Walla Walla Community College’s baseball team ended the home portion of its 2017 schedule Saturday afternoon by sweeping a Northwest Athletic Conference East Region doubleheader from last-place Wenatchee Valley at Warrior Field.
WWCC knocked off the Knights in the opener, 12-1, behind a 12-hit attack and four-hit pitching by Robby Heiberg.
Walla Walla built an early 4-0 lead in the nightcap before holding on for an 8-5 triumph.
The Warriors improved to 15-9 in league and 23-15 overall while dropping WVC (3-21, 3-31) deeper into the abyss of the East standings.
Walla Walla used an eight-run second inning to obliterate a 1-0 deficit and turn game one into a rout.
Quentin Lafontaine started the scoring by stroking an RBI double down the left-field line, Sean Coffey drew a bases-loaded walk, and Josh Kutzke blooped an RBI single to center.
The biggest blows of the inning followed. Larry Dewitt spanked a two-out, two-run single to center and Kealen Martin welcomed Knights’ reliever Colbi Paul to the proceedings with a three-run home run to left.
Martin added a run scoring double to right in the fourth inning, Coffey and Kutzke produced RBI singles in the fifth, and Michael Gossler delivered the final Walla Walla run with a pinch-hit single in the sixth.
Brandon Wagstaff aided the Warrior cause with three hits.
“Robby was effective,” WWCC coach Dave Meliah said. “We swung the bats pretty well, got in hitters’ counts, and did a lot of damage.”
WWCC tallied three times in the second inning of game two. Wagstaff collected the first run batted in with a single and both Coffey and Kutzke came up with sacrifice flies to center.
Walla Walla added a run in the fourth before Wenatchee rallied with two runs in the fourth inning and another in the fifth to close the gap to one, 4-3.
But in the home fifth, Coffey ripped a two-run single, and both Colton Peha and Dewitt recorded RBI knocks to bring the score to 8-3.
The Knights scored once in the sixth to make it an 8-4 game.
WVC loaded the bases in both the eighth and ninth innings, but managed just one run. In the ninth, WVC had the sacks juiced with only out.
But Warrior reliever Austin Haughton notched the final two outs on just two pitches for the save.
On the first, Jake Tilley lifted a fly ball down the left-field line that Wagstaff gloved with a diving effort. A run scored on the play.
Haughton then retired Liam Herlihy on a foul fly to first to end the game.
Carson Woolery tossed the first six innings to earn the win.
WWCC relief pitcher Dimick Wood went two-and-a-third innings before giving way to Haughton.
“Carson didn’t do anything to hurt himself,” Meliah said. “Dimick has to trust himself a little bit more. That (outing) was big for Austin’s confidence. We need him going forward.
“We responded well when they got to within one,” Meliah said.
WWCC plays a twin bill at Spokane Wednesday.
Article by Roy Elia of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin