Warriors go simple in split with Knights

The WWCC baseball team digs a big hole it can't get out of in an opening loss to Wenatchee, but rides pitching to a shutout in the nightcap.

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WALLA WALLA - The Wenatchee Valley Knights stormed onto Warrior Field and took the first game of a doubleheader, 9-7, despite two home runs by Walla Walla Community College catcher Jarrod Turner.

Walla Walla recovered in game two, allowing just four Knight base runners and scoring four of its own runs to win, 4-0.

The Warriors are now 13-9 in the East Region of the NWAACC while the Knights are now 9-13.

Walla Walla dug themselves an early hole in game one, allowing five runs in the first inning. Two of the base runners that scored reached on a walk and hit-by-pitch. A hits batsmen forced in another Wenatchee run.

The Knights had four base hits to fuel the rally.

"It is tough to come back when you get behind that early," WWCC coach Dave Meliah said. "But we battled, we didn't just roll over and die. We gave ourselves a chance, which is a sign of a team playing to win.

"I'd be a lot more disappointed with game one if I felt like my team just quit and I didn't see that."

The Warriors pounded out 17 hits in the opener, but could only score the seven runs.

After Turner's second home run - in bottom of the ninth with two outs - the Warriors left the tying runs in the batter's box and the on-deck circle.

The Warriors just couldn't get enough clutch hits.

"A lot of our hits were with no one on base, either to lead off an inning or two outs with nobody on. We left some runners out there in scoring position and that happens sometimes."

In game two, WWCC had all the hitting that it needed with four runs and six hits.

Three Warrior pitchers - Shane Dixon, Joe Arlt and Connor Lawhead - combined for the two-hit shutout on defense.

The biggest hit of the game may have come from Dixon. Walla Walla was ahead 1-0 in the bottom of sixth when Dixon singled with runners on second and third and one out to make it 3-0.

The Warriors tacked on another run in the seventh on an RBI single by Jared Jordan, which scored Neal Schuck.

Walla Walla had already scored a single run in the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Cody Poznanski walked and moved to second on a fielding error of a bunt.

A fielder's choice groundout moved the two runners up a base and an RBI groundout by Jordan made it 1-0.

"Baseball can be as simple or as difficult as you make it," Meliah said. "The first game we made it pretty difficult for ourselves and the second game we made it a lot simpler."

Walla Walla hosts Blue Mountain at 1 p.m. for an NWAACC twin bill.

First game

Wenatchee 500 120 001 - 9 9 1

WWCC 030 000 301 - 7 17 1

Robinett, Hansen (6) and Valdez. Knigge, Omoto (5), Campeau (6) and Turner.

HR - Wen: Haehl. WWCC: Turner 2.

Hits - Wen: Berneski, Hines, Haehl 2, Valdez, Huesers 3, Griffiths. WWCC: Schuck 2, Knigge 2, Jordan 3, Turner 3, Kilpatrick 2, Salas, Dixon 2, James 2.

Second game

Wenatchee 000 000 000 - 0 2 1

WWCC 100 002 10x - 4 6 0

Drury, Dockins (7) and Valdez. Dixon, Arlt (6), Lawhead (9) and Turner.

HR - none.

Hits - Wen: Huesers, Weber. WWCC: Shuck, Jordan 2, Kilpatrick 2, Dixon.

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