WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Griz took advantage of some shoddy defense to defeat the Yakima Beetles rookie team 7-4 in the first game of a non-league American Legion Single A baseball doubleheader Sunday at Murr Field.
The Griz returned the favor in the second game as they booted the ball four times and were victimized by an eight-run Yakima rally in the seventh inning as the Beetles prevailed 12-6 to salvage a split.
The Walla Wallans takes a 7-3 season record into a Central Washington League doubleheader Wednesday against the Richland Knights. The games are slated at the Walla Walla Community College diamond and the first pitch is set for 5:30 p.m.
Walla Walla snapped a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning of the first game, taking advantage of two of Yakima’s six errors in the game to score four times. The first two runs were earned as Alex Lybbert and Justin Elsom drew walks and rode home on Anders Davidson’s double, but Davidson scored on the Beetles’ first error and Josh Needham, who walked, scored on a second error.
The Beetles outhit the Griz 9-2 in the game but couldn’t overcome their defensive woes. Other than Davidson’s double, the only other Walla Walla hit was a Wyatt Taylor single in the sixth that did not figure into the scoring.
The Griz nursed a 5-4 lead going into seventh inning of the nightcap but couldn’t contain the Beetles, who bunched five walks, three hits and an error to plate eight runs.
“It was our fourth game in two days and we were missing one of our pitchers,” said Griz coach Ryan Van Dyke, who changed pitchers twice in the seventh to no avail. “I thought we had a good plan going into the seventh but it didn’t work out.”
The Griz outhit the Beetles 8-7 in the second game, led by Nelson Carpenter’s four hits, which included an RBI single in the sixth. Josh Needham had an RBI double in the game and Davidson and Joe Yenney delivered run-scoring singles.
Following Wednesday’s doubleheader, the Griz will host their own invitational tournament beginning Friday. Ten teams will be in town and games will be played at WWCC, Borleske Stadium, Murr Field and Ray Lane Field.
Walla Walla’s first assignment will be against the Roundtable Saxons of Spokane Friday at 3 p.m. at Warriors Field on the WWCC campus.
Yakima 000 121 0 — 4 9 6
Walla Walla 004 210 x — 7 2 1
Brown, Williamson (6) and Roy; Carpenter, Needham (5), Davidson (6) and Lybbert.
Hits — Yakima: Havfe, Johnson 2, Roy 2, Stephens, Mendiola 2, Kuebler; WW: Davidson, Taylor.
Yakima 000 040 8 — 12 7 3
Walla Walla 200 021 1 — 6 8 4
Johnson and Roy; Lesmeister, Aichele (5), Davidson (7), Elsom (7) and Leahy.
Hits — Yakima: Williamson 2, Tvenst, Ganfivs, Stephens 2, Gomez; WW: Lybbert, Davidson, Yenney, Carpenter 4, Needham.