Walla Walla Community College swung into the season with a 2-0, 10-9 home sweep of Clark Saturday.
The second game went to 12 innings before the Warriors could seal the deal.
“Both Jake Simmons and Jacob Haas threw very well,” said WWCC head coach David Meliah of the first game shutout. “They commanded the strike zone with just one walk between them. We knew we just needed a run or two the way they were pitching, and our hitters found a way to scrap through some tough at bats and get a couple of runs.”
Simmons picked up the win for the Warriors, going six innings and allowing four hits and no walks while striking out two. Haas came on in the seventh and allowed just two hits to pick up the save.
Garrett March and Dylan Wilbert drove in the WWCC runs.
The 4 hour, 10 minute long second game was nip and tuck.
“This was a great back and forth game,” Meliah said. “Every time we would do something, they would answer us and vice versa. Josh Kutzke had some big hits to knock in runs, and obviously Dylan had the huge game-winner in the 12th.”
The Kennewick connection played a big role in the win. Sophomore catcherWilbert drove in two runs on the night on two hits, while third baseman Josh Kutzke, a freshman, drove in three runs on three hits. Also stroking three hits for the Warriors were Colton Peha, a freshman left fielder from Spokane, and Steven Sordahl, a sophomore centerfielder from the Kennewick pipeline. Sordahl also had three stolen bases.
Lowden Smith, WWC’s fifth pitcher on the night, came on in relief in the eighth inning and gave up a run to tie the game at 9. After that, he shut down the Penguins bats on just three hits while striking out five.
“Lowden Smith threw his tail off,” Meliah said. “After his first inning in the eighth, he was lights out.”
WWCC left 19 runners stranded in the game compared to 10 for Clark.