WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Bruins met their match Thursday night at Walla Walla Community College as the visiting Yakima Valley Peppers swept a non-league Junior American Legion baseball doubleheader, 8-2 and 10-6.
“They basically took us out behind the woodshed and bloodied our nose,” Bruins coach Jason Parsons said. “They are probably the best team we have seen so far this season.”
The losses dropped the Bruins’ season record to 11-3. They remain 9-0 in the Southern Division of the Central Washington Junior American Legion League. The Peppers play in the Northern Division.
Walla Walla is idle over the weekend and returns to action Monday when it travels to the Tri-Cities to take on the Kennewick Bandits in a league-counting single game at Southridge High School. Game time is 5 p.m.
The Bruins managed just three hits in the first game — one each by Matt Daniel, Kal Gray and Blake McKinney. Walla Walla’s first run in the fourth inning was the result of Yakima errors, but McKinney singled in the seventh inning, stole second and scored on Daniel’s base hit to account for the second run.
Yakima pitcher Kyle Dexter struck out eight and walked just one in shutting down the Bruins’ offense.
“His stuff wasn’t dominant,” Parsons said of Dexter. “But he was always around the plate and he changed speeds well.”
Josh Yarborough collected two singles and a double, drove in three runs and scored once to lead Yakima’s 11-hit attack. Blake Reeves contributed three singles, two runs and one RBI, and Travis Turner added a pair of singles and scored once.
Each team stroked 11 hits in the second game. Gray and Kyle Barker each singled twice and drove in a run to lead the Walla Walla attack.
“Kal Gray continues to stay hot for us offensively,” Parsons said.
Daniel Spencer doubled twice, singled, drove in two runs and scored once for the Peppers. Dexter stroked two doubles, drove in one run and scored once. And Yarborough had a double and a single and two RBIs.
“They played the game a little cleaner than we did in every phase of the game,” Parsons said of the Peppers. “They could hit, they played good defense and they pitched well.
“It was good for our kids to play a team like that.”
Yakima 201 130 1 — 8 11 3
Walla Walla 000 100 1 — 2 3 1
Dexter and Spencer; Cordeiro, Kimball (7) and Watilo.
Hits — Yakima: Turner 2, Reeves 3, Wells, Yarborough 3, Spencer, Pettijohn; WW: Daniel, Gray, McKinney.
Yakima 020 051 2 — 10 11 3
Walla Walla 020 202 0 — 6 11 4
Hussey, Davis (4) and Spencer; Eskil, Zehner (3), Coronado (6) and Watilo, Novak (5).
Hits — Yakima: Turner, Hussey, Reeves, Yarborough 2, Dexter 2, Streby, Spencer 3; WW: Eskil, Gray 2, Coronado, Pontarolo, Novak, McKinney, Barker 2, Watilo, Sumerlin.