WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Bruins earned a berth in the championship game of the Washington American Legion Class AA State Baseball Tournament with a pair of loser-out victories Wednesday night at Walla Walla Community College’s Tausick Way field.
The Bruins toppled Buckley-Enumclaw, 13-3, and Mason, 11-7. Walla Walla collected 30 hits on the day — 15 in each game.
“We hit the ball hard most of the day,” Walla Walla coach Jason Parsons said. “Even some of the outs were hit hard.
“We played pretty solid defense,” Parsons said. “Now we need to get rested up and ready to play (today).”
Walla Walla will play Eastlake for the Class AA state crown today at 1 p.m. at Borleske Stadium. Both teams will enter the final day of the tournament with identical 5-1 tourney records.
Walla Walla 11, Mason 7
The Bruins scored seven times in the fifth inning and held off a late Mason charge to punch their ticket to today’s title game.
Kal Gray got Walla Walla on the board with a first-inning single.
Colby Watilo almost single-handedly produced a Bruins’ run in the second. He singled with two out, stole second base, and scored on an Ali Buentello hit.
Mason evened the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second before Walla Walla took advantage of an error in inning four to take a 3-2 edge.
The Bruins broke the game open in the fifth. David Pontarolo drew a bases-loaded walk, Watilo lifted a sacrifice fly to center, Buentello ripped an RBI double, Gray singled for a run, and Zach Zehner stroked a two-run single.
A wild pitch resulted in a run prior to Buentello’s two-bagger.
Walla Walla scored its final run in the seventh.
Mason picked up five runs in the last of the seventh, but would fall short in its quest to keep its season alive.
Starting pitcher Logan Cordeiro allowed just two runs and four hits over the first six innings before tiring in the seventh.
“Logan changed speeds and kept their hitters off balance,” Parsons said.
Walla Walla 13, B-E 3
Zehner gave up just three runs and five hits in the contest that was called after six innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“Zach was pretty dominant, which is not surprising because he has good stuff,” Parsons said.
The Bruins scored twice in the second inning and added two more runs in the third. Gray led off the third with a double and scored on an Adam Eskil single.
Robi Novak made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly to center.
Buckley-Enumclaw scored twice in its half of the third before Walla Walla struck for five tallies in the fourth. Novak carded an RBI with a bases-loaded walk, Matt Daniel dropped a two-run single into left, and Blake McKinney connected for an RBI single.
The final run of the fourth scored on a balk.
The Bruins registered three runs in the fifth inning. Trevor Coronado hammered a two-RBI double to left-center and Daniel poked a sacrifice fly.
Walla Walla’s last run scored in the sixth on an infield out off the bat of Gray.
Walla Walla 11, Mason 7
Walla Walla 110 170 1 — 11 15 1
Mason 020 000 5 — 7 9 2
Cordeiro and Watilo; Shelton and Follett.
HR — none.
Hits — Walla Walla: Buentello 3, Gray 3, Magnaghi 2, Watilo 2, Zehner 2, Sumerlin, Eskil, McKinney; Mason: Bishop 3, Schlesser 2, Shelton 2, Stutesman, Logan.
Walla Walla 13, Buckley-Enumclaw 3
Walla Walla 022 531 — 13 15 2
Buckley-Enumclaw 002 100 — 3 5 1
Zehner and Daniel; Henke, Whitmore (3), McCullough (4), Estes (6) and Sines.
HR — none.
Hits — Walla Walla: Eskil 4, Buentello 3, Coronado 3, McKinney 2, Gray, Kimball, Daniel; Buckley-Enumclaw: Klapperich, Webster, Henke, McCullough, Sines.