Blue Devil hardballers split in Kennewick

Wa-Hi rallies to the 7-6 win the opener, but the Lions respond with a 10-8 victory in the nightcap.

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KENNEWICK - Wa-Hi split a nonleague baseball doubleheader with Kennewick Tuesday afternoon.

The Blue Devils picked up the 7-6 first-game win, but dropped the nightcap 10-8.

In both games, the Blue Devils fell behind early, but rallied back.

The rally worked in the first game.

The Blue Devils were behind, 6-3, at the bottom of the fourth inning, but knocked in one run in the fifth and two in the sixth, then the go-ahead score in the seventh.

"We had some big hits in those innings," said Wa-Hi coach Keith Gradwohl.

Moe Handcox started the sixth with a one-out double, then Jake Jimenez scored him with a double of his own. Kevin Toon had a base-knock single with runners at first and third, then advanced to second on the throw.

Matt Watson brought Jimenez home on a base knock to tie it up.

Jake Campeau led off the seventh with a single and moved to second on an error, then Jacob Thomason moved him to third. Michael Pontarolo's base knock up the middle scored Campeau for the winning run.

The Blue Devils' Drew Christina relieved starter Matt Watson in the sixth.

"He was lightening," Gradwohl said of Christina, who struck out four batters in the last two innings for the win.

Christina and Watson allowed Kennewick 13 hits on the day.

But Kennewick, a Big Nine Class 3A club, struck back in the nightcap.

Wa-Hi fell behind early and came back with three runs in the sixth, trailing 10-4.

But four more runs in the seventh weren't enough in the 10-8 loss.

Toon doubled, Watson was hit by a pitch and Josh Eggers walked, then Michael Lesmeister hit a double to the right-field fence to score Toon and Watson.

Tyler Stevenson banged out a two-run single to clear the bases and move to first.

"We couldn't push the tying runs in," Gradwohl said. "We brought it to the plate in the seventh and battled back.

"Kennewick's a tough 3A club. Although we'd like to sweep, we came away with a split against a quality club. We feel pretty good."

The Blue Devils are now 4-3 on the season. They play at Pendleton in a single game next Tuesday and open their league schedule April 8, when they host Eisenhower with a 2 p.m. doubleheader.

Wa-Hi 7, Kennewick 6

Wa-Hi 100 212 1 - 7 14 1

Kenn 500 100 0 - 6 13 1

Watson, D. Christina (6) and Holbrook. Westermeyer, Plew (4), Darby (7) and Wilz.

HR - Kenn: Wilz.

Hits - Wa-Hi: Handcox 3, Jimenez 2, Toon 2, Watson 3, Christina, Campeau 2. Pontarolo 1. Kenn: Stemp 3, Darby 2, Loftus 2, Gonzales, Wilz, Fulton 2, Pocasangre, Guin.

Kennewick 10, Wa-Hi 8

Wa-Hi 010 003 4 - 8 11 1

Kenn 012 070 x - 10 11 1

Campeau, Parnicky (6) and Holbrook, Furstenberg (6). Murillo, Molnaa (4), Ayres (7) and Wilz.

HR - none.

Hits - Wa-Hi: Toon 3, Watson, B. Chrstina, Lesmeister 2, Stevenson 2, Pontarolo 2. Kenn: Stemp 2, Darby, Loftus, Gonzales 2, Fulton 2, Poscasangre, Ramos.

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