WALLA WALLA - It's not over until it's over!
Southridge blanked the Blue Devils 4-0 in the opener of a non-division baseball doubleheader here Tuesday, and took a 10-7 lead to the seventh inning of the nightcap.
Wa-Hi rallied for four runs in its last at-bat to pull out an 11-10 win and a split of the double bill.
"I'm really proud of the kids," Blue Devil coach Keith Gradwohl said. "We start judging character when it's 10-7, 7 o'clock, and you're probably hungry and cold. We showed that we have some character. When (ever) we're down by three, we need to remember Southridge because that is a good club."
The Suns, led by Spencer O'Neil on offense and on the mound, ripped nine hits and limited Wa-Hi to three in winning the opener.
An O'Neil RBI double broke a scoreless battle in the third, and O'Neil scored on a Blue Devil error to give the Suns command.
Southridge struck for two more in the sixth, one on Mike McAdie's squeeze bunt and the other on a Wa-Hi misplay.
O'Neil collected four hits and came on in relief with two on, one out and a 2-0 count on Zach Meyer in the home fourth. Meyer drew the walk to load the bases, but O'Neil struck out the next two and blanked Wa-Hi the rest of the way.
Justin Mathews, Kevin Toon and Matt Watson had Wa-Hi's only hits.
In the nightcap, the Suns scored once in the second inning and once in the third to take a 2-0 lead to the Blue Devil third.
Toon opened with a double that just eluded a diving Oz Bartelson in center field.
"We just battled and knew we could come back," Toon said. "I knew a fastball was coming. The dugout helped me. They told me ‘fastball' because that was all he (Bryce Jackson) could throw for strikes. I turned on it."
The Blue Devils batted around, taking advantage of two Sun errors and a catcher interference, and got a run-scoring single from Conner Holbrook to culminate a four-run inning and grab a 4-2 lead.
Th Suns answered with a six-spot in the fifth, highlighted by Bartelson's two-run double. The Suns led 8-4 after five innings, and added a solo run in the sixth for a 9-4 lead as Wa-Hi batted in the sixth.
Holbrook walked, Toon singled and, two outs later, Watson doubled in Holbrook.
"We just try hard every day," Watson said. "The coaches were talking about us clutching up and I just happened to be the guy. I kind of stole it from other people. I just went up and did my best."
Aaron Flippo followed Watson with a single to plate Toon, Jake Campeau's infield hit plated Watson and the Blue Devils trailed 9-7.
O'Neil's hump-back line drive just over Mathew's glove at short - his seventh hit of the double dip - set up a Suns run in the seventh put them up 10-7.
Michael Pontarolo and Moe Handcox worked walks to lead off for Wa-Hi. One out later, Toon drove home both with a double and it was 10-9 Suns.
"Kevin Toon clutched up with that double," Gradwohl said. "That was a nice piece of hitting."
"That (seventh inning) was fun to be a part of," Toon said. "We fought through it. It's fun all the way around when we do stuff like that."
Ryan James worked a walk with two outs and Josh Eggers ran for James.
Watson delivered his third hit of the game, a rip to right center, as Toon scored and Eggers took off.
The Suns overthrew the relay to the plate and Eggers came for home, sliding home with the game-winner.
"It was high and I took a hack at it," Watson said of his seventh-inning at-bat. "We practice every day running first to third, and Josh Eggers is one of our quickest guys. He did a good job of reading the throw and on the passed ball."
Wa-Hi travels to Eastmont Friday with a 2-0 Cascade Division mark to take on the Wildcats in two division counters.
Southridge 002 002 0 - 4 9 2
Wa-Hi 000 000 0 - 0 3 4
Bowe, O'Neil (4) and Grubaugh; Watson, D. Christina (4), Campeau (7) and Meyer.
Hits - Southridge: O'Neil 4, Marston 2, Mendenhall, Rojas 2; Wa-Hi: Mathews, Toon, Watson.
Southridge 011 061 1 - 10 15 6
Wa-Hi 004 003 4 - 11 9 0
B. Jackson, Lowery (3), T. Jackson (6), Marston (7) and Jones; James, Jimenez (4), Toon (5), Campeau (5) and Holbrook.
Hits - Southridge: O'Neil 3, Marston, Mendenhall 2, Rojas, Morby, Jones, T. Jackson 3, Bartleson 3; Wa-Hi: Toon 3, Watson 3, Flippo, Campeau, Holbrook.