Thursday belonged to Walla Walla Community College sophomore to be Michael Peterson.
The 6-foot-5 right hander simply dominated Kelowna for seven innings here in West Coast League baseball action.
The Sweets rode Peterson’s gem to a 2-0 win over the Falcons to win the three-game series, 2-1.
Peterson retired the first six Falcons he faced before Jake Fischer led off the Kelowna third with the only hit that Peterson gave up in his night’s work.
After Fischer’s single, Peterson set down the next 14 Kelowna batters in order until his only walk of the game, with two outs in the seventh, broke the streak.
Peterson ended his night by inducing a fly to left and left with a 2-0 lead.
“We got everything we wanted out of Michael,” Sweets manager Frank Mutz said. “He threw the ball at every location we called.
“We asked for it in, he threw it in,” Mutz continued. “We asked for it out and he threw it out. He located breaking stuff which is harder to do and only something guys at the higher levels can do. He kept going after them. Once he had been through the lineup, he knew what to do.
“We had to watch his pitch count because we want to send him back (to WWCC) healthy,” Mutz added. “85 pitches is the top of what we want.”
Peterson finished his seven scoreless innings allowing one hit, two base runners, walking only one, and striking out nine.
“I felt very good tonight, the cooler weather helped,” Peterson said. “I pounded the strike zone and got ahead in counts. My slider was pretty sharp tonight and I threw my change up well.
“Frank (Mutz) calls the pitches from the bench and he did a good job,” Peterson continued. “(Catcher) Matt (Elser) did a good job behind the dish. It feels good to pitch here as this is where I go to school and will be back (next spring) for my sophomore season.”
Peterson and the Sweets got all the offense they needed in the home second.
Ben Fariss, whose last at-bat before Thursday resulted in a moon shot that tied Kelowna 6-6 in the ninth of Wednesday’s 7-6 win, led off the second.
Fariss did it again, this time a line drive into the trees in left field.
Cesar Lopez and Ryan Johnston followed with consecutive singles but the Sweets left them stranded.
The Sweets pounded out 10 hits, but left 10 runners stranded as they only tacked on a sixth inning run.
Fariss led off with a shot off the wall in left, his third consecutive hit of the game. Fariss was gunned down by Falcon left fielder Garrett Kelly trying to stretch his single into a double.
“Fariss is hot,” Mutz commented on the UC Santa Barbara product. “I hope he stays that way for six more games. He shows up every single day. He takes care of his body and is committed to getting better that’s why he’s getting stronger here at the end of the season.”
Lopez followed Fariss in the sixth with a drive to the base of the deep right center wall and scooted all the way to third with a triple. For Lopez, the triple was his third hit of the night, and he would finish a home run short of a cycle.
Johnston picked up Lopez with a sac fly to right and the Sweets took a 2-0 lead to the seventh.
With Peterson done after seven, the Sweets turned to another Warrior sophomore to be in southpaw Brayde Hirai. Hirai got the last six outs without allowing run, but did give up two hits including a two-out Trent Tinglestad double in the ninth that got the tieing run to the plate for the Falcons. Hirai enticed a pop up to end the threat and preserve the 2-0 three-hit Sweets victory. Hirai struck out three in his two scoreless innings of work.
“We brought in his (Peterson’s) CC buddy to finish it up,” Mutz commented. “That is a good combination. Those guys will be a tremendous punch for CC.”
The series win kept the Sweets perfect at Borleske as they have not lost a home series all season. The 2-0 win improves the Sweets to 17-7 at home this season with only a three game series left with Yakima to complete the home 2018 schedule.
“We haven’t lost a series here,” Mutz added. “We like the community and playing here. It’s a lot of fun.”
The Sweets open their last home WCL series tonight as Yakima visits at 6:35. The Sweets close out the WCL season with three games at Cowlitz beginning Monday.
“Six games left,” Peterson concluded. “We want to finish strong.”
Sweets 2, Falcons 0
Bridgen, Turner (6), Olson (6), Hummel (7), Stookey (9) and Fischer; Peterson, Hirai (8) and Elser.
HR — WW: Fariss.
Hits — Kel: Fischer, Pruitt, Tinglestad; WW: Caulfield, Fariss 3, Lopez 3, Johnston, Nyquist, Elser.