Freshman right-hander Griffin Davis calmed down Treasure Valley’s long-ball tendencies Wednesday afternoon at Warrior Field as Walla Walla salvaged the second game of a Northwest Athletic Conference East Region baseball doubleheader.
Davis, a product of Ferris High in Spokane, scattered eight hits and blanked the Chukars 4-0 for the Warriors’ first victory of the East campaign. He struck out five and walked one.
The visitors claimed the first game 8-6 on the strength of four solo home runs and a three-run rally in the top of the ninth inning.
The Chukars are now 12-4 on the season and the Warriors are 11-7. Both clubs take 1-1 region records into Saturday twin bills, the Warriors at Blue Mountain and the Chukars at home to Yakima.
“Griffin did a great job of working ahead in the count and letting his defense make plays behind him,” WWCC coach Dave Meliah said of Davis. “He didn’t try to do too much.”
The Warriors scored all four of their runs in support of Davis in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Blake Macdonald opened the rally with a one-out single and Dyan Wilbert followed with a base hit. Michael Kilpatrick tripled home the first two runs, Chandler Whitney singled to make it 3-0 and Clayten Ayres doubled to drive in WWCC’s fourth run.
The nightcap was in stark contrast to the opener when the Chukars launched four home runs and forced the Warriors to play catch-up throughout the game.
Chase Teter connected for his first home run of the season and Bryce Wetherell followed with his first homer as the Chukars grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Spencer Pollock homered in the fourth, his first of the season, and Tanner Leenknecht socked his second roundtripper in the fifth as the Chukars expanded their lead to 5-0.
Walla Walla fought back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth and single runs in the sixth and eighth innings to knot the score at 5-5. But a Warrior error and a balk contributed to Treasure Valley’s three-run ninth.
Blake Bell had an RBI single in the inning for the Chukars and Saige Tyndall’s two-run single capped the rally.
Steven Sordahl singled three times for the Warriors in the first game and drove in a run while Jarod Paul contributed a single and a double. Wilbert added two singles.
“I was happy with how we fought back in the first game,” Meliah said. “We showed some character there.
“And it was huge for us to bounce back in game two against the defending Region champs and find a way to get a split after a tough loss.”