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Riverhawks Hold Off AppleSox To Claim Series Opener


Hawks Bounce back after a scary 5th to win 13-11

Box Score

By Cody F. Schmidt

The Edmonton Riverhawks scored in seven different innings to pick up a win in their first game of the year against the Wenatchee AppleSox. While things got hairy in the 5th when Wenatchee had a seven-run inning to briefly hold a lead, the Hawks battled back with nineteen hits to end up with a 13-11 lead by the end of the 9th. It took until the 9th for any Riverhawk to strike out at the plate, and every batter reached base at least once. It was a bit of a different story for Riverhawks pitching, as three different arms were unable to complete an inning of work, and seven different pitchers hit the mound.
An early lead for the Riverhawks, as #3 Michael Soper kicked off the game with a slap single to centre. #36 Jakob Poturnak walked, then Soper took third on a #5 Bryce McFeely line out. The first RBI of the game went to #35 Trent Lenihan who crashed a ball up the left line, scoring Soper and reaching second on a double. After #47 Will Vasseur walked to load the bags, #54 Sam Kane also received a bag on balls to push Poturnak home. A similar outcome followed in the 2nd, as Poturnak walked again, then was sent home by Vasseur on a base hit.

The Hawks kept it up in the 3rd, as Kane and #12 Rex Watson hit back-to-back one-out singles. It was another single up the line in left, this time hit by Soper that scored Kane. Two pitches later Poturnak followed with a bases clearing double, setting the Hawks with a 6-0 score and running closer to the WCL RBI lead.

Poturnak stayed hot, as the Hawks needed a run in the 6th. Hitting a deep fly that the AppleSox fielder dropped, Jakob then got home on a McFeely groundout. In the 7th Kane and Watson were at it again, leading off with back-to-back infield hits. Pushed into scoring position by a #9 Taichi Nakao sac bunt, they both came home as Soper singled into right field to reclaim the lead. The bases became full after Poturnak singled and McFeely was plunked before a wild pitch advanced all runners and increased the Edmonton lead. The last run of the 7th came on a sac fly from Vasseur, scoring Poturnak. Another pair of back-to back singles from Kane and Watson kicked off the 8th. Though Kane would get caught on the basepaths, Soper sent Kane home with a double off the wall. More action for the Hawks in the 9th, as McFeely lead off with a single then Vasseur and #7 Tommy Takayoshi followed suit, all three getting their first hits of the night with McFeely scoring on the third hit.

It was an exceptional day at the plate for Sam Kane, who reached base on all six of his plate appearances, with five hits. Michael Soper earned four of the Hawks’ RBI, and had a four hit game. Jakob Poturnak reached five times, and made it home in all but one occurrence.

It was another solid start for #14 Tate Dearing, fresh off being named to the 2024 WCL North All-Star Team. Only allowing a pair of hits in his first four innings, he was hurt by a pair of close calls in the 5th. A bang-bang leadoff hit went to the runner, and then the Hawks couldn’t turn the out in a fielder’s choice that loaded the bags. That would spell Dearing’s doom, as a grand slam tripled Dearing’s earned runs on the season and retired him from this game.

The 5th spelled more trouble for #2 Austin Egan, who gave up a single and double to his first two batters, then walked his third to load the bags. A K and a sac fly retired a pair but Egan’s third hit let the AppleSox tie the game, and a wild pitch gave them the lead. After hitting a batter Egan was taken out, only earning a pair of outs against three runs and there hits. Finally getting out of the bottom of the 5th after hitting a batter was #43 Rory Lampe who struck out his second batter looking. Lampe walked his first two batters in the 6th, and was relieved after a sac bunt moved them up.

It was #20 Max Benton who came in for the last two outs of the 6th and tossed a K before the Hawks caught a runner between third and home, successfully completing the rundown on a tag by Takayoshi. With only a couple walks, Benton worked through a quieter 7th to keep the AppleSox shut down. #27 Brendan Loeppky gave up a leadoff single, but was able to clear the 8th, even as the sprinklers briefly turned on and delayed the game. The last frame sent to #50 Brandon Brunette to the mound, running into immediate trouble by walking his first three batters. Brunette would get replaced after the third free pass with #18 Riley Barrett completing the 9th. The Sox hit off Barrett to score a pair of Brunette’s runners, then again to score another pair, but Barrett caught two batters swinging to end the game.

The road trip continues tomorrow night as the Hawks face the AppleSox again. Heading to Victoria over the weekend to see the HarbourCats. Next week Poturnak, McFeely, Soper, Dearing and Vicarte Domingo will head to Bellingham for the WCL All-Star Game! The first ASG since the Hawks joined the league, the team is sending five of their finest to the showcase game. After the All-Star break the Hawks will be back home at RE/MAX Field for the final home stand of the season. Starting off with their first games ever against the Springfield Drifters, the Riverhawks will also welcome the NightOwls and AppleSox to close out the summer. Go to tickets.gohawks.ca to make sure you get to see all the Riverhawks action that you can!