), doubles (4) and runs scored (9).
- Andrew Mendenall's two-run double in the fourth extended his modest hitting streak to three games.  He has six hits on the season but has driven in five runs (3rd on the team).
- The four-run fourth was the most runs the Sweets had scored in an inning since they scored four in the eighth against Klamath Falls on June 14.
- Tuesday's starter Tim Culligan is looking for his third win of the summer.  He won his first two decisions before giving up three runs on six hits in five innings of a 5-1 loss to Wenatchee.

Kelowna- 5-15
- Kyle Pearson has hit in five-straight, raising his average from .172 to .250 entering Tuesday.
- Brandon Marris has thrown five scoreless innings over the last two days, lowering his ERA from 7.45 to 5.92.  He has not walked a batter or given up a hit and has struck out five.
- Tuesday's starter, Jared Mortenson, threw a inning of relief on Sunday night, striking out two of the three batters he faced.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hello from Canada

The Sweets have successfully made it across the border into Canada.  The team left Corvallis at 4 a.m. on Monday morning, stopped in Seattle to switch bus drivers and arrived in Kelowna, B.C. at 4 p.m.  After a quick bite to eat, the team arrived at Elks Stadium at 5 p.m., just in time to warm-up and play catch.  It was the definition of show-and-go.

While the outcome was not in their favor, the players competed for nine innings and are showing signs of coming together as a team.  The trip has been a great way for the players to connect with one another and even with the losses, they should come home as more of a TEAM.

As far as the 12-hour bus ride goes, that was very interesting.  Most of the team, I think I was the only one that didn't, fell asleep on the bus for the first four hours or so of the trip.  Once passed Seattle, there were magnificent sites to see as we drove through the mountains.  Kelowna is a gorgeous town and we are looking forward to checking out the waterfront as a team tomorrow during the morning.  Kevin Hawk, a Falcon in 2010, has told us many a great story about the city of Kelowna and its many treasures.

Now, onto baseball...

Walla Walla- 5-11

- The Sweets dropped out of 2nd place in the East Division with their 7th straight loss and Bellingham's victory.  The Bells are 6-13 and a half game ahead of the Sweets.
- Walla Walla's seven-straight losses are one shy of the longest losing streak last year.
- Ryan Richardson has yet to walk a batter in 22 total innings this summer.  He has struck out 14 and allowed 19 hits.
- The Sweets are in the bottom three of both hitting (8th, .202), pitching (8th, 3.65) and fielding (7th, .955). 
- Despite hitting just .185, Brenton Allen has a .450 on-base percentage thanks to a team-high 10 walks.

Kelowna- 4-15
- The Falcons snapped a six-game losing streak with their victory on Sunday.
- Last year, the Falcons and Sweets split their six games.  W2 took two-of-three in Kelowna and the Falcons took two-of-three at Borleske.
- It was the 2nd shutout of the summer for the Falcons.  They shut out Kitsap 5-0 on June 15.
- During their six-game losing streak, all six losses came by three runs or less.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another Tough Knight

Walla Walla just can't seem to catch a break.  Corvallis scored three first-inning runs on Friday and that was all they needed, winning 5-2. 

After starter Adam Duke allowed five hits in the first two innings, three relievers combined to allow just one run on four hits over the final seven innings.  At one point, they retired 11 straight Sweets hitters.

The Sweets are back at it again today when they face the Knights in game three of their series before traveling to Kelowna overnight.

Walla Walla- 5-9
- W2 has lost five straight league games and is 1-4 on the road this summer.
- Alex Stanford extended his hitting streak to six games with a single in the ninth inning on Friday.  Including games against Portland, the streak is at eight. 
- As a team, the Sweets are 0-9 when trailing after five innings.
- Tyler Billen will make his second start of the summer, his first in league play.  He allowed one run on four hits over six innings against the Portland Toros in his first start.  He earned a save against Klamath Falls last week.
- Kevin Hawk currently has a three-game hitting streak, four overall and has raised his batting average from .107 on June 16 to .211 entering tonight.

Corvallis- 9-7
- The Knights have won six of their last eight games are just one game behind Bend in the West Coast League's West Division.
- Trent Oleszczuk is hitting .571 (4-7) in two games against the Sweets this summer and Sean Myrom is hitting .385 (5-13) with two doubles and three RBI.
- Corvallis is hitting just .209 against the Sweets but has won three of the five games so far this season. 
- Corvallis is also 7-1 at home this summer and have won their last six games at Goss Stadium.
- The Knights' starting pitcher, Jace Fry, was selected in the 9th round by the Oakland Athletics in this years Amateur Player's Draft.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bump in the Road

The positive thing for the Sweets after Thursday's 3-1 loss is that there is still five games remaining on the road trip.  Despite out-hitting the Knights, the Sweets could not get the crucial hit when they needed it.  They played well otherwise, making just one error and got strong pitching from Aaron Hoverson and Brett Watson.  Watson went 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.

This morning, the Sweets utilized a local gym to get their workouts in and then went to lunch as a team in Corvallis.  Some went to Chipotle and others to Jimmy Johns.  Once back at the hotel some, Drew Fittry, Tyler Billen and myself, made our way to relax in the hot tub. 

As we arrived at the ballpark the sky was a gorgeous shade of blue and the flags atop the scoreboard in right-center were barely blowing.

Walla Walla- 5-8
- The Sweets have lost four straight WCL games but are still in second place in the East Division.  Their record would put them in last place in the West Division.
- W2 is now 1-3 on the road this summer.
- Walla Walla started the season 3-0 when scoring first but have dropped the last two games, including last night, they have done so.
- Kevin Hawk's three singles marked his first multi-hit game of the summer.  He is hitting .400 (4-10) in his last three games.
- Alex Stanford extended his hitting streak to five straight in league play with two hits on Thursday.  He's hitting .282 with a team-high seven runs.
- Brett Watson allowed just one walk, tossing 3.2 scoreless innings of relief.  In two appearances against Corvallis, he has allowed three runs (zero earned) on four hits over 9.2 innings.  He has walked one and struck out seven.
- Kyle Anderson from Cal Poly will make his first start of the summer tonight for the Sweets.  He pitched in the West Coast League for Spokane as a freshman and pitched in the Northwoods League last summer.
Corvallis- 8-7
- Corvallis won their fifth straight home game on Thursday and are 5-1 (6-1 overall) at home this summer.
- Kramer Scott has four hits in his last seven at-bats.
- Dylan Stuart, the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year picked off two Sweets runners in the first two innings.
- It was the sixth win in the ten game series for Corvallis.  The Knights lead the series 6-4 and are 3-1 against the Sweets at Goss Stadium. 
- Since the arrival of the Knights full-time players, Corvallis has gone 5-2, only losing to Wenatchee twice.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Walk-off to Corvallis

The Sweets sure know how to end a homestand.  Trailing 4-0 in the sixth against Portland on Tuesday, Walla Walla rallied for single runs in the sixth and seventh and then tied the game with two runs in the eighth.  It remained tied until the 11th inning when James Campbell ripped a bases-loaded walk-off single to left-center.

W2 capped their eight-game homestand with a 4-4 record and starts a six-game road trip tonight in Corvallis.  The Sweets took to the road at 7:30 a.m. and arrived in Cor-Vegas at 1:30 p.m. today.  Tonight's 6:40 p.m. first pitch will start the first game of a three-game series between the Sweets and Knights.

Walla Walla- 5-7
- Walla Walla has dropped three straight WCL games and has yet to win two straight league games.
- On the road, the Sweets are 1-2, losing a three-game series to Cowlitz two weekends ago.
- It is the second meeting of the season between the two teams, the Sweets winning two-of-three to start the season.
- Aaron Hoverson will make his first start this summer after coming out of the bullpen on three different occasions.  At Winona St., 9 of his 13 appearances were starts.
- In that three-game series, the Sweets shutout the Knights twice, 8-0 and 1-0.
- Walla Walla dropped two-of-three at Goss Stadium at the end of last season.  Overall, the Sweets are 4-5 against the Knights.
- Alex Stanford has hit in six-straight overall, four straight in WCL play.  Chance Kopacz has the longest streak of the summer at 7.

Corvallis- 7-7
- The Knights won four straight games last week but have lost their last two against Wenatchee.
- Corvallis swept Bellingham and then took game one from the Applesox.  That win snapped Wenatchee's 14-game win streak.
- Since opening weekend, the Knights have gone 6-5, while the Sweets have gone 3-6.
- Corvallis, known for their slow starts, welcomed their full roster six games ago and is 4-2 in those games.
- Starter Dylan Stuart made 18 appearances this spring for UC-Riverside and is making his debut tonight.
- The Knights play at Goss Stadium, the home field of the Oregon State Beavers. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sweets win on Sweet Lou's night

Fans took my advice and arrived at the ballpark early last night to make sure that they were one of the 1,000 fans that would receive a Sweet Lou Bobblehead.  They weren't disappointed with the product.  With every head bobble, Sweet Lou brought the Sweets luck on Monday night, enough for Walla Walla to snap a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory.

Three pitchers were largely to thank for the victory.  Drew Fittry made his first start of the summer and lasted 4.1 innings before giving the ball to Ryan Richardson with two runners on in the fifth.  Like he has done all summer, the right-hander pitched great.  He allowed four hits over 2.2 innings of relief and struck out three.  Sean Santschi closed the door with two scoreless innings.

Monday's win was a great example of what it will take for the Sweets to win over the course of the summer; strong pitching, solid defense and a scrappy offense output.  The Sweets got the pitching, made just one defensive error and collected ten hits, albeit against a non-league team.  But the game of baseball is about consistency and repetition and that counts in non-league games as much as league games.

Some notes for Tuesday:
- The Sweets wrap up an eight-game homestand and a stretch of 16 games that included 13 home games to start the season.  Starting Thursday, the Sweets will play 15 of their next 18 games away from Borleske Stadium.
- Monday's win was the seventh at home this season and the Sweets are just three-shy of tying last year's home wins of ten.
- Alex Stanford hit his second home run of the summer and extended his home hitting streak to ten games.
- Geoff Soja will make his first start of the summer on Tuesday and makes it back-to-back days that a Purple Eagle will take the hill. 
- Walla Walla is 3-0 against Portland teams this summer after going 3-1 last year.  They will face the Lobos to finish an eight-game homestand in mid-July.
- Doug Christie arrived this afternoon and completes the 2011 Sweets roster.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bad Apples, Sweets Swept

The three-game series against Wenatchee didn't go the way the Sweets hoped it would.  A 15-2 debacle began the series and then Wenatchee's pitching dominated the rest of the weekend.  The three losses dropped the Sweets to 5-7 overall and 7-7 overall on the season.  It also dropped the Sweets to 2-4 on their current eight-game homestand.

Tim Culligan pitched very well in defeat, striking out seven over five innings and gave up three runs.  He was placing his fastball very well and working in a good breaking pitch.  He was looking for his third win of the summer but fell to 2-1.

Culligan's opponent was Alex Phillips, a teammate last year at Lower Columbia.  The two combined to go 17-2 last year, helping the Red Devils win the NWAACC.

Tonight, the Sweets will start a two-game series against the Portland Stars.  The two games will be non-league games but still are a great opportunity for players to get at-bats and pitchers to get innings.  It's also Sweet Lou Bobblehead night at the ballpark.  I have mine and it's amazing!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

That was quick...

The Walla Walla Sweets and Wenatchee Applesox must have known that the rain was coming.  W2 and Wenatchee played a crisp 1:55 game that ended with the Applesox winning 4-1 and a torrential downpour minutes after the final out had been recorded.

It marked the first time this season the Sweets had dropped two straight games and also dropped them below .500 on the season.  The two teams will meet again today, wrapping up their three-game series on Father's Day with a 6:05 p.m. start.

Let's take a look at what we can expect from the series-finale after the break...

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I think the title does a good job explaining what happened on Friday night.  The Wenatchee Applesox came to town with an 11-game winning streak and showed us why.  They scored 15 runs on 17 hits, played error-free baseball and allowed just three hits in a 15-2 win.

The great thing about baseball is that was yesterday and today is today, a brand new day for the Sweets to perform and compete.

More after the break:

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Plan, Same Sweets

By Tristan Hobbes

In order to use this blog to its full effectiveness, I (Tristan Hobbes) am going to use it as a place to post game notes, post-game thoughts, road trip musings and anything else related to the Sweets.

We'll start off our new found drive with a look at tonight's game against the Wenatchee Applesox...

Notes and Notables
- The Sweets and Applesox are beginning a three-game weekend series tonight at Borleske Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
For Walla Walla:
- Walla Walla scored a season-high 10 runs on a season-high 13 hits against Klamath Falls on Thursday.
- Elliot Stewart homered twice and drove in four runs for the Sweets and Chance Kopacz extended his hitting streak to six game and his on-base streak to nine.
- Kopacz is hitting a team-high .353 and has driven in a team-high 8 runs.
- The Sweets are still struggling against lefties, hitting just .203 (30-148).  In contrast, W2 is hitting .246 (35-142) against right-handers.
- Walla Walla is off to a 6-2 start at home this season.  The Sweets went just 10-15 at home last summer.
- The Sweets have won five of their first nine games, they didn't win their fifth game until June 28 last summer; 16 games into the season. 
For Wenatchee:
- The Applesox have won 11-straight games and are the reigning West Coast League champs.
- Applesox pitchers have thrown four shutouts so far and have the 2nd-best ERA in the league at 2.23.
- Wenatchee also leads the league in batting average, hitting .297 as a team.
- Breland Almadova is hitting .452 and Aaron DeGuire .444 with two home runs and eight RBI.
- Friday's starter Mike Murray is 3-0 in four relief appearances and has a 1.04 ERA over 8.2 innings.
- Erik Munzer has a team-high 16 hits and six doubles.
- Brock Gates leads the team with 10 RBI.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Opening Weekend a Success

Tristan Hobbes

The Walla Walla Sweets have not only arrived but they've gotten off to a 3-1 start since the last time we talked!  The team thrilled 1,748 fans on Opening Night with an 8-0 win over West Coast League power Corvallis and finished the weekend off with an ninth inning walk-off win against the Knights.  The two shutouts highlighted an opening weekend in which the Sweets pitching staff did not give up an earned run.

The players are getting used to their surroundings and they are getting used to sporting all their new Sweets gear.  The team showed off their new jersey on Sunday night and made it special with the 1-0 victory.  The new uniform is an 80's style red t-shirt kind of uniform that has Sweet Lou on the front chest and their number on the back. 

W2 continued their success on Tuesday night with an exciting, 6-4 comeback victory over the Portland Toros, scoring three runs in the eighth.  Beyond the wins and losses, the Sweets have been ecstatic with the turnout at Borleske Stadium.  The fans have clearly not forgotten about us over the course of a year and with over 1,300 fans at each of the first four games, it looks to be another great year in Walla Walla.

The Sweets complete their season-opening five-game homestand tonight (Wednesday) against Portland and head to Cowlitz on Friday for their first road trip of the season.  If you haven't, be sure to get out to the ballpark or follow the Sweets online at!