Bears continue to roll through own tournament

The Bears play earn a berth in the tournament semifinals today with one victory on Friday and two more on Saturday.



Walla Walla Bears pitcher Connor Lawhead throws in the final inning while taking Eastside out in five innings with the 11-0 mercy rule win Saturday afternoon at WWCC.


Bears center fielder Moe Handcox runs down a ball to hold the batter at first in the top of the fifth inning and help preserve the 11-0 mercy rule win Saturday at WWCC.

WALLA WALLA - The Walla Walla Bears earned a berth in the semifinals of their annual summer baseball tournament with a pair of wins on Saturday at Walla Walla Community College's Tausick Way field.

Walla Walla defeated Boise, 8-6, after shutting out Eastside Legion, 11-0, behind a three-hit shutout from starting pitcher Connor Lawhead.

"It was nice to see us grind out a win," Walla Walla coach Brian Kitamura said after the Boise triumph. "Connor did a great job. It was a very good team effort (against Eastside Legion)."

On Friday, the Bears got a complete game from southpaw Drew Christina in a 7-1 victory over Spokane. Christina struck out 11 and walked two over seven innings.

"Drew was outstanding," Kitamura said. "He had all three pitches (fastball, curve ball and change-up) working. He had great command of both his fastball and his curve."

Walla Walla will play Tri-County today at 8:30 a.m. at WWCC in one of two semifinal contests that are scheduled. Defending tournament champion Pride Baseball will oppose Spokane at 8:30 at Borleske Stadium in the tourney's other semi.

The winners square off for the tournament title today at 1:30 p.m. on the Walla Walla Community College campus.

Bears 8, Boise 6

Both teams put up five runs in the first inning. Walla Walla's rally was highlighted by Brett Christina's sacrifice fly to left field and RBI hits by Mike Pontarolo and Josh Eggers.

The Bears scored their final three runs of the game in the second inning. Brett Christina lined an RBI single and Taylor Lemke blasted a run-scoring double. Both knocks were driven to center.

An error produced the third run of the frame.

Walla Walla starter Kalani Omoto threw hitless ball in innings two through four and earned the victory. Spencer Cordeiro allowed a run and two hits over the final three innings to record the save.

"We did a good job of responding to adversity after the first inning," Kitamura said. "Kalani and Spencer did a very good job of keeping their hitters off balance."

Bears 11, Eastside Legion 0

Conner Holbrook collected RBI singles in the first, third and fourth innings during Walla Walla's romp that was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

The Bears' Kevin Toon brought in the second tally during a three-run first inning rally with an infield out and Jake Campeau lifted a sacrifice fly to right for the last run of the stanza.

Following Holbrook's hit in the third, Walla Walla scored two more runs - one on an error and another on a Brett Christina grounder.

Holbrook started the scoring in a five-run fourth inning with his third hit of the game. Four more runs crossed the plate thanks to a hit by pitch, a two-RBI hit by Brett Christina, and an error.

"That was the game we needed to win and we came out swinging," Kitamura said.

Bears 7, Crew 1

Lemke broke a scoreless tie with an RBI grounder in the home half of the second inning.

Pontarolo drove a sacrifice fly to center to give Walla Walla a 2-0 lead in the fourth.

The Bears broke the game open with a five-run fifth. Brett Christina smacked a two-RBI double to right-center, Lemke delivered a run-scoring single to left, and Lawhead and Pontarolo smoked back-to-back RBI doubles.

"We were able to control the game offensively," Kitamura said. "It came from our mental approach - making sure we were locked in at the plate. That comes from the way we play."

Toon and Brett Christina had two hits apiece for the Bears.

Drew Christina possessed a three-hit shutout over the first five innings before surrendering a run and three hits in the sixth.

Bears 8, Bombers 6

Bears 530 000 0 - 8 9 2

Bombers 500 001 0 - 6 4 2

Omoto, Cordeiro (5) and Lemke; Allen, Horner (5), Otazua (7) and Wade, Campanella (5).

HR - none.

Hits - Bears: Toon 2, Pontarolo 2, Eggers, B. Christina, Lemke, Handcox, Bakker; Bombers: Wade, Pogue, Campanella, Lawrence.

Bears 11, Eastside Legion 0

Bears 303 50 - 11 6 0

Eastside Legion 000 00 - 0 3 5

Lawhead and Lemke; Wagner, Raine (4) and Saathoff.

HR - none.

Hits - Bears: Holbrook 3, Handcox, Eggers, B. Christina; Eastside Legion: Adams, Dantini, Jack.

Bears 7, Crew 1

Crew 000 001 0 - 1 6 0

Bears 010 150 X - 7 8 0

Doyle, Thew (5), Gomes (5) and Whiting; D. Christina and Holbrook.

HR - none.

Hits - Crew: Somday 2, Wagner 2, Page, Grogan; Bears: Toon 2, B. Christina 2, Campeau, Lemke, Lawhead, Pontarolo.

2012 Walla Walla

Bears Tournament

Saturday's scores

Walla Walla 8, Boise 6

Walla Walla 11, Eastside Legion 0

Hanford 13, Jerome 11

Tri-County 7, Jerome 2

Pride Baseball 10, Eastside Baseball Club 0

Spokane 7, Boise 5

Spokane 3, Seattle 1

Pride Baseball 5, Hanford 1

Friday's scores

Walla Walla 7, Spokane 1

Pride Baseball 5, Tri-County 0

Spokane 8, Eastside Legion 7

Tri-County 10, Hanford 6

Hanford 18, Eastside Baseball Club 11

Seattle 11, Eastside Legion 1

Jerome 1, Eastside Baseball Club 0

Seattle 4, Boise 3

Today's schedule

at Walla Walla Community College

8:30 a.m. - Walla Walla vs. Tri-County (Semifinal)

11 a.m. - Seattle vs. Hanford (Fifth/Sixth)

1:30 p.m. - Championship game

at Borleske Stadium

8:30 a.m. - Pride Baseball vs. Spokane (Semifinal)

11 a.m. - Boise vs. Jerome (Seventh/Eighth)

1:30 p.m. - Consolation game (Third/Fourth)

at Murr Sports Park

11 a.m. - Eastside Legion vs. Eastside Baseball Club (Ninth/10th)


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