Wa-Hi closes in on Big Nine title

The Blue Devil baseball team sweeps Davis to improve to 10-0 in league and secures at least a tie for the Big Nine Class 4A title.

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YAKIMA - Wa-Hi's sweep of Davis here Tuesday, 6-5 and 5-2, leaves the Blue Devils needing one victory at Wenatchee Friday to secure sole possession of first place in the Big Nine 4A.

Wa-Hi, now 10-0 in league and 14-4 overall, plays host to a district tournament game at 4 p.m. Tuesday, and the tourney continues at Murr Field May 7.

Richland, which Wa-Hi swept earlier this season, is 8-2 in league and plays Davis Friday. One Bombers loss, or one Blue Devil win, gives Wa-Hi the league title.

This is the first time since 1995 the Blue Devils will host the district tourney, Wa-Hi coach Keith Gradwohl said.

"It was another couple of great wins for us," Gradwohl said of the Davis sweep.

Wa-Hi fell behind the Pirates in the opener, with Jackson Marquiz's three-run home run in the second inning lifting Davis to a 4-0 lead.

But the Blue Devils answered in the third, when Moe Handcox scored on Jake Jimenez's single.

In the fifth inning, Matt Watson's three-run homer over the 400-foot sign in center field tied the game.

In the sixth inning, Brett Christina singled, Conner Holbrook singled and pinch-runner Josh Eggers scored on a Handcox groundout before courtesy runner Will Parnicky scored on a passed ball.

"Those were the deciding runs," Gradwohl said.

Davis scored a single run in the sixth, but Wa-Hi starter Drew Christina, now 9-0 on the season, closed out the victory.

"Drew pitched well enough to win," Gradwohl said. "Drew's been our horse, we've been riding him.

"We got down early, but stuck with our game plan and pulled out the win."

In the nightcap, it was the Jake Campeau show for Wa-Hi. Campeau had eight strikeouts in the complete-game victory.

"He was in command the whole game," Gradwohl said.

Campeau lost the shutout when Davis plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Wa-Hi scored four runs in the sixth inning, on two-run singles by Michael Pontarolo and Moe Handcox that gave the Blue Devils a 5-0 lead.

"We felt confident (with that lead) the way Jake was pitching," Gradwohl said.

Kevin Toon, who had five hits during Tuesday's twin bill, is on an 18-game hitting streak with 36 hits in those games, Gradwohl said.

"He's one of the toughest outs I've ever coached," Gradwohl said.

Wa-Hi now heads to Wenatchee at 4 p.m. Friday with the opportunity to wrap up the Big Nine title.

"We're real happy," Gradwohl said.

First Game

Wa-Hi 001 032 0 - 6 11 3

Davis 130 001 0 - 5 6 4

D. Christina and Holbrook. Mottet, Klingle (5), Sanders (6) and White Elk.

HR - Wa-Hi: Watson; Davis: Marquiz.

Hits - Wa-Hi: Jimenez 2, Toon 2, Watson, Campeau 2, Pontarolo, B. Christina 2, Holbrook. Davis: Marquiz 2, Lybeck, White Elk, Allen, Villagus.

Second Game

Wa-Hi 000 104 0 - 5 10 2

Davis 000 000 2 - 2 9 1

Campeau and Holbrook. Dupree, Lybeck (6) and Alexander.

HR - Davis: McClurkin.

Hits - Wa-Hi: Handcox, Jimenez, Toon 3, Watson, Campeau 2, Pontarolo, Holbrook. Davis: McClurkin 2, Jensen, White Elk 2, Allen, Villagus 2, Alexander.

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