Bears runners-up in Missoula tourney

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MISSOULA, Mont. - The Walla Walla Bears put up 62 hits in six games over the weekend at the Memorial Tournament in Missoula, Mont., and advanced to the tourney championship before falling to the Missoula Mavericks, 2-1, in a pitchers' duel Sunday.

The Bears had previously defeated the Mavericks 6-4 on Friday night, but this time were unable to crack the Missoula pitching staff until scoring the lone run in the sixth inning.

"The Mavericks are a very well coached team, so it was a treat to get to play them," Bears coach Brian Kitamura said. "Friday night and Saturday night were very alike in terms of a playoff atmosphere. It was very good experience for us and the tournaments that we have coming up."

Despite coming out on the losing end in the championship, Kitamura raved about starting pitcher Jake Campeau's performance.

"Jake Campeau threw an outstanding game," Kitamura said. "That might have been the best game he's thrown in a Bears uniform. He threw strikes and was able to keep them off balance with his curveball. He was definitely very overpowering at times."

The Bears' Moe Handcox, who had at least one hit in each game for 10 total in the tournament, picked up three hits in the title game and almost changed the outcome in the top of the seventh.

After the Bears scored a run in the fifth to bring the score to within one off Kevin Toon and Pete Bakker singles, Handcox took the plate with two outs gone in the seventh to represent the tying run.

Handcox send a long drive off the left-center field wall, just below the 410 feet distance mark.

The fleet-footed Handcox turned the slam into a double, but was stranded to end the game.

"We're definitely making good strides as a team," Kitamura said. "We have a lot of work to do, but a lot of that has to do with getting all of our players to reach their potential so we can meet our potential as a team. We have a very high ceiling as a team."

The Bears are now 11-4 overall and host the Hanford Flames tonight at 6 p.m. for a nine-innging long single game at Walla Walla Community College.

Walla Walla then travels to the High Desert Classic in Ephrata on Thursday to face the Tri-County Outlaws at 3 p.m.

Thursday's Games

Walla Walla 9, Casper 3

Casper 000 01 - 1 3 6

Walla Walla 080 1x - 9 7 0

Keith, Doerr (4) and Lucrow; Lawhead and Holbrook.

HR - none.

Hits - Casper: Robinson, Huber, Lucrow; Walla Walla: Handcox, Eggers, 2, B. Christina 2, Bakker, Parnicky.

Walla Walla 11, Spokane Bandits 2

Spokane 010 01 - 2 2 4

Walla Walla 350 3x - 11 8 6

Pate, Keegan (4) and Chapman; Campeau and Holbrook.

HR - none.

Hits - Spokane: Bozett, Bledsoe; Walla Walla: Handcox, Toon 2, Bakker 2, Lemke, Cordeiro, Parnicky.

Friday's Game

Walla Walla 6, Missoula 4

Missoula 000 300 1 - 4 7 2

Walla Walla 202 101 x - 6 10 3

Kesseler and Heggen; Christina and Holbrook.

HR - Walla Walla: Lemke.

Hits - Missoula: Rheinschmidt 3, King, Meader, McHugh 2; Walla Walla: Handcox 2, Eggers 2, Holbrook 2, B. Christina, Lemke, Cordeiro, Parnicky.

Saturday's Game

Walla Walla 15, Spokane 6

Spokane 600 00 - 6 11 2

Walla Walla 066 3x - 15 12 1

Cox, O'Leary (4), and Erickson; Cordeiro and Lemke.

HR - none.

Hits - Spokane: Henry 3, Knowles, Rowton, Beach, Schmauch 2, Noonan, Downey 2; Walla Walla: Lawhead, Eggers, Handcox 2, Toon 2, B. Christina, Cordeiro, Pontarolo 2, Parnicky.

Sunday's Games

Walla Walla 20, Butte 12

Butte 301 071 - 12 10 6

Walla Walla 272 432 - 20 15 5

Maloney, Harney (2), Kissell (4) and Daum; Parnicky, Bakker (5), Lemke (6) and Lemke, Holbrook (6).

HR - none.

Hits - Butte: Kissell, Curren 2, Davies, Sletten 2, Daum, McCarthy, Billteen 2; Walla Walla: Lawhead 3, Eggers 2, Handcox, Holbrook, Lemke 3, Cordeiro 2, Pontarolo 3.

Missoula 2, Walla Walla 1

Walla Walla 000 001 0 - 1 5 0

Missoula 020 000 x - 2 4 2

Campeau and Holbrook; McHugh, King (5) and Heggen.

HR - none.

Hits - Walla Walla: Handcox 3, Toon, Bakker; Missoula: Heggens, Preston, Meader, Maier.

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