YAKIMA - Dylan Peters proved to be a pain in the petute for Walla Walla all night long as the West Valley Bees swept a Central Washington Junior American Legion League baseball doubleheader from the Bruins here Tuesday, 6-1 and 6-5.
Peters stroked three singles, drove in a run and scored once in the first game. He then pitched a complete game in the nightcap and belted a bases-loaded, game-ending triple in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"He was tough on us all night," Bruins coach Jason Parsons said.
The two losses dropped Walla Walla to 7-9 in league play and 9-9 overall heading into this weekend's 11th annual Bruins Sweet Onion Invitational 10-team tournament in Walla Walla.
"We're struggling a little bit right now," Parsons said. "And coach Murphy (assistant coach Matt Murphy) and I can't quite figure it out."
Jarrod Needham pitched a complete game for Walla Walla in the opener. He was touched for 10 hits and didn't receive much in the way of offensive support.
The Bruins tallied their only run in the fifth inning when Matt Daniel reached base on an error, moved into scoring postiion on Daniel Lake's base hit and scored on a single by David Pontarolo. Pontarolo and Zane Henderson had two hits each to lead Walla Walla's modest six-hit attack.
The Walla Wallans outhit West Valley 8-6 in the second game and were on the verge of garnering a split through the first six innings. But two walks and an error loaded the bases for the Bees in the bottom of the seventh, and Peters' ringing triple to the fence plated three runs and turned a Bruins victory celebration into a disappointing defeat.
It was Peters' second hit of the game and fifth in the doubleheader.
The Bruins had scored twice in the fourth inning on a triple by Henderson, Julian Zamora's single and two West Valley errors. They added a single run in the fifth on a single by Daniel Camacho, a walk and Pontarolo's RBI single. And they picked up two more runs in the sixth when Julian Zamora tripled, Lake singled for a run, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on Needham's sacrifice fly.
"Zane Henderson is really seeing the ball well right now," Parsons said as he searched for a bright spot in his team's disappointing double dip. "He has a good approach and is squaring up pitches. He's our hottest hitter right now."
The Bruins open tournament play Thursday night at Walla Walla Community College when they face the Washington Rush at 8 p.m. The Walla Wallans face Hammer Electric Friday at 5:15 p.m. and play twice on Saturday, vs. Hodgen Distributing at 2:30 p.m. and the Coeur d'Alene Loggers at 5:15.
Those five teams will make up the tournament's Maroon Division, with the Legacy Legends, Salem Senators, Sumner Bandits, Toyota Baseball and Yakima Junior Beetles comprising the Gold Division. Games will be played at Borleske Stadium and Murr Field in addition to those played out on Tausick Way.
Sunday's schedule will feature five cross-division games, with matchups based on each team's record within its division.
Walla Walla 000 010 0 - 1 6 3
West Valley 121 002 x - 6 10 1
Needham and Daniel, Flippo (5); King and Hinton.
Hits - WW: Lake, Pontarolo 2, Sumerlin, Henderson 2; West Valley: Engquest, Hood, Schneider, Peters 3, Conrad, Dean, Thomason 2.
Walla Walla 000 212 0 - 5 8 3
West Valley 100 200 3 - 6 6 2
Zehner, Henderson (4), Camacho (7) and Daniel, Flippo (5); Peters and Johnston.
Hits - WW: Pontarolo, Henderson 2, Zamora 2, Lake, Camacho 2; West Valley: Enqquest, Schneider, Hinton, Peters 2, Loye.