Errors catch up to the WWCC baseball team in an 11-9 loss in the opener, but the Warriors clean up their game for a 6-3 victory.
Walla Walla wasted a 15-hit offensive attack by booting the ball six times in the field and coughing up four unearned runs in an 11-9 loss to Clark in the first game of a non-league community college baseball doubleheader Sunday at Warriors Field.
The Warriors cleaned up their act defensively in the second game and came away with a 6-3 victory that saw them improve their season record to 9-5. Clark now stands 9-4 in non-league play.
“We didn’t play very clean baseball in the first game, but we battled and competed,” WWCC coach Dave Meliah said. “We were down 10-1 and worked our way back to having the tieing run on second base in the seventh inning. I’m proud of the guys for that effort.
“It was nice to bounce back in the second game,” Meliah added. “Again down early and we showed no quit. Hopefully the competitiveness can carry over from here on out.”
Clark opened the nightcap with a single run in the first inning and two more in the second to grab an early 3-0 lead. But the Warriors rallied for two runs in the bottom of the third, tied the score with a run in the fourth and then took the lead for good with a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Brayde Hirai, a freshman out of Chiawana High in Pasco, paced a 10-hit Warriors offense with a home run, a single, two runs batted in and three runs scored. Quentin Lafontaine and Kyle Gradwohl added two hits each, with Lafontaine scoring a run and Gradwohl driving home two.
Jordan Sunitsch and Ben Wagner had two hits each for Clark, with Sunitsch collecting one RBI and Wagner scoring twice.
Sebastian Elu started on the mound for WWCC, worked the first six innings and allowed three runs, only two of which were earned. Brian O’Rourke faced just seven batters in two scoreless innings of relief and Dimick Wood tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up the save.
Caleb Burnham was touched for 10 hits and eight runs, six of them earned, in his four innings on the mound to begin the first game. Brayde Childs allowed just one hit but walked a pair and was charged with three runs, one of them earned, in two-plus innings of relief. Trace Ogata finished up and yielded one hit and no runs over the final three frames.
Brady Johnson slapped four singles and scored four times to lead the Penguins’ attack. Chaz Lopez homered, doubled and singled, scored twice and knocked in two runs. And Sunitsch contributed two hits, two runs and two RBIs.
Sean Coffey, Justin Macdonald, Kealen Martin and Lafontaine had two hits apiece to lead WWCC’s 15-hit onslaught. Coffey scored twice and drove in one run, Martin scored once and knocked in a pair, Martin had one RBI and Lafontaine two runs scored. Lowden Smith chipped in with one hit, one run and two runs batted in.
Sunday’s split was Walla Walla’s final tuneup before entering Northwest Athletic Conference East Region play Wednesday when the Warriors travel to Moses Lake to take on Big Bend in a 1 p.m. doubleheader. The Warriors will host Columbia Basin Saturday in a pair of East counters, also starting at 1.
Lopez, Moore (6), Rebhan (7), Lundberg (7), Johnson (9) and Affonso; Burnham, Childs (5), Ogata (7) and Wood, Musick (6), Lester (8).
HR — Clark, Doyle.
Hits — Clark: Sunitsch 2, Grant, Affonso, Johnson 4, Lopez 3, Wagner, Rice; WWCC: Coffey 2, Smith, Larson 2, Macdonald 2, Martin 2, Garza, Gradwohl, Lafontaine 2, Wood, Lester.
Johnson, McDaniel, (5), Estes (7), Rebhan (7), Wagner (8) and Stevenson; Elu, O’Rourke ((7), Wood (9) and Lester.
HR — WWCC, Hirai.
Hits — Clark: Sunitsch 2, Grant, Johnson, Roesch, Wagner 2, Rice; WWCC: Coffey, Lafontaine 2, Larson, Hirai 2, Robinson, Gradwohl 2, Lester.