WALLA WALLA - On a damp, rainy afternoon in Walla Walla, the Walla Walla Bears' play mirrored the weather for the better part of five innings before Walla Walla scored six runs in three innings against the Pasco Sun Devils to snag a 6-5 win at Walla Walla Community College's Warrior Field Thursday.
"We have a lot of room for improvement, but this team has a very high ceiling," Bears coach Brian Kitamura said in an e-mail. "Our guys are working hard every day and hopefully the resilience we showed in clawing back to take this game will be a key experience we can build off of."
The Sun Devils struck first, pushing across three runs in the third inning thanks to defensive miscues by the Bears, who had four errors in the game.
In the top of the fourth, Pasco threatened again with runners on first and second, but Walla Walla's Pete Bakker fielded a single to right and gunned down the runner attempting to score from second. Pasco was able to tack on another run in the fourth to make it 4-0.
The Bears began chipping away in the bottom of the fifth. Will Parnicky got the rally started with a single. After Colton Bickelhaupt hit into a fielder's choice, Moe Handcox smoked a ball to center that got past the centerfielder to plate Bickelhaupt.
While the Bears got one more in the sixth, the Sun Devils responded with a run of their own to make it 5-3.
Heading into the seventh, down by two, the Bears hitters adjusted.
Bickelhaupt drew a base on balls to get things started and Handcox sent a second ball up the middle with that the centerfielder again missed, allowing Handcox to move up to third. Josh Eggers then walked to set the stage for Conner Holbrook, who's sacrifice fly to center tied the game at 5-5 with two outs. Kevin Toon laced a 1-1 pitch up the middle to score Eggers and win the game.
"Toon came up huge in a clutch situation," Kitamura said. "He put a great swing on the baseball."
Game two of the double header was called before it got started due to the rain and lightning.
The Bears (4-1) square off with Pasco again at Pasco High School today at 4 p.m.
Walla Walla 6, Pasco 5
Pasco 003 100 1 - 5 7 2
Walla Walla 000 021 3 - 6 6 4
Thornhill and Weiss; Lawhead and Holbrook.
HR - none.
Hits - Pasco: Cantu, Gill 2, Hinkson, Stephens, Ramos, Weiss; Walla Walla: Handcox 2, Holbrook, Toon 2, Lawhead, Parnicky.