WALLA WALLA - A trio of Walla Walla Griz collected two hits apiece and pitcher Zach Zehner recorded his seventh win of the summer during a 13-3, loser-out victory over the Hermiston Shockers in single A district baseball action Saturday afternoon at Walla Walla Community College's Tausick Way field.
Ali Buentello, Daniel Heath and Tyson Snarr were the Griz registering multiple hits in the game, which was stopped after four-and-a-half innings on the 10-run mercy rule.
Zehner allowed just four hits.
"He's been our best statistical pitcher," Walla Walla coach Ryan Van Dyke said. "He's improving every time out."
Walla Walla travels to Moses Lake today with state tournament hopes very much alive. The Griz, though, must beat the home team twice to advance to next weekend's single A tourney in Olympia.
Today's activity begins at 1 p.m.
The Griz came out hotter than the summer weather on Saturday. Walla Walla plated five runs on three hits in the first inning. Buentello knocked in the first run with a double to right field. Nate Sumerlin and Heath delivered two-RBI hits later in the frame - a double to right and a single to left, respectively.
Adam Mathews brought home the first tally in a three-run second inning for Walla Walla with a single to right. An error and a passed ball accounted for the latter two runs in the inning.
Buentello increased the Griz lead to 9-0 with a single to left in the third.
Hermiston cut its deficit to seven, 9-2, in the fourth after a Jimmy Garcia double that chased in two runs.
Walla Walla responded with four runs in the bottom of inning four. Heath socked an RBI single, Snarr scored a pair with a triple to center, and the last run came to fruition thanks to a wild pitch.
"That's one of the things we've been pressing this year - approach," Van Dyke said. "After two strikes, you have to open up and protect."
The Shockers added a run in the fifth, but it was not enough to prevent the game from being halted.
Griz 13, Shockers 3
Shockers 000 21 - 3 4 3
Griz 531 4x - 13 10 3
Crawford, Muldoon (3) and Almaguer. Zehner and Fulmer.
HR - none.
Hits - Shockers: Muldoon 2, Demos, Garcia. Griz: Buentello 2, Heath 2, Snarr 2, Sumerlin, Mathews, Martinez, Zamora.