WALLA WALLA - Pitching dominated in opening round action of the District Five 11-12 Little League baseball tournament here at the Valley Complex.
Isaiah Standard and Dexter Aichele combined to stop Asotin County on two hits. Walla Walla Pacific advanced to today's winner's bracket match with a 6-1 win.
Touchet Valley's Kyle Gradwohl pitched a two-hit shut out to propel Touchet to a 9-0 win over Walla Walla Valley.
In 9-10 All Star play, Walla Walla Pacific scored three runs in the fourth to ice a 7-2 win over Asotin County. Walla Walla Valley exploded for 12 runs in the third inning and ripped nine hits as WW Valley defeated Touchet Valley 17-0.
Today the 10-11 All Stars begin a best-of-three playoff for a ticket to Cheney and a berth in the 10-11 state tournament. Walla Walla Pacific and Walla Walla Valley will play game one of their best-of-three at Valley Field at 10 a.m. this morning.
In 11-12 action, also at Valley, Pacific and Touchet Valley square off in a winner's bracket battle at 1 p.m. Asotin County and Walla Walla Valley meet in an elimination game at 4 p.m.
At 11 a.m., Asotin County and Touchet Valley square off in a 9-10 elimination battle. At 2 p.m., Pacific and WW Valley meet in the winner's bracket. Both games are scheduled for Field 2 at the Valley Complex.
11-12 All Stars
WW Pacific 6, Asotin County 1
After a scoreless first, this one looked liked a pitching dual between Asotin's Jordan Bolen and Pacific's Standard.
Pacific got a lead off single from Riley Winnett to open the second, and Pacific broke this one open.
Michael Daniel drew a walk, and an errant pitch got Winnett to third. Winnett scored on an errant pitch as Daniel raced to third.
Grayson Gillin got his safety squeeze bunt down and Winnett scooted home with Pacific's second run.
Jarod Ortiz singled, Mitch Lesmeister followed with a base hit to drive Gillin home and Ortiz would score on a TV error and Standard had more than he would need with a 4-0 lead.
"We had a nice inning there," Pacific manager Rod Fazzari said. "We put some pressure on their defense with the bunt. Grayson Gillin getting that bunt down was a big deal. With Isaiah (Standard) on the mound, all I want is one run."
Asotin got one back in the home second. Blake Callahan got one of only two hits that Standard allowed, took advantage of a Pacific error, and after Hunter Hansen drew a walk, Asotin had runners at first-and-third with one out. Hansen broke for second and stayed in a run down long enough for Callahan to score, but Standard escaped without further damage.
"That team (Asotin) won the 11-year old state championship (in 2010)," Fazzari said. "They are a great ball club."
This one belonged to Standard. Asotin only managed a one-out fourth-inning single by Callahan the rest of the way.
Pacific tacked on two more in the sixth on Standard's two-run single and Standard struck out the first batter he faced in the home sixth.
That was 85 pitches for Standard and he finished his night by striking out 15 of the 16 outs he recorded.
"He (Standard) was fantastic," Fazzari said. "When he's on, he's very tough to get the bat on. When he's ahead in the count, I just don't know what you can do from that distance. He throws hard. He's got a great curve, and a change up that he can locate."
Aichele came on in relief to get the last two outs in order, and Pacific moved into today's winner's bracket battle.
Touchet valley 9, WW Valley 0
Gradwohl's first-inning double and a RBI ground out by Tanner Bren produced an early 1-0 TV lead.
Touchet Valley broke this one open in the second.
An infield single by Ezekial Gonzalez followed a walk to Devin Newman and the merry go-round started.
Ben Kleck ripped a shot up the middle that was knocked down but went for an infield hit that knocked in Newman with the first TV score of the inning.
Touchet Valley used two walks and a WWV error to tally five times before WWV could escape the second.
Kleck added a solo home run in the fourth, and Dylan Knowles' RBI single in the fifth ran the TV advantage to 9-0.
The nine spot was more than enough for Gradwohl.
Gradwohl was touched for a lead off single by Jacob Terry in the second and a one-out bunt single by Terry in the fourth. The only other WW Valley base runner was Evan Smith who drew a walk in the second. No WWV runner got past second. Gradwohl struck out 13, including five of the last six, in going the distance.
"That was fun," TV manager Jon Gradwohl said. "Kyle Gradwohl was looking forward to the game. I was a bit worried as he (pitcher Gradwohl) hadn't been on the mound in two weeks. I watched him warm up, and he was a little off. He got stronger as the game went on."
Touchet Valley pounded out eight hits as Gradwohl led the way with three and Kleck chipped in two.
"Kyle hit the ball well and Ben (Kleck) really hit the ball well," manager Gradwohl said. "I was glad to see the top of the order really swing it today."
9-10 all stars
WW Pacific 7, asotin county 2
Singles from Taylor Hamada and Kyren Morris sandwiched around a walk to Anthony Senne gave Pacific a 1-0 lead after one.
Asotin took advantage of four walks to get even at 1-1 heading to the home second.
A Kristopher Serrano double eventually led to Pacific's go-ahead run. Serrano would come around to score on an Asotin error and Pacific would take the lead for good at 2-1 after two.
Pacific, behind a run-producing triple from Nathan Treadway, tacked on two more in the third, and then put this one away with a three-run fourth.
Hamada's second of his three hits was the only hit for Pacific in the third, but three walks, a hit batsman, and one Asotin error led to the three runs as Pacific jumped the lead to 7-1.
Asotin added one in the fifth, but the pitching of Austin Olson, Treadway, and Chase Phipps limited Asotin to only two hits as Pacific marched into today's winner's bracket with the 7-2 win.
WW valley 17, touchet valley 0
Javon Handcox, Ricky Oliver, and Jared McAlvey all had first-inning singles for WWV as Walla Walla scored three times and never looked back in posting the 17-0 win.
WWV put this one away with a 12-run, four-hit third.
Two-run singles from both Josh Rose and Kyler Tiner, plus a two-run triple from Handcox keyed the uprising.
Touchet Valley only managed one hit, an Eli Williams first-inning single, as Touchet Valley looks to avoid elimination today at 11 a.m. against Asotin County.
11-12 All Stars
WW Pacific 6, Asotin County 1
WW Pacific 040 002 - 6 7 1
Asotin Co 010 000 - 1 2 4
Standard, Aichele (6) and Lesmeister, Bridges (5); Bolen, Hill (3), Magnuson (5), Poe (6), Callahan (6) and Gingerich, Poe (4), Magnuson (6).
Hits - WWP: Standard 2, Winnett, Ortiz 2, Lesmeister, Zehner; AC: Callahan 2.
Touchet Valley 9, Walla Walla Valley 0
Touchet Valley 151 110 - 9 8 0
WW Valley 000 000 - 0 2 5
Gradwohl and Dunn, Kleck (4); Blackman, Liening (2), Shafer (6) and Terry, Hammond (3), Terry (5).
HR - TV: Kleck.
Hits - TV: Gradwohl 3, Gonzalez, Kleck 2, Knowles, Fedderson; WWV: Terry 2.
9-10 All Stars
WW Pacific 7, Asotin County 2
Asotin County 010 010 - 2 2 3
WW Pacific 112 30x - 7 6 2
Olszewski, Gwinn (3), Renzelman (4) and Savolainen; Olson, Treadway (4), Phipps (5) and Hamada.
Hits - AC: Judy, Renzelman; WWP: Hamada 3, Morris, Treadway, Serrano.
WW Valley 17, Touchet Valley 0
Touchet Valley 000 0 - 0 1 6
WW Valley 41(12) x - 17 9 0
Helm, Willis (1), Loper (3), Williams (3) and Swan, Helm (3); Handcox, Ahrens (2), Swant (3), Holtzinger (4) and Ahrens, Swant (2), Ahrens (3).
Hits - TV: Williams; WWV: Handcox 3, Oliver, McAlvey, Swant 2, Tiner, Rose.