TACOMA, Wash. – Washington scored seven runs in the first two innings and made it stand up Tuesday in a 7-6 win over Portland at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash. It was the final tune up for Washington (13-5-1, 2-1) before they open up Husky Ballpark on Friday against Arizona.
The Huskies scored four times in the first and three runs in the second to jump out 7-0 over the visiting Pilots (5-15). But, Portland responded with three runs in the fourth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh before Troy Rallings, the Huskies’ fourth pitcher of the game, shut down the Pilots.
Rallings got the final nine outs of the game, giving up just one hit and striking out three to earn his first career save.
Washington has won three-straight games and 10 of its last 11.
Washington sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning to jump all over Portland starter Alex Fisher (0-1). Fisher hit four batters and gave up three hits in digging himself into a 4-0 deficit. After Brian Wolfe made the score 1-0 with a RBI single, Will Sparks provided the big hit in the inning with a 2-run RBI single. Parker Guinn made it 4-0 by getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Huskies added three unearned runs in the second inning when Andrew Ely led off by reaching on a fielding error by second baseman Caleb Whalen. Ely moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Wolfe and came around to score on a single by Alex Schmidt.
With the score 5-0, Portland brought in reliever Davis Tominaga who promptly gave up a two-run double to Sparks – his fourth RBI in two innings – on the first pitch. That hit made the score 7-0 and Washington looked well on its way to cruising to an easy victory.
But, Tominaga settled down from there and Portland chipped away at the Huskies lead. Tominaga allowed 8 hits over 5 and 2/3 innings of relief, but he did not allow any runs to score after the second.
Meanwhile, Portland’s offense woke up in the fourth inning. Huskies’ starter Henry Baker cruised through the first three innings, but allowed three hits to open the inning to cut his lead to 7-1. After two outs, Chet Thompson singled in a second run and ended Baker’s day.
Relief pitcher Zach Wright walked the first batter he faced to load the bases and promptly threw a wild pitch to allow another run to score. Will Ballowe, the third pitcher of the inning, got the final out of the inning to quell the Pilots.
In the sixth, the Pilots cut the lead to 7-4 when Thompson hit a two-out triple and came around to score when the relay throw to third by shortstop Chris Baker sailed into the stands.
They added two more runs off Ballowe (2-0) in the seventh on back-to-back doubles and a safety squeeze bunt with Rallings in to pitch. But Rallings struck out the final two batters of the inning to avert any further damage and preserve the Huskies 7-6 advantage.
The hitting stars for Washington were Wolfe, Schmidt and Sparks. Wolfe was 4-for-4 at the plate, Schmidt went 3-for-4 and Sparks was 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
The Huskies outhit Portland 13-8.
Washington opens a three-game series against Arizona at brand new Husky Ballpark on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
Washington 7, Portland 6
PORT 000 301 200 –- 6 8 1
WASH 430 000 00x –- 7 13 2
Henry Baker, Zach Wright (4), Will Ballowe (4), Troy Rallings (7) and Parker Guinn, Austin Rei (8). Alex Fisher, Davis Tominaga (2), JR Bunda (8) and Bo Cornish. W – Ballow (2-0). L – Fisher (01). Sv – Rallings (1). HR – none. 3B – PORT, Chet Thompson. 2B – PORT, Turner Gill, Caleb Whalen, Michael Lucarelli. UW, Will Sparks. Time – 2:52. Attendance – 145.