WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla bounced back from its first defeat of the season to hammer unbeaten Tacoma 9-1 Sunday in the second game of an NWAACC baseball doubleheader at Warriors Field.
Tacoma, which came into the twin bill with a 4-0 record, won the first game 4-1 by silencing the Warriors’ bats.
But after picking up just three hits in the first game, WWCC unleashed a 14-hit assault in the second game to improve its season record to 3-1.
“It was great to see how we bounced back in the second game,” WWCC coach Dave Meliah said. “Nobody hung their heads. They refocused and came back and swung the bat very well. Every guy in the lineup had at least one hit.”
Jared Gonzales led the way in the Walla Walla comeback win with a double, two singles and two runs driven in. Dane Crater smacked two doubles and JJ Robinson and Ryan Neal each singled and doubled, with Robinson knocking in two runs and Crater one.
Juan Munoz pitched into the sixth inning for Walla Walla, with Michael Schmidt recording the final two outs of the sixth and Clayten Ayres working the seventh.
“Juan had a great start,” Meliah said of Munoz. “He worked down in the strike zone and got a lot of grounds balls.”
The Warriors managed just three hits in the first game, with Trevor Jones delivering a run-scoring double in the bottom of the fourth that tied the game at a run apiece. Tacoma regained the lead with a run in the sixth and added two insurance runs in the seventh.
“We couldn’t get much going offensively in the first game,” Meliah said. “We needed to do a better job of executing things situational.”
“Jesse threw pretty well but was behind in the count some,” he added of Jesse Houser, who pitched the first six innings for Walla Walla and was touched for six hits and two earned run. “When you do that against a good hitting team, they will make you pay for it.”
The Warriors will entertain Green River this coming Saturday in another NWAACC non-league doubleheader.