Bruins begin district tournament Saturday

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— The Walla Walla Bruins will face the Richland Knights Saturday in their first game of the Central Washington Junior American Legion district baseball tournament.

The Bruins enter postseason play as the Central Washington League's No. 4 seed while the Knights are seeded No. 5. The game is slated for 4 p.m. in Selah.

Walla Walla and Richland split a July 13 regular-season doubleheader at Warriors Field on the Walla Walla Community College campus.

That was the day the Bruins' Daniel Lake fired a no-hitter for a 1-0 victory in the first game of the twin bill. The Walla Walla left-hander struck out four and walked three as he outdueled the Knights' Trey Hardy.

Lake also singled in the first inning of that game and eventually came around to score the game's only run. The only run he would need.

Richland roared back in the nightcap for a 14-3 victory.

However, Lake won't get the call Saturday, according to Bruins coach Jason Parsons. He's tabbed Luke Reardon as his starting pitcher in the district opener.

"Luke's been our ace all season long," Parsons said of Reardon, who did not face the Knights back in June.

Walla Walla, 16-10 on the season, enters district play as one of eight qualifiers from the 14-team league. District is divided into two brackets, with four teams getting together in Selah and four others in Kennewick.

In the other first-round game in Selah, the No. 1-seed Yakima Peppers will face the eighth-seeded team. The Kennewick Dusters, Kennewick Bandits and Moses Lake Walleyes were involved in a mini-playoff to determine which team would earn the final district slot.

The Kennewick side of the bracket includes the Kennewick Phantoms (No. 2) vs. West Valley (No. 7) and the Hanford Flames (No. 3) vs. Othello (No. 6).

If the Bruins defeat the Knights Saturday afternoon, they will take on the winner of the Yakima Peppers game Sunday at 1 p.m. If they lose to Richland, the Bruins will fall into a loser-out game Saturday night at 7.

The double-elimination tournament continues through Monday. Each bracket's champion will advance to the state tournament while the second-place teams square off in the district's final game to determine the third and final state berth.

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