Walla Walla Pacific one win from rematch with Mercer Island

Walla Walla's 10-11 All-Stars romp past Chehalis, 15-4, Thursday and face Bonney Lake/Sumner tonight to advance to the title series.

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CHENEY - Just one more win.

That's all the Pacific Little League 10-11s need at the state tournament to play into the championship round and a rematch with Mercer Island.

After a 15-4, four-inning win over Chehalis Thursday, Pacific plays Bonney Lake/Sumner at 6 p.m. today. A win sends them into the two-game championship with Mercer Island, while a loss sends them home in third place.

Devin Oliver pitched the complete-game effort for Walla Walla, giving up four hits, including two 2-RBI home runs by Dakota Hawkins, for the win.

Hawkins' shots were the only runs scored by Chehalis, which outscored its opponents 48-0 in their district game and went 3-1 at state before facing Walla Walla. They had two shutouts and gave up nine runs in the other four games.

"They were averaging one run a game before last night," said Pacific head coach Stacy Bergevin. "We scored 15 runs in four innings. That's a big accomplishment. We were pretty excited. We knew they didn't give up many runs, and we came out and jumped on them early."

Walla Walla opened the top of the first with singles by Mason Knowles and Connor Hoeft, then notched its first out. Ben Ortiz was hit by a pitch to load the bases, then Kobe Morris hit a fielder's choice, knocking out Knowles on the way home but keeping the bases loaded.

Oliver then hit a 2-RBI single. The next Pacific batter walked, loading the bases again, and Alex Johanson's grounder turned into an error, scoring Morris. Josh Bergevin walked again on bases loaded, bringing home the fourth and final run of the inning after 10 batters.

Chehalis's scored two in the second, when Oliver hit one and Hawkins hit the first of his two homers - but the other three batters were strikeouts.

Walla Walla continued the offensive attack with a three-run second. Hoeft singled, then Levi Haen doubled to score him and Ben Ortiz was hit by pitch, making it a quick score and runners on first and second with no outs. Morris bunted, moving everyone up, then Oliver hit a grounder to shortstop. Another Chehalis error on Oliver's hit brought in two more runs for a 7-2 advantage.

In the third, Hoeft hit a solo home run to make it 8-2. Chehalis scored its second pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, when Bryce Dobyns doubled and Hawkins hit his second two-run homer, ending his day at 2-for-2 with two home runs and four RBI.

At 7-4, it was still a winnable game - but Pacific put it out of sight with a seven-running fourth.

Ortiz, Morris and Oliver singled but the next two batters were strikeouts. Jack Weigand singled, scoring Ortiz, then Knowles singled to score Oliver and Morris for an 11-4 lead.

Hoeft reached first on an error, then Haen doubled to clear the bases for a 14-4 lead. Ortiz was up to bat again and doubled, scoring Levi for the final run of the game.

Chehalis managed two on base in the bottom of the fourth but it wasn't enough, and a strikeout, groundout and popout ended the game.

Tonight's game with Bonney Lake/Sumner pits Walla Walla against one of the tougher district champions in the league. Bonney Lake is from District 10 and also notched its only loss of the year against Mercer Island, falling 12-8.

Walla Walla lost to Mercer 6-4. Mercer Island is from District 9.

"District 9 and District 10 are two of the strongest districts in the state, and we're right up there with them," Bergevin said. "Tonight, we just need to stay away from giving up the big inning. That's hurt us in a couple of games, so we need to play good defense and continue to get good pitching. That's the goal. If we can minimize mistakes, we know we can hit with anyone.

"We're in a position not too many teams in our league have been in, and we're pretty excited.

"The boys are pumped up," he continued. "They know that this is a special run. They're fully aware of what they've done and they want tonight's win so they can have a rematch with Mercer Island."

Walla Walla 15, Chehalis 4

Pacific 431 7 - 15 13 0

Chehalis 202 0 - 4 4 3

Oliver and Ortiz; Clevenger, C. Bull (2) and Hawkins, Clevenger (2).

HR - Pac: Hoeft. Chehalis 2: Hawkins 2.

Hits - Pac: Knowles 2, Hoeft 3, Haen 2, Ortiz 2, Morris, Oliver 2, Weigand. Che: Dobyns, Hawkins 2, Thornburg.

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