YAKIMA, April 17 — Victoria's 1948 version of the Athletics got a bad game out of their system tonight before a chilled crowd of fewer than 1,000 fans as they handed Yakima's ambitious young Packers a 10-6 decision in an error-filled Western International League fixture. The loss left the A's needing to sweep tomorrow's double-header to earn a series' split.
After being held to two hits in the inaugural on Friday, the Athletics went to pieces defensively to deprive Larry Ward of a victory. The losers were charged with six errors but only through the grace of lenient scoring. This was bad enough, but it was the errors of omission which hurt the most.
Ward hurled well enough in his victory debut but ran into two bad frames when his support faltered. Three of the ten runs were of the unearned variety but flawless fielding and thinking by his teammates might well have kept the Packers off the scoreboard. Yakima took the lead in the second inning when Pitcher Bill Freeman doubled with two away after Bob Koraleski uncorked a bad toss to first on an easy chance. The Victorians came right back in the third to show their first sign of hitting ability ability and took the lead with a three-run outburst, Archie Wilson's booming double to right field was the big blow, counting two of the runs. Wilson counted the third run as Sal Recca came through with his second single.
An error, a hit batsman and a solid single by Wilson in the fifth made it 4-1 and it appeared as if the A's were on their way into the win column. But it was only momentary. The home club came back in their half to square the count after Jack Palmer gave them a start by messing up an easy change in trying to make an unnecessary gloved-handed stab of a slow roller. Three singles and a hit batsman plated three runs before Ward recovered.
Errors by Wilson, who had a bad night in centre field, and Paul Jones put Yakima ahead 5-4 in the seventh. The clincher came in the eighth when five Packers scampered across the plate after two were out. After a double play was lost at first by a whisker, two singles and a walk shoved one run across and left the bagged loaded. This brought up Frank Logue, bespectacled right-hander. Monty Pyfl drove a triple to the wall in right centre and later scored on the pay-off end of a double-steal to put it beyond doubt.
The A's fought back in the ninth and managed to score twice and send Freeman to the showers before Lou Kubiak ended the abortive rally by swinging at a bad pitch with a full count and two runners aboard.
There was a bright side, too. The A's looked better at the plate and hit the ball hard. They missed a glorious chance to salt it away in the fifth when Charlie Balassi, who as a well-earned reputation for missing signs, lined out on a 3 and 0 pitch with the bases full.
In the Yakima third, Victoria came up with some neat defensive play after successive errors by Shorstop Dick Powers, filling in for Mike Dalton, put the first two runners on. They advanced as Jones took Ray French's smash but Bob Koraleski took a runner at the plate and the third out came when an attempted double steal failed as Recca and Palmer combined on a bit of great showing.
Victoria ..... 003 010 002— 6 9 6
Yakima ....... 010 030 15x—10 9 3
Ward, Logue (8) and Recca; Freeman, Pirack (9) and Eastwood.
WENATCHEE, April 17—An eight-run outburst in the sixth inning, paced by nine hits, gave the Wenatchee Chiefs a 12-5 victory over the Spokane Indians here tonight — second straight of their Western International League series.
The Chiefs got to starter John Cordell with two runs on two hits and an error in the first, and drove him from the mound in the second on three hits, two of them doubles by Les Dalrymple and Glen Lierman.
Spokane got a run in the fourth on two errors, and added two in the fifth. But in the sixth, six Wenatchee singles plus two doubles by Jess McWilliams and one by Ray McNulty humbled Gene Babbitt, who had pitched three innings of scoreless ball.
Spokane's final runs came in the ninth, a homer by Bill Wright bringing in Pete Thomas, who had doubled.
Spokane ....... 000 120 002— 5 10 4
Wenatchee ..... 220 008 00—12 17 4
Cordell, Babbitt (2) and Sheely; Lierman and Dalrymple.
Vancouver at Bremerton postponed, rain.
Tacoma at Salem, postponed, wet grounds.