WALLA WALLA - It took six innings for Walla Walla Community College to get its offense operating on all cylinders Sunday afternoon at the Warriors' Tausick Way field.
That turned out to be too late in the first of a non-league baseball doubleheader but just in time to salvage a split with the Prairie Baseball Academy.
The Academy, which had suffered 6-5 and 11-8 defeats to the Warriors in an earlier Walla Walla visit, took Sunday's first game 7-5 thanks to an early 5-0 lead. But the Warriors erased a 2-0 deficit in the second game with three runs in the bottom of the first and then rallied twice more in the middle innings to eke out an 8-7 victory in the nightcap.
"We made some uncharacteristic errors in that first game," Warriors coach Dave Meliah said. "We didn't play great, but we battled until the last out and had the tying run on base in the ninth inning.
"Then we just kept coming back every time we got down," Meliah said of his second-game victory. "The guys competed hard and found a way to get a win against a very good opponent."
The visitors scored twice in the third inning to take a 4-3 lead in the nightcap. Then, after Walla Walla had scored twice to lead 5-4 after five innings, Prairie struck for three more runs in the top of the sixth for a 7-5 lead.
But Jared Jordan's two-run single in the bottom of the sixth, one of his two hits in the game and his third on the day, gave the Warriors the lead and WWCC's bullpen did the rest. Connor Lawhead came on in relief of Drew Christina to the seventh inning and slammed the door.
Jordan slammed a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning of the opener to finally put the Warriors on the scoreboard and draw them to within 5-3. It was his fourth homer of the season.
Garret Puckett also homered for Walla Walla, a solo shot in the seventh that was his first of the year. Puckett also had a ninth-inning single while Cody Poznanski led WWCC's nine-hit attack with three singles and a run scored.
"This is a great group of guys," Meliah said. "They work their tails off in practice and play hard during games. We are enjoying coaching them."
The Warriors are now 8-4 on the season, including Saturday's 9-2 and 13-3 sweep of Skagit Valley, and have two more home doubleheaders in the wings before going on the road for the first time this season.
Walla Walla entertains Edmonds Saturday in a 11 a.m. twin bill.
PBA 000 032 110 - 7 10 1
Walla Walla 000 003 101 - 5 8 3
Regan, Lencucha (8), Davis (9) and Steinke; Knigge, Gillespie (6), Brockman (7) and Turner.
HR - WWCC, Jordan (4), Puckett (1).
Hits - PBA: MacInnis, Wood, Steinke 3, Barry, Lomean 2, Pelham, Temple; WWCC Schuck, Poznanski 3, Jordan, Dixon, Rambur, Puckett 2.
PBA 202 003 000 - 7 10 3
Walla Walla 300 023 00x - 8 8 2
Spencer, Cisar (6), Paulson (7), Davis (8) and Paulson; D. Christina, Lawhead (7) and Holbrook.
HR PBA, Paulson.
Hits - PBA: Gouthro 4, Steinke 2, MacInnis 2, Romaniuk, Paulson; WWCC: Schuck, Poznanski, Jordan 2, Puckett, Kilpatrick, Holbrook 2.