WALLA WALLA - Coach Dave Meliah is pleased with his Walla Walla Community College baseball team's 3-1 record after the first weekend of doubleheader action at the Warriors' Tausick Way field.
But if the Warriors hadn't used up their quota of hits in the first game of Sunday's twin bill against Miles Community College from Miles City, Mont., they might still be undefeated.
The Walla Wallans banged out 19 hits in the opener and rolled to a 16-2 victory. But the Pioneers' Jake Mills shut down the Warriors in the second game, pitching a four-hit complete game as Miles salvaged the nightcap 2-1.
"He threw mostly fastballs and curveballs," Meliah said of the Pioneers' right-hander. "But he threw strikes and he controlled the game. He had only one walk and five strikeouts. He made us put the ball in play and they played good defense behind him. Exactly what he was supposed to do."
Walla Walla pitchers did as well, Meliah said.
Kasey Knigge, Jeff Gillespie and Drew Christina combined to pitch a five-hitter in the first game, with Knigge working the first five innings for the victory. Connor Lawhead pitched the first six innings of the second game and took the loss, with Mike Paulson and Shane Dixon pitching in relief.
"Our pitchers were pretty steady all day," Meliah said. "Nobody dominated, but nobody threw terrible, either, just kind of average. We had 10 walks on the day, which is too many and something we have to clean up. We want to force our opponents to put the ball in play and keep our pitch counts down.
"I thought Connor threw really well," Meliah said of his second-game starter. "To go six innings when a guy's on a 70-to-75 pitch count is pretty good. He gave up eight hits and walked three, but he was mostly around the strike zone. Sometimes you are lucky and sometimes you are not."
The Warriors have two more home games this weekend. Tacoma comes to town for an 11 a.m. doubleheader on Saturday and Grays Harbor invades Sunday for a twin bill, also scheduled for an 11 a.m. start.
Miles 002 000 000 - 2 5 1
Walla Walla 100 200 49x - 16 19 2
Johnson, Christensen (7), Webster (8) and Harris, O'Connell (8); Knigge, Gillespie (6), D. Christina (8) and Turner.
Hits - Miles City: Harris, Nighswonger, Robinson 2, Miller; WWCC: Schuck 3, Paulson 2, Salas 2, Turner 2, Jordan 2, Whitten 2, Poznanski 2, Rambur, Dixon, Puckett, B. Christina.
Miles 010 100 000 - 2 10 0
Walla Walla 000 010 000 - 1 4 0
Mills and Harris, Bohannon (9); Lawhead, Paulson (7), Dixon (7) and Holbrook.
Hits - Miles City: Lafrentz 2, Miller 2, Hortick 2, O'Connell, Robinson, Murdock, Smith; WWCC: Salas, Knigge, James, Poznanski.