Wenatchee, Wash. --
The Pickles earned victories of 5-3 and 3-2 on Thursday and a 9-3 win Friday night, securing a series win on the road at the Wenatchee Applesox. Portland dropped the series opener 10-1 on Wednesday before the three straight victories.
The Pickles now sit alone in first place in the WCL South Division's second half with a 9-4 record (26-13 overall), a game and a half in front of the Corvallis Knights (6-4, 22-15 overall). Those two teams meet for a critical three-game series that begins Saturday at Walker Stadium.
Thursday's win featured a seven-run third inning and solid pitching throughout the night. The Pickles loaded the bases with one out in the third, and reigning West Coast League Player of the Week and South All Star Gio Diaz laced a double down the left field line scoring Gabe Skoro and Carson Breshears. Sam Novitkse scored on a wild pitch, and Diaz came home on a single by Jack Murphy to make it 4-0. Portland again loaded the bases ahead of Noah Cardenas, who singled to right field to score two more, while a third run scored from first base on an error by the right fielder. In all, eleven hitters came to bat in the inning, with seven runs scoring.
Portland added two more in the fourth, again loading the bases with no outs before Mikey Perez brought home a run with a sac fly to score Breshears and Murphy added a second RBI-single in as many innings, extending the lead to 9-0. Wenatchee scored three runs the rest of the way to account for the final. Daniel Copeland pitched four innings of three-hit shutout baseball, and relievers Damon Treadwell, Nick Paciorek and Colby Wyatt finished things for Portland.
The two teams played a double-header on Thursday, with the Pickles taking both games by scores of 5-3 and 3-2. In the first game Portland took a 3-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a bases-clearing two-out smack by Sam Novitske that was ruled an error by the third baseman. Wenatchee tied things up with a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
With things tied at 3-3, Portland loaded the bases with none out in the sixth, and Novitske put the visitors in front with a two-run single that scored Daniel Edson and Mikey Perez. Alex Roth (W 1-0) pitched a scoreless sixth and Adam Davenport (Sv, 2) a scoreless seventh to finish the abbreviated affair. Michael Newstrom tossed an unblemished three innings in the start for Portland.
In the nightcap, future UCLA players Noah Cardenas and Mikey Perez each homered to lead the Pickles to a 3-2 victory. The former's was a two-run blast in the second inning, his first long ball of the year, to make it 2-0 Pickles. The Applesox came back to tie the game, but Perez won it with a solo shot on a 2-2 pitch leading off the top of the seventh. Leo Nirenberg (Sv, 1) pitched the last of the seventh to seal the save.
The Pickles dropped the series opener on Wednesday 10-1, the lone run coming on a solo home run by Jake Berry in the top of the ninth inning.
Portland has won three in a row and welcome the Corvallis Knights for a three-game series beginning Saturday at 7:05pm from Walker Stadium at Lents Park. Be sure to follow the team on Facebook as well as twitter and instagram @PicklesBaseball.