Blue Devils hand Chiefs pair of Big Nine losses

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WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi played two different games against visiting Moses Lake, but managed to pull out victories in both here Tuesday.

The Blue Devils (6-0 in Big Nine play) won the opening pitcher's duel 2-1, while their bats came alive in the 9-8 nightcap win for the sweep.

Drew Christina pitched the Blue Devils' complete first-game win against Moses Lake's Mitch Yada.

"It was a good ballgame," said Wa-Hi coach Keith Gradwohl.

The Chiefs brought in the first run of the game in the fifth, but Wa-Hi answered in the bottom of the stanza.

Conner Holbrook walked, Moe Handcox singled and Jake Jimenez singled to load the bases with no outs.

Kevin Toon singled to score Holbrook, then Matt Watson hit a sacrifice fly to score Handcox for the go-ahead run.

In the top of the seventh, Moses Lake threatened with runners at second and third with no outs, but Christina pitched out of it with a grounder, a pop-up and a strikeout, leaving the tying run stranded at third and the go-ahead score at second.

Christina had eight strikeouts in the game and walked one. He's 7-0 on the year.

"He had another outstanding performance," Gradwohl said. "He's pitching really well."

Game two was a different story, told in eight innings.

The Blue Devils opened with three runs in the first and five in the second for a quick 8-2 lead, but Moses Lake answered in the third inning with four runs to pull within 8-6.

The Chiefs scored twice in the top of the seventh to tie it, which held until the bottom of the eighth, when Matt Watson hit a sacrifice fly for the win.

Holbrook led off the eighth with a single, then Handcox smacked a sac bunt to move him to second. Jimenez reached base on a fielder's choice while Holbrook made it safely to third.

Toon walked to load the bases with one out, and then Watson hit a sac fly to right field to score Holbrook and the winning run.

Watson had a two-run triple in the first and a three-run triple in the second in the win, ending the day at 3-for-5 with six RBI.

Taylor Lemke hit a solo home run in the second inning.

Jake Campeau and Watson split time on the mound in game two.

"Those were two scrappy wins," Gradwohl said. "We're happy to be 6-0 in league. We've been promoting to the kids that baseball's a team game and we need all 18 guys. This doubleheader was the exact reason why there are 18 guys on the team, and all 18 provided parts to win the game. We're proud of that."

The Blue Devils host 6-0 Richland at 2 p.m. Friday at Murr Field.

First Game

Moses Lake 000 010 0 - 1 6 1

Wa-Hi 000 020 x - 2 7 1

Yada and Noyola; D. Christina and Holbrook.

Hits - ML: Hernandez, Alvarado, Noyola, Juarez, Lopez, Steffler. Wa-Hi: Handcox, Jimenez 2, Toon 2, Pontarolo, Lemke.

Second Game

Moses Lake 204 000 20 - 8 14 3

Wa-Hi 350 000 01 - 9 9 1

Laszlo, Swartz (2), Hernandez (4), Alvarado (7) and Noyola; Campeau, Watson (7) and Holbrook.

HR - Wa-Hi: Lemke.

Hits - ML: Redal, Hernandez 2, Alvarado 2, Yada 2, Juarez 3, Noyola, Dodds, Sage 2. Wa-Hi: Handcox, Jimenez 2, Toon, Watson 3, Lemke, Holbrook.

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