YAKIMA - Tyson Hubbard's two-run home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Yakima to a 10-8 victory over Walla Walla in the first game of an NWAACC Eastern Division baseball doubleheader here Thursday.
It also set the tone for the second game as the Yaks came out swinging and pummeled the Warriors 15-4 to complete the twin bill, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday but pushed back a day by rain.
The two losses dropped Walla Walla to 7-7 in the division and 15-15 overall. The Warriors were in fourth place heading into Saturday's doubleheader at Columbia Basin against a Hawks team that shared the top spot in the standings with Yakima, both clubs at 11-3 going into the weekend.
Walla Walla held leads of 4-1 after four innings and 5-2 going to the bottom of the fifth, but the Warriors needed to rally for one run in the eighth and two in the ninth to grab their final lead at 8-7. Alex Bonczyk, who was hit by a pitch, scored WWCC's first run in the ninth on Glen Reser's sacrifice fly, and Richie Carmichael scored the go-ahead run on Mark Garza's double, his third hit of the game.
But it wasn't enough.
A wind-blown pop fly dropped for an error as Yakima got the tying run on base to begin the bottom of the ninth. Then Dusty Kerns' wind-aided drive got beyond the Walla Walla outfielders and fell for a triple and tied the game at 8-8. Hubbard followed with his home run to left.
"It probably wouldn't have been a home run without the wind, but it would have scored the winning run in any event because we were playing our outfielders in close with the winning run on third base," WWCC coach Dave Meliah said.
The second game was over almost before it started as the Yaks scored five times in the first inning, tacked on four more runs in the second and blew the game wide open with a five-spot in the third to lead 14-2.
"The first game was a tough loss," Meliah said. "A very emotional, draining game. I think it effected us some in the second game, but I didn't think it would that badly.
"We've come back from losing the first game many times this year," the coach added. "Our guys have to understand they are not going to win every game. They have to bounce back, and we didn't do that. We did with our hitting, but certainly not with our pitching."
The Warriors had 28 hits in the doubleheader.
Glen Reser joined Garza with three hits in the opener and Kyle Sani, Colby Melburn and Richie Carmichael added two hits apiece. Sani drove in three runs in the first game.
Taylor Forge had three hits and a pair of runs batted in in the second game. Reser collected two more hits, giving him five for the day, and Shane McNaghten had two hits. Anthony Nice contributed an RBI single.
Walla Walla 020 201 012 - 8 17 2
Yakima 001 013 113 - 10 13 1
Nelson, Jordan (7), Lambert (9) and Sani; Schoonover, Hartz (7), Wargacki (9) and Kerns.
HR - Yakima, Hubbard.
Hits - WWCC: Melburn 2, Forge, Hobart, Bonczyk, Roberts, Carmichael 2, Reser 3, M. Garza 3, Nice, Sani 2; Yakima: Mueller 2, Mann 2, Bermen 2, Sermo 2, Kerns 2, Acevedo, Hubbard, Fields.
Walla Walla 020 002 0 - 4 11 1
Yakima 540 501 x - 15 17 2
Carmichael, Byers (2), Windsor (4), Richards (6) and McNaghten; Welton, Lybbert (6), Lafrachise (7) and Jones.
Hits - WWCC: Porter, Forge 3, Bonczyk, Reser 2, Hobart, Nice, McNaghten 2; Yakima: Mueller 3, Mann 3, Bermen 4, Briones, Hubbard, Fields, Jones 2, Dallman 2.