RICHLAND - The Walla Walla Bruins moved within one victory of the American Legion AA state tournament with a 6-1 win over Richland's Knights here Sunday.
The Bruins again face Richland at 5 p.m. tonight at Richland High School, needing one victory over the Knights in two possible games tonight to advance to state. If the Bruins were to lose twice, they would play again Tuesday against the runner-up in the other district bracket for the third slot to state.
Walla Walla coach Jason Parsons said the story of the game was the pitching of Luke Reardon.
"Luke was tough yesterday," Parsons said. "He changed speeds and location. He stymied Richland the whole way, and they're a good hitting team."
Reardon recorded five strikeouts while giving up two walks and no earned runs.
The Bruins held a one-run lead in the bottom of the second when Daniel Lake singled, followed by Will Parnicke's hit-and-run single that moved Lake to third. Lake scored on a fielder's choice by Cody Furstenberg, and Parnicke scored on Sean Hollenbeck's sacrifice fly to center field.
Back-to-back singles by Moe Handcox and Josh Eggers resulted in the final run of the inning. Handcox, who stole second after his single, was able to come around on Eggers' single as the Bruins went up 4-1.
The bottom of the sixth inning looked remarkably similar to the second for the Bruins. Lake singled, Parnicke had another hit-and-run single through the four hole to move Lake to third, and Furstenberg bunted Lake home while Parnicke went to second. Parnicke advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored the final run of the game on Hollenbeck's fielder's choice.
"We played pretty good baseball yesterday," Parsons said of the 32-16 Bruins. "We had solid defense and we hit. If anything else, we're all sure having a lot of fun."
Bruins 6, Knights 1
Richland 010 000 0 - 1 4 2
Walla Walla 130 002 x - 6 8 1
Ruane and Shelby. Reardon and Lemke.
HR - none.
Hits - Rich: Weitz, McGeorge, Hilty, Shelby. WW: Handcox, Eggers 2, Lemke, Lake 2, Parnicke 2.