Saturday, July 20, 2024

AppleSox aim to extend dominance over Lefties in first road test of 2024

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WENATCHEE - The Wenatchee AppleSox are set to play their first road game of the 2024 season tonight against the Port Angeles Lefties at Civic Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

Making history for the AppleSox will be starting pitcher Jack DeDonato, who becomes only the second player in franchise history to appear in at least one game in four seasons with the team, joining John Gebbers (2000-03). DeDonato, coming off an impressive spring at Lower Columbia where he posted a 2.23 ERA and struck out 41 batters in 48.1 innings, will look to improve upon his 5.92 ERA from last summer with the AppleSox.

The Lefties will counter with Damian Hernandez, who makes his summer debut after completing his sophomore year at UC Riverside. Hernandez recorded a 4.78 ERA with 28 strikeouts over 26.1 innings in 11 games (three starts) this past season.

The AppleSox enter the game riding high after a 9-4 home victory over the Redmond Dudes last night, thanks in large part to a six-run fifth inning and five shutout innings from reliever Drew Welk. Wenatchee has won all four home games to begin the season.

Several AppleSox players find themselves among the early league leaders, including Aidan Dougherty with a .636 batting average, Kade Benavidez with 7 RBI, and Max Hartman with three doubles. Hartman, an incoming junior at Washington State, was also named the WCL Player of the Week after a torrid start that included seven hits, three doubles, and five RBIs in the opening series sweep of Port Angeles.

The AppleSox will look to continue their dominance over the Lefties, having won 11 of 12 series against them since 2017. Last season, the two teams combined for just 30 runs over six matchups, with five of those games decided by two runs or less. However, Wenatchee has already scored 35 runs in three games against Port Angeles this season, matching their single-game high hit total from last year with 17 on Sunday.

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