Bruins bash D-backs 11-0, take title

Walla Walla Bruins first baseman Robbie Novak (left) reaches for the tag on a Kuna Diamondbacks player during their championship game Sunday in Walla Walla.

Walla Walla Bruins first baseman Robbie Novak (left) reaches for the tag on a Kuna Diamondbacks player during their championship game Sunday in Walla Walla. Adam Hutson

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WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla claimed the 2013 Bruins AA American Legion baseball tournament title here at sun-drenched Borleske in Sunday championship action.

The Bruins scored in every inning to defeat the Kuna Diamondbacks of Kuna, Idaho, 11-0 and claim the 2013 title.

“The thing that pleases me, is that every kid played in this championship game,” Bruins coach Jason Parsons said. “Every kid produced throughout the tournament. We really are a team. We don’t just have nine guys and a bunch of substitutes. We have 15 guys that can play.”

The Bruins’ Ali Buentello reached on an error to open the Bruins first. A walk, and a wild pitch later, Kal Gray’s infield grounder plated Buentello and the Bruins had the lead for good. Adam Eskil, who reached on the walk, eventually scored on an errant pitch and the Bruins led 2-0 with Kuna coming to bat.

Logan Cordeiro, the Bruin starter on the mound, enticed three infield ground outs to retire the D-Backs in order and the Bruins went back to work.

Ryan Kimball led off the Walla Walla second with a home run blast over the left field fence. Two out later, Colby Watilo singled and the Bruins went on to load the bases for Gray. Gray lined a two-run single and Walla Walla took a commanding 5-0 lead.

“He (Kuna pitcher Colt Conley) came with a couple of breaking balls and got me 0-2,” Gray said. “He came with a fast ball inside and I said ‘I have to put this in play somehow to try and score them.’ I just lifted it over (the infield).”

The Bruins played add on the rest of the way. A Robbie Novak double led to a third-inning run. Zach Zehner’s double and a Trever Coronado sac-fly highlighted a three-run Bruin fourth. A Coronado single plated Gray, who singled to open the Bruin fifth, and Coronado eventually scored on a wild pitch to run the final to 11-0.

On the hill, Cordeiro worked four scoreless innings and allowed only three hits as his defense played errorless ball behind him.

“Logan was fantastic,” Parsons said. “He was able to get his off speed pitches over for strikes. His fast ball ran in on guys and ate them up a little bit. (And) we played error free ball and that really, really pleases me.”

Gray celebrated his birthday with a three-hit performance to lead the 10-hit Bruin attack. The Bruins finished the tournament 5-0, and Gray collected seven hits and knocked in eight runs.

“I’m just staying relaxed and trying to not let anything get to me,” Gray said. “Just hitting the ball and seeing where it goes.”

“Kal Gray is so hot, he’s been like that for over two weeks,” Parsons said. “It’s hard to take him out of the lineup.”

The Bruins improve to 18-5 for the season with the tournament championship and travel to Boise Thursday for the Boise Firecracker Tournament.

“We’re good,” Gray said of the Bruins to this point. “We, for sure, can get better.”

In other tournament results, Washington Rush claimed third place with a 3-2 win over Sumner.

Walla Walla 11, Kuna 0

Bruins 231 32 — 11 10 0

D-Backs 000 00 — 0 3 2

Cordeiro, McKinney (5) and Watilo, Novak (4), Daniel (5); Conley, Cavanaugh (4) and Millspaugh, Lawrence (5).

HR — WW: Kimball.

Hits — WW: Kimball, Watilo, Gray 3, Novak, Zehner, McKinney, Sumerlin, Coronado.

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