Walla Walla closed out its longest road trip of the year with an 8-6 victor over Kitsap on Monday evening. The Sweets scored three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings and then worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to hang on for the victory. They begin a five-game homestand tonight against Bend.
Now some notes from around the ballpark:
- The Sweets went 4-3 on their season-long seven-game road trip. After dropping three-of-four to Kelowna, the Sweets swept Kitsap. Walla Walla took five-of-six from the BlueJackets this year.
- The series sweep is the first this season for the Sweets and it gives them their first winning streak of the season.
- Walla Walla finished with a 4-9 record after playing 13 consecutive WCL games on the road.
- Spencer O'Neil had a big night for the Sweets on Monday, driving in a season-high four runs. He hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 4-4 in the fifth and then made it 8-5 with a two-run single in the sixth.
- O'Neil now leads the Sweets with 15 RBI and three home runs. He's also tied for the team lead with 10 runs scored. He drove in six runs and scored three over the final two games of the series against Kitsap.
- Kris Paulino had the best road trip of any Sweet, hitting .417 (10-for-24). He scored nine runs, drew seven walks and reached base at a .576 clip. He had eight hits and scored eight runs over the final five games of the trip.
- He was also named the Abajian Toyota/Scion Player of the Week.
- Brett Jacobs also had a strong finish to the trip, collecting three hits and driving in two runs on Monday. He also hit his fourth double of the season.
- Nick Vilter hit his first home run of the summer on Monday. He followed O'Neil's two-run home run in the fifth with a solo shot of his own to left field.
- Luke West was outstanding in relief on Monday, tossing four scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit and struck out four to earn his first win of the season. In his last three appearances, he has allowed just one run on six hits over 7.1 innings. He has struck out seven in that span.
- Ben Ruff picked up his first save of the summer on Monday, escaping a jam in the ninth. Paulino snared a Francisco Tellez line drive and turned into a game-ending double play to preserve the win.
- Tuesday's home game against Bend will be the Sweets' first home league game since June 6 when they defeated Kitsap, 4-3.
- The Sweets will play 10 of their next 12 at home before departing on their last long road trip in mid-July.
- Arturo Reyes will start on Tuesday for the Sweets and will be looking for his third win of the summer. It would tie him for the league lead.
- Bend enters the series having lost its last four. The Elks fell to Kitsap on Thursday and then were swept in Kelowna the past two days.
- They are 8-9 and in second place in the West Division. The Elks swept the Sweets in Bend on June 10-12. All three games were decided by four runs or less.