YAKIMA — Walla Walla Community College sophomore Clayten Ayres won the Warriors’ first game Saturday by scoring the go-ahead run in the last inning at Yakima for a 7-6 win, and then pitched more than seven innings in the nightcap, which Walla Walla won 8-5.
“We dug ourselves a hole in both games, but kept battling and putting pressure on them and found ways to win,” WWCC coach Dave Meliah said.
A sweep at the conclusion of the regular-season schedule locked up second place in the East Region for the Warriors. Walla Walla improved its record to 29-15 overall, including a 19-9 mark against league rivals.
Walla Walla freshman Blake Macdonald singled twice in each game at Yakima to lead the Warriors’ lineup. His hit in the sixth inning of the second game drove home teammates Dylan Wilbert and Cameron Walker, the finishing touches on a six-run rally that overturned a 2-0 deficit.
The Yaks had tallied runs off Ayres in the first and the third, until he settled down to post a string of zeroes on the scoreboard.
Likewise, Yakima had taken a 4-0 lead early on in the first game before the visiting Warriors took over.
A wild pitch plated McDonald in the third inning.
Sophomore Jarod Paul and Wilbert both scored in the fourth.
Freshman Steven Sordahl tied the game, and then sophomore Austin Kopacz quickly put Walla Walla ahead in the fifth.
Freshman Michael Kilpatrick’s run padded their lead in the sixth.
However, the Yaks tied the score in the eighth inning, when Jake Manson laced a two-run single.
In the ninth inning, Yakima’s Tylan Corder hit Ayres with a pitch with one out. Paul advanced him to second by hitting a single. Ayres took third when Corder hit Wilbert with another pitch.
Sophomore Cody Price drove home Ayres by hitting into a fielder’s choice.
Walla Walla freshman pitcher Talon Derrick then fended off a threat in the bottom half of the inning. He surrendered a couple of singles before a strikeout, a pop-up and a ground-out sealed the Warriors’ win.
Having locked up the No. 2 seed for the postseason, Walla Walla will host a double-elimination, three-team regional May 16-17.