BY BRADEN JOHNSON/PORTLAND TRIBUNE/Unearned run with two out in ninth lifts Sweets to 2-1 victory; series now rides on Thursday game at Walker Stadium


Walla Walla 2, PORTLAND 1

The three-game series is tied 1-1 going into its 7 p.m. Thursday finale at Walker Stadium.

On Wednesday, and before a crowd of 2,077, the visiting Sweets got the winning run, unearned and off the game's only error, in the top of the ninth inning.

Portland had come from behind to win the first game of the series, 10-7, on Tuesday.

In Game 2, the Pickles went on top 1-0 with a two-out, RBI double by Jack Murphy that scored Gio Diaz, who had singled with one out.

The Sweets got even in the third on two hits and a bases-loaded walk.

In the ninth, Walla Walla's Josh Prizina hit a two-out double, pinch runner Darius Vines stole third and came home on a throwing error by the pitcher.

Portland went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth.

Pickles starter Brad McVay remained 4-0 after allowing one run on three hits and a walk, with four strikeouts, in four innings.

The fourth Portland pitcher, Colby Wyatt (2-1) pitched the ninth, giving up one hit and a walk.

The Pickles, first-half champions in the West Coast League South Division, dropped to 2-3 in the second-half standings. Walla Walla (3-2) is second behind the Corvallis Knights (2-0). The Cowlitz Black Bears are 3-3, and the Bend Elks are 3-5.

Portland's homestand will continue Friday through Sunday with three games against the Kelowna Falcons.

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