ANACORTES, Wash. - Walla Walla's Daniel Lake proved to be his own best friend here Sunday during the Washington Junior American Legion state baseball tournament.
Lake pitched a complete game and supported his own cause with three hits, two runs batted in and one run scored as the Bruins defeated Anacortes 3-2 for their second state tourney victory in as many days. Walla Walla opened state play Saturday with a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over University of Spokane.
"It was the Daniel Lake show for sure," Bruins coach Jason Parsons said. "It was the late game against the home team, a very tough environment, and Daniel pitches a gem. What a wonderful day."
Lake scattered nine Anacortes hits, struck out four and walked just one over his seven innings of work on the mound.
"He changed speeds so well and just pounded the strike zone," Parsons said of Lake. "He never made it easy for Anacortes."
Nevertheless, the Steamers took the first lead of the game in the top of the third inning when Alex Johnson doubled and scored on Tyler Neville's single.
The Bruins bounced right back in their half of the third on Lake's first hit of the game, followed by back-to-back singles by Daniel Camacho and Zane Henderson.
Walla Walla took its first lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jarrod Needham drew a two-out walk, advanced to second on Kelton Fulmer's drag-bunt single and then kept going to third when nobody covered the bag. Lake's second single scored Needham for a 2-1 Walla Walla lead.
It was back to square one in the top of the sixth, however, as the Steamers tied the game at 2-2. Tanner McLoughlin and Jared Douglas each singled, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and McLoughlin scored on Jay Kiesser's two-out single.
Needham got things started for the Bruins again in the bottom of the sixth, this time with a single. Fulmer put down a sacrifice bunt and Lake followed with a line-drive single to right-center field to drive home Needham for what proved to be the winning run.
Johnson collected his second hit of the game to open Anacortes' seventh inning. But Lake picked him off first base and induced a pair of fly balls to finish off the victory.
The victory marks the first time in the program's history that the Bruins have two state victories under their belts. Walla Walla qualified for state last year for the first time, won its first game and then dropped its next two.
The Bruins will try to make it three wins in a row tonight at 7 when they face Ferndale, the only other undefeated team on Walla Walla's side of the bracket.
"You've got to win six games here to win it all, and that's a lot of games," Parsons noted. "There were 16 teams here to begin with and there are 12 left. Four have been sent home."
Parsons planned to send Zack Zehner to the hill tonight against Ferndale.
"It's going to be a tough test for us," Parsons said. "From what we've seen, Ferndale is a very potent team. We have our work cut out."
Walla Walla 3, Anacortes 2
Anacortes 001 001 0 - 2 9 1
Walla Walla 001 101 x - 3 11 2
Irving and Johnson; Lake and Daniel, Fulmer (3).
Hits - Anacortes: Johnson 2, Neville 2, McLoughlin, Douglas, Gallo, Kiesser 2; WW: Lake 3, Camacho 2, Henderson 2, Reardon, Arellano, Needham, Fulmer.