WALLA WALLA Wash. – After needing a ninth-inning rally to win on Friday night, the Sweets made things much easier on Saturday, collecting 13 hits on their way to a 13-2 victory over the Bucks at Borleske Stadium.
The Sweets (16-17) are now 11-7 at home this summer and improved their non-league record to 4-1. They conclude their non-league schedule tomorrow against the Bucks.
On Saturday, eight of the nine hitters in the Sweets lineup collected a hit and three pitchers limited the Bucks to two runs on 11 hits. Alex Bonczyk had three hits and scored three runs, Ryan Cooper drove in three and J.J. Robinson had a pair of doubles and reached base four times.
Walla Walla got on the board in the second with a little bit of small ball. Robinson ripped a one-out double to right-center, went to third on a wild pitch and scored as Cooper laid down a perfect safety squeeze.
The Sweets then tacked on three runs in the third, five in the fifth, three more in the sixth and a final run in the seventh. In the third, the Sweets got the job done with two outs. Marc Garza reached on an error to start the inning and came home on a two-strike, two-out double from Shane Zeile down the line in right. Nick Vilter was then hit by a pitch and Robinson followed with a double to left-center to score both and make it 4-0.
A five-run fifth put the game away. Bonczyk followed Kris Paulino's leadoff double with a bunt single to put runners on the corners and Vilter made it 5-0 with a sac fly. A Chance Kopacz singled made it 6-0 and Cooper capped the big inning with a two-run triple to the right-center gap.
The very next inning, the Sweets plated three more runs thanks to a key error. They loaded the bases with just one out and Kopacz hit a hard ground ball to third that Jo Carroll decided to throw home. His throw to the plate was wide and allowed two runs to come across the plate. Zeile's RBI single in the seventh scored Garza and capped the Sweets scoring.
On the mound, Garrett Tygerson made his first start of the summer and was strong over six innings. He allowed two runs on eight hits and struck out three. He worked around a one-out double in the first and then worked out of more trouble in the second. A hit and a walk started the inning before Spencer Ellsbury's sac bunt put both runners in scoring position. Tygerson then induced a comebacker for the second out and then earned a strike out to end the inning. The Bucks put the first two runners on in the fourth as well but Tygerson got help from his defense as Paulino started a 4-6-3 double play.
The Bucks finally got to Tygerson in the sixth. A hit batter and a single put the first two runners on for the third time and a Konnor Reddick grounder put both in scoring position. A ground out scored the first run and a two-out single made it 9-2.
Tyler Billen entered in the seventh and tossed two scoreless innings for the Sweets. The left-hander worked around a leadoff double in the seventh and struck out Carroll to end the eighth and leave a runner on third. Ben Ruff tossed a scoreless ninth, working around a one-out triple.
The Sweets and Bucks wrap up their three-game series on Sunday with a 5:05 p.m. first pitch. Zach Brandon will get the ball for the Sweets.