Warriors drop improbable pair

WWCC has a 10-run lead over CBC after two innings in game one, but loses 18-16, and drops the nightcap 8-3.

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Walla Walla Community College first baseman Marc Garza (above, at left) makes a leaping effort for a high and wide throw in Saturday's first game with CBC, but can't connect on the stretch as the Hawks' John Reilly makes it safely to the bag.

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WWCC second baseman Kasey Knigge goes low for a hard-hit ball in the eighth inning of the first game Saturday but can't get the handle on it.

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Community College built a 10-0 lead over Columbia Basin after two innings of the opening game of an NWAACC Eastern Region baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Warrior Field.

What happened after that was nothing short of improbable.

The Hawks scored five runs in the third inning, eight in the fifth, and a handful more in the eighth frame on its way to an 18-16 victory.

CBC broke a scoreless tie in game two with five runs in the second inning and cruised to an 8-3 win that clinched the season series 3-1.

WWCC, currently fourth in the league standings, slipped to 12-8 in the East and 22-12 overall. Walla Walla fell to 1-7 in games against the top three teams in the region - CBC, Yakima Valley and Treasure Valley.

Columbia Basin pulled into a first-place tie with YVC with Saturday's sweep. Both teams are 16-4.

WWCC scored twice in the first inning of game one on a Chance Kopacz fielder's choice and a Kyle Sani double to center field.

The Warriors added eight tallies in the home half of the second. Kasey Knigge had a pair of RBI hits in the inning, a double and a single, Marc Garza and Mike Paulson added two-run base knocks, and Sani contributed a run-producing infield hit.

The last run of the inning crossed on a CBC error.

Columbia Basin scored its five runs in the third with the assistance of three Walla Walla errors.

Jared Jordan got one back for the Warriors in the bottom of the fourth with a single to left.

The Hawks took their first lead, 13-11, with a snowman of their own. A pair of Warrior errors helped bring the big inning about.

Garza pulled the Warriors within one, 13-12, with a center-field single in the fifth, and gave WWCC a 14-13 edge in the seventh with a two-RBI double.

Kopacz followed Garza's two-bagger with an RBI single to right to make it 15-13.

But CBC took the lead for good with its final crooked number of the game.

Knigge ended the scoring with a one-out home run to right in the bottom of the eighth.

"I knew they were going to make it a ballgame," WWCC coach Dave Meliah said of his team's mistake-prone menagerie. "They did the little things and took advantage of every mistake we made.

"When we play good defense, we win," Meliah said. "When the defense struggles, it puts us in bad situations."

Brandon Renteria drove in two of the Warriors' three runs in game two with fielder's choice grounders in the fifth and ninth innings.

Michael Leach brought home WWCC's other second-game run with a sixth-inning single.

"It was one of those weird deals where they got the momentum and we didn't get it back," Meliah said. "We didn't make the plays when we had to."

The Warriors continue league play Wednesday at Wenatchee.

First Game

CBC 005 080 050 - 18 21 1

WWCC 280 110 310 - 16 21 6

Reyes, Garza (2), Rapose (2), Rienstra (7), Minnich (8) and McPherson; Lawhead, Arlt (5), Renner (5), A. Garza (8), Wujek (9) and Sani.

HR - WWCC: Knigge.

Hits - CBC: Bushman 3, Acker 3, Cecil 2, Wattenberg 2, Hammer 2, McPherson 2, Reilly 2, Say 2, Minnich 2, Brunetti; WWCC: M. Garza 4, Roberts 3, Sani 3, Knigge 3, Kopacz 3, Windsor 2, Paulson, Jordan, Bonczyk.

Second Game

CBC 050 000 120 - 8 18 1

WWCC 000 011 001 - 3 9 3

Nicholson, Alig (9), Minnich (9) and McPherson; Paulson, James (7), Yundt (9) and Leach.

HR - none.

Hits - CBC: Hammer 3, McPherson 3, Cecil 2, Brunetti 2, Reilly 2, Acker 2, Bushman 2, Say, Schiller; WWCC: Paulson 2, Leach 2, Windsor 2, Renteria, Roberts, Jordan.

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