YAKIMA — After stroking 20 hits and scoring 18 runs in the first game and then erupting for eight runs in the first inning of the second game, the Walla Walla Griz nearly ran out of gas in an American Legion Single A baseball doubleheader here Sunday afternoon.
Mitch Lesmeister’s RBI single in the top of the seventh inning gave the Walla Wallans a two-run lead and they held on for an 11-10 victory over West Valley in the nightcap. The first game was no contest as the Griz romped to an 18-2 victory.
The sweep, which followed a pair of losses Saturday in Richland, bumped Walla Walla’s record to 3-2 heading into a Wednesday single game against the Milton-Freewater Blazers. Game time is 5 p.m. at Murr Field.
“They brought in a pretty good relief pitcher in the first inning of the second game and we had some trouble adjusting to him,” Griz coach Ryan Van Dyke said in explaining his team’s offensive stall after scoring 26 runs over the day’s first six innings of play. The first game was called after five innings because of the lopsided score.
“We looked pretty great after scoring eight times in that first inning,” Van Dyke said. “And we were until the sixth inning when West Valley strung together some hits and we made a couple of errors.”
West Valley plated five runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull to within 10-9. But the Griz padded their advantage to 11-9 in the seventh when Anders Davidson doubled and Lesmeister followed with his run-scoring single.
And still the victory was not ensured until Dexter Aichele, the Griz’s third pitcher induced a two-out fly ball to center field with West Valley base runners perched at first and third in the bottom of the seventh. The home team used a walk, two singles and a fielder’s choice to score once in the seventh before its comeback fell short.
Davidson had three of Walla Walla’s seven hits in the second game and scored five runs. Lesmeister finished the game with a pair of hits.
Walla Walla’s eight-run first inning in the nightcap was highlighted by Dakota Arceo’s two-run triple and Joey Camacho’s RBI single.
The opener was a hit parade for the Griz, led by Andrew Feistner, who rapped four singles, drove in four runs, scored three times and stole two bases. Alex Lybbert had a big game as well with two triples and a single, three RBIs, two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. Joe Yenney had a pair of doubles and drove in three runs, and Davidson scored three times.
Walla Walla 641 52 — 18 20 2
West Valley 100 01 — 2 7 4
Yenney and Lybbert; Schaffer, Herke (5) and Orvald.
Hits — WW: Lybbert 3, Davidson 2, Elsom 2, Yenney 3, Needham, Aichele 2, Camacho, Feistner 4, Leahy 2; West Valley: Stein, Caffrey 2, Schaffer 2, Martz 2.
Walla Walla 801 010 1 — 11 7 3
West Valley 003 015 1 — 10 10 6
Davidson, Needham (5), Aichele (7) and Leahy; Wells, Martz (1) and Orvald.
Hits — WW: Davidson 3, Lesmeister 2, Camacho, Arceo; West Valley: Stein 3, Caffrey 2, Schaffer, Martz, Orvald, Herke, Wells.