Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sweets start trip on right foot

Behind eight dominant innings from Hunter Virant, the Sweets opened their six-game road trip with a 3-2 victory over the Black Bears on Tuesday night. The two teams will continue their three-game series tonight.

Now some notes from around the ballpark:
- The Sweets improved to 6-10 on the road this season and their road record currently ranks fifth in the league.
- The Sweets also improved to 3-4 in one-run games this year.
- Hunter Virant made his third start of the summer on Tuesday and put together his best outing of the year. He allowed two runs on two hits over eighth innings. He walked three and struck out five.
- The left-hander faced the minimum over the first seven innings, issuing just a single and a walk. He picked both of those runners off. He retired 14-straight from the third through the seventh inning. The Black Bears hit a home run in the eighth to make it 3-2 but Virant got a line drove double play to end the threat.
- He picked up his second win of the summer in the process and has allowed just eight hits in 20 innings on the mound. Teams are hitting just .129 against the lefty.
- Ben Ruff pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his second save of the summer. The right-hander has been good of late, allowing just one hit over his last three innings. He has struck out five and hasn't issued a walk in that span either.
- The Sweets finally got on the board in the sixth inning, breaking a scoreless tie with a single run. Brett Jacobs lofted a sac fly to left with the bases loaded to score Kalani Brackenridge with the first run.
- Walla Walla scored two more runs in the seventh. An infield error scored the first run and Alex Bonczyk's fielder's choice ground ball made it 3-0.
- Shane Zeile was the only player on either team to record multiple hits, picking up two of the four Sweets knocks. He hit his fourth double of the season and of his 13 hits, eight have been for extra bases.
- Bonczyk picked up his 15th RBI of the season and also stole his team-leading 10th base.
- The Sweets were hit three times on Tuesday and now lead the league with 45.
- Arturo Reyes will start on Wednesday for the Sweets. The right-hander has gone 3-1 with a 2.29 ERA over his first five starts. He has allowed one run or less in four of his five starts and has allowed just one run over his last 16 innings. Reyes has struck out 11 and walked only three in those two starts.
- Beau Fraser will make his debut with the Sweets tonight. He will catch and bat seventh in the lineup.
- Spencer O'Neil pinch-hit on Tuesday and struck out. It ended his 16 game streak of reaching base safely. It was his first appearance in Cowlitz since spending last summer with the Black Bears. He received a nice round of applause from the fans in attendance.

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