Baseball fortunes change in a heartbeat. After blowing a 5-0 lead in the opener of a NWAC East Region baseball doubleheader here Saturday. Walla Walla Community College suffered an 11th-inning grand slam that saw Community Colleges of Spokane pull out a 9-6 win.
But the baseball gods work in mysterious ways. The Warriors overcame a 4-0 deficit in the nightcap to score an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth to pull out a 6-5 win and split the double dip.
“It was a crazy day of baseball and comebacks,” Warrior coach Dave Meliah said. “Basically both teams gave a game away, us in the first one and Spokane in the second one. It came down to bullpen guys being able to throw strikes and the team whose guys did, won.”
Cameron Walker got the Warrior day started as his RBI single in the first inning of game one gave WWCC a 1-0 advantage. Cody Price added a sixth inning three-run blast and the Warriors were coasting with a 5-0 lead after six.
Clayten Ayres pitched the Warriors into the seventh with that 5-0 lead. Ayres gave up five hits and struck out six in his six-plus innings of work. The Warriors took their 5-0 lead to the ninth, but five Sasquatch hits and an error left the Warriors nursing a 5-4 lead with two outs and the bases loaded. A catcher interference forced in the tying run and the game went to extra innings.
Evan Douglas won this one for Spokane in the top of the 11th with a two-out grand slam.
Steven Sordahl, Dylan Wilbert and Price each had two hits to lead the 10-hit Warrior attack.
It was the Sasquatch’s turn to get the early lead in game two. Kasey Kelly and Douglas both drove in second-inning runs to open a 2-0 Spokane lead. A Jordan McGowan sac fly and a Tyler Thorsen run-scoring single built the lead to 4-0 after five.
The Warriors struck behind run producing blows from Sordahl, Ayres and Jarod Paul in the home sixth. WWCC cut the margin to 5-3 after six. CCS tacked on a seventh-inning run, but the Warriors would respond in the eighth.
Michael Kilpatrick led off the inning with a solo home run and Ayres drove in a run with a single to tie the game at 5-5 after eight.
Price drew a walk to lead off the home ninth. Blake MacDonald bunted Price to second and reached on a Sasquatch error. Price was forced out at third for the first out.
Dylan Schuler ran at second for MacDonald representing the winning run. Kilpatrick flew out to right, but Schuler went to third with two outs. Sordahl’s grounder was misplayed and Schuler scored the game winner.
“We could have hung our head and let the disappointment of the first game carry over but we didn’t,” Meliah said. “It was good to see the guys pick up the pieces and find a way to get a win.”
Sordahl finished game two with three hits, and Kilpatrick and Ayres each added a pair.
WWCC moves into a third-place tie with the Sasquatch as both stand 5-3 in the East. WWCC hosts Big Bend Wednesday.