Twins pull off split with Walla Walla Bears

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LEWISTON, Idaho — After pelting Lewis-Clark pitching for 37 hits in the first three games of a four-game American Legion baseball series that concluded here Sunday at Lewis-Clark State College, the Walla Walla Bears offense ran out of gas in the fourth and final game.

The home-standing Twins salvaged the final meeting of the series with a 3-2 victory in 11 innings in the second game of Sunday’s twin bill after Walla Walla had rolled to a 10-0 six-inning victory in the opener. The Bears began the series Saturday with 12-0 and 8-3 victories, also on the L-C State Warriors’ diamond.

By taking three of the four contests, Walla Walla upped its season record to 27-10, with one tie. The Bears wrap up their season Tuesday when they entertain the Columbia Gorge Hustlers from The Dalles, Ore., in a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Walla Walla Community College.

The Bears continued Saturday’s hot hitting — they totaled 21 hits over 13 innings in the sweep — with a 16-hit onslaught in Sunday’s first game. Josh Eggers, Dylan Shuler and Pete Baker led the way with three hits each and J.J. Zamora and Daniel Lake chipped in with two hits apiece.

But Walla Walla managed just six hits in Sunday’s second game and was shut out over the final eight innings of the 11-inning affair. Bakker picked up two more hits, which gave him 10 hits for the weekend, and Moe Handcox had two hits to extend his personal hitting streak to 17 games.

Interestingly, Sunday’s games were as much about pitching as they were about hitting as far as the Bears were concerned.

A.J. Carkner went the distance on the mound in the opener and blanked the Twins on three hits. Tyler Hamilton pitched all 11 innings of the second game and strung together nine consecutive scoreless innings after allowing the Twins a pair of scores in the bottom of the first.

“A.J. has been strong for us all summer,” Bears coach Brian Kitamura said of Carkner. “His confidence is starting to build and he’s getting good movement on his pitches. He’s not just throwing, he’s pitching.”

As for Hamilton, Kitamura said:

“This was probably the best we’ve seen Tyler all summer. His velocity was still in the mid to upper 80s late in the game, which was really encouraging to see. It’s a shame to took another hard-luck loss because he has thrown the ball very well for us.

“Tyler’s another great kid with a huge upside.”

First Game

Walla Walla 101 206 — 10 16 1

Lewis-Clark 000 000 — 0 3 3

Carkner and Hamilton, Richman (6); Ralstin and Briney.

Hits — WW: Eggers 3, Shuler 3, Handcox, Hamilton, Bakker 3, Cordeiro, Zamora 2, Lake 2; L-C: Blunt, Eggleston, VanHorn.

Second Game

Walla Walla 002 000 000 00 — 2 6 2

Lewis-Clark 200 000 000 01 — 3 7 3

Hamilton and Richman; Blunt, Urquhart (8) and Briney, Shandrick (8).

Hits — WW: Camacho, Handcox 2, Bakker 2, Cordeiro; L-C: Fuller, Urquhart, Blunt 2, Martin 2, Scheibe.

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