KIRKLAND - Walla Walla's bats came alive Sunday as the Griz defeated the Northwest Bandits twice, 11-1 and 9-1, during the second day of a season-opening American Legion Single A baseball tournament.
The Griz faltered in the final innings during Saturday's first day of play, losing to SM Sports 8-7 and Lakeside 4-3 in eight innings.
"We struck out a lot in our first two games," Griz coach Ryan Van Dyke said. "But we limited our strikeouts on Sunday and that helped our offensive production.
"Overall, I thought that we showed we could compete," Van Dyke added. "We came back strong after a couple of tough defeats and scored some runs. And our pitching was great the whole way through, although we were unable to close out those first two games."
Blake McKinney pitched a five-hit complete game in Sunday's finale and Ryan Kimball allowed just four hits in going the distance on the mound earlier in the day. McKinney struck out four and walked one while Kimball had 11 strikeouts, walked four and hit three batters.
Reid Magnaghi stroked two singles and a double in the second win over the Bandits, scored three times and drove in a pair of runs. Kimball doubled twice and scored two runs and Alex Lybbert had a pair of hits, two RBIs and a run scored.
Kyler Anderson and Gavin McEvoy had two hits each in Sunday's first game plus a run scored and an RBI each. Magnaghi added a two-run single.
In Saturday's loss to SM Sports, Walla Walla took advantage of 14 walks and a pair of hit batters to fashion a 7-2 lead after six innings. But SM Sports scored six times in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out the victory.
"We had six walks plus two errors and a hit batter in the seventh inning," Van Dyke said. "In fact, one of the hit batters forced in the winning run."
It was a similar story in the loss to Lakeside in the tournament opener.
The Griz rallied for single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game at 3-3 and eventually force extra innings. But in the bottom of the eighth, a walk, an unsuccessful fielder's choice and an error loaded the bases, and a hit batter pushed home the winning run.
The Walla Wallans return to action Wednesday when they entertain the Milton-Freewater Blazers at the Walla Walla Community College diamond.
Griz 11, Northwest Bandits 1
Walla Walla 340 004 - 11 11 2
Northwest Bandits 001 000 - 1 5 0
McKinney and Lybbert; Unavailable.
Hits - WW: Magnaghi 3, McEvoy, Kimball 2, Arellano, Elsom, Lybbert 2, Cordeiro; NW: Unavailable.
Griz 9, Northwest Bandits 1
Northwest Bandits 010 000 - 1 4 0
Walla Walla 211 041 - 9 8 0
Unavailable; Kimball and Watilo.
Hits - NW: Unavailable; WW: Magnaghi, Watilo, Arellano, McEvoy 2, Coronado, Anderson 2.
SM Sports 8, Griz 7
Walla Walla 011 050 0 - 7 2 4
SM Sports 110 000 6 - 8 4 2
Anderson, Watilo (7), McKinney (7) and Lybbert; Johnson, Gardner (4), Savage (6) and Menssen.
Hits - WW: Kimball, Coronado; SM Sports: Wright, Merritt, Leverett, Uno.
Lakeside 4, Griz 3
Walla Walla 001 011 00 - 3 7 2
Lakeside 101 100 01- 4 5 2
McEvoy and Watilo; Unavailable.
Hits - WW: Watilo, McKinney, Kimball 2, Arellano, Elsom, Gray; Lakeside: Unavailable.