Blue Devils split with Eisenhower in Big Nine baseball action

Blue Devils experience ‘kissing your sister'

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Wa-Hi's Justin Mathews makes a nice snag at the end of his glove on a line drive before crashing to the infield for the out, ending the top of the sixth inning against Eisenhower Wednesday at Murr Field.

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Wa-Hi's Justin Mathews makes a nice snag at the end of his glove on a line drive for the out to end the top of the sixth inning against Ike Wednesday afternoon at Murr Field.

WALLA WALLA - Baseball folklore says splitting a doubleheader is "like kissing your sister."

Wa-Hi split a Cascade Division baseball double dip with Eisenhower here Wednesday in a make-up of Tuesday's rainout.

The Blue Devils overcame a 2-0 deficit to pound out 11 hits and post a 9-3 win in the opener.

Wa-Hi could not survive Ike's five-run fourth inning in the nightcap, as the Cadets hung on for a 5-2 win.

A sweep would have clinched a postseason spot for Wa-Hi, but the split leaves the Blue Devils two games up on the Cadets for the last playoff spot with four games left.

"The split didn't hurt us," Wa-Hi coach Keith Gradwohl said. "But, a sweep would've gotten us tied for second place, in the playoffs, and put us out of reach."

Ryan James' first pitch of the opener was greeted by Eisenhower's Will Scott's double.

Scott eventually scored to give the Cadets a 1-0 lead.

In the third, Michael Woodkey and Cody Reed led off with singles. Scott's single plated Woodkey for a 2-0 Cadet lead.

"I was a little up in the zone the first couple of innings," James said. "I was throwing a little bit high and they were hitting it. I battled it and threw a little better."

After being turned away in the first two innings by Cadet double plays, Brett Christina's smash to left was knocked down by the wind, but was dropped by the Ike left fielder for a two-base error. Morgan Maddess followed with a run-producing single,

With one out, Kevin Toon singled and Matt Watson's fielder's choice ground ball got Maddess home to even the game at 2-2 after three innings.

Two-out RBI singles from Zach Meyer and Christina highlighted a three-run Blue Devil fifth, Jake Campeau added a two-run single in the sixth, and James did the rest.

James blanked the Cadets until the seventh, when Ike took advantage of a walk, a hit batsman, and a wild pitch to score a meaningless run and push the final to 9-3. James finished with a complete-game seven-hitter.

"The change-up kept them off-balance," James said. "The guys played really great defense and hit the ball really well."

Jake Jimenez, with three hits, and Justin Mathews with two, led the Blue Devil 11-hit attack.

"We played pretty well the first game," Gradwohl said. "We hit the ball pretty well. In game one, we found some holes, and in game two we hit it right at people."

Aaron Flippo's drag bunt got the Blue Devils rolling in the first inning of the nightcap. Flippo stole second and scored on Toon's double, but the Cadet defense short-fused the rally with an inning-ending double play, its third of four on the day.

Watson, on the Blue Devil hill, sailed into the fourth with a one-hit shutout. The wildness bug struck as Watson walked four and gave up RBI singles to Jared Kraft and Scott as the Cadets plated five runs in the inning.

"He just lost the plate," Gradwohl said. "We wanted to try and get through that inning. If we bring in Campeau (in the fourth), he would also be cooked for Friday (due to a pitching rule that requires two days rest if pitching more than three innings). Every other relief guy was in the game, and I hate bringing kids in cold."

Campeau came on in the fifth and blanked the Cadets the rest of the way, including pitching out of two one-out jams in the top of the seventh.

"Campeau just shuts people down," Gradwohl said. "He strikes out two (in the seventh) and keeps us in the game."

The Blue Devils couldn't respond as Woodkey, a lefty, went the distance for the Cadets on the mound and finished with a five-hitter.

Wa-Hi, 5-5, hosts Kamiakin and ex-Wa-Hi coach Ryan Carter Friday with pitching challenges. Drew Christina, Wa-Hi's left-hander, was lost for the season when struck by a line drive during practice, and James and Watson are not eligible to pitch.

"It will give some other kids an opportunity to step up," Gradwohl said.

First Game

Eisenhower 101 000 1 - 3 7 3

Wa-Hi 002 133 x - 9 11 0

Lombardi, Molineux (5) and Kraft; James and Meyer.

HR - none.

Hits - Ike: Scott 2, Woodkey, Reed 2, Kovatch, Lombardi; Wa-Hi: Mathews 2, Flippo, Jimenez 3, Toon, Maddess, Meyer, B. Christina, Campeau.

Second Game

Eisenhower 000 500 0 - 5 8 1

Wa-Hi 100 010 0 - 2 5 1

Woodkey and Kraft; Watson, Campeau (5) and Holbrook.

HR - none.

Hits - Ike: Woodkey, Scott 2, Kovatch, Kraft, Arcand, Reed, Kline; Wa-Hi: Flippo, Toon 2, Watson, Holbrook.

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