Blue Devils bounce Bombers

Wa-Hi's baseball team rallies past Richland, 6-5, Saturday for the Class 4A sub-regional championship and heads to Yakima Saturday.

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KENNEWICK - Wa-Hi's 2011 baseball season, though successful, has had its share of adversity despite mostly positive results on the scoreboard.

The beginning of Saturday's Class 4A sub-regional championship game against Richland at LaPierre Field provided more of the same.

The Blue Devils trailed the Bombers, 4-0, after an inning-and-a-half, but rallied from behind to claim a 6-5 triumph to run its record to 20-6.

Next up for Wa-Hi is state tournament action at Yakima County Stadium this Saturday.

County Stadium is one of four sites that will host four-team tripleheaders on Saturday. The opener at that location will pit Richland against Ferris at 10 a.m. and be followed by a 1 p.m. contest between Wa-Hi and either Federal Way or Auburn-Riverside

The winners will square off at 4 p.m. for a berth in the state semifinals the following weekend at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

Michael Pontarolo started a two-run Wa-Hi surge in the second inning with a single. He stole second, moved to third on a grounder, and scored on a Brett Christina double. Another grounder sent Christina to third and Moe Handcox doubled him home.

Jake Campeau relieved Christina in the third and kept momentum in Wa-hi's favor with a pair of strikeouts.

The Blue Devils took the lead for good in the third. Kevin Toon led off with a single, Matt Watson walked, and Campeau doubled in Toon and sent Watson to third.

Pontarolo delivered a single that brought in Watson and Campeau, and gave Wa-Hi a 5-4 edge.

Campeau added a run to the Blue Devils' lead with a one-out home run to right-center in the fifth.

Richland got a tally back in the sixth and threatened in the seventh.

Dillan Klute led off the Bombers' final offensive chance with a double to left-center. But Handcox, playing center field, hit Toon, the shortstop, with a laser throw. Toon relayed a toss to third baseman Jake Jimenez, who put the tag on Klute and deny his try for a triple.

Rivhland's Zach Rapacz reached on error and Kenton Brunson singled to put runners at first and second.

Campeau, though, got Jarrod Turner to hit into a game-ending 5-4-3 - Jimenez to Pontarolo to Taylor Lemke - double play to end the game.

Campeau scattered seven hits over his five-inning stint and struck out four.

"We've had our backs to the wall, but this team doesn't give up," Wa-Hi coach Keith Gradwohl said. "We've had to deal with some situations where we've had to come from behind and win. Now were ready to rock and roll. We're ready for the challenge."

Wa-Hi 6, Richland 5

Richland 220 001 0 - 5 9 0

Wa-Hi 023 010 x - 6 12 1

Hall, Rapacz (3) and Turner; D. Christina, Campeau (3) and Holbrook.

HR - Wa-Hi: Campeau.

Hits - Richland: Morris 2, Klute 2, Rapacz, Burnson, Turner, Poznanski, Hall; Wa-Hi: Handcox 2, Jimenez, Toon 2, Campeau 2, Pontarolo 3, B. Christina, Thomason.

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