RICHLAND - The West Valley Bees led throughout an American Legion AA district matchup Saturday.
But then came the bottom of the seventh, when Walla Walla's Bruins scored three runs to tie it and one more in the eighth for the 6-5 win.
"The kids really clutched up," said Bruins' coach Jason Parsons.
The win moves them to the next round of the double-elimination tournament.
"Like everyone else, we want to stay in the winner's bracket," Parsons said. "We like where we're at right now, opening with a win."
The next team they'll face is the top-seeded Richland Knights, who are hosting the tournament on their own field. They play at 1 p.m. today.
"We're two wins away from going to the state tournament," Parsons said.
But the Bruins wouldn't be here without some tough play in the seventh inning.
Sean Hollenbeck opened the bottom of what would've been the game's final stanza with a walk, then Moe Handcox was hit by a pitch and Josh Eggers hit a fielder's choice to advance them. Tyler Lemke hit a grounder to third to score Hollenbeck.
Spencer Cordeiro next worked an eight-pitch at bat before knocking a double to right-center field to score Eggers. Michael Lesmeister hit an RBI double down right field to score Cordeiro, tying the game.
Handcox kept the Bees quiet in the top of the eighth, and his offense supported him in the bottom of the extra frame.
Will Parnicky was hit by a pitch, Cody Furstenberg sac-bunted Parnicky to second and Hollenbecky hit a linve drive single over the shortstop's head to score Parnicky for the go-ahead run.
"It was a pretty fun game to be a part of," Parsons said. "Now, we move on to the second round."
Walla Walla 6, West Valley 5
West Valley 302 000 00 - 5 10 0
Walla Walla 010 100 31 - 6 8 2
Peters, Ross (7) and LaRiviere; Handcox and Lemke.
Hits - West Valley: Thomason 2, Onustock, Ross, Gravbrot, Bonnet 2, Schwartz 2, LaRiviere. Walla Walla: Handcox, Cordeiro, Lesmeister 2, Lake 2, Parnicky, Hollenbeck.