WALLA WALLA — Reid Magnaghi delivered a game-winning RBI single to right field with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night to lift the Walla Walla Bruins to a 4-3 victory over the Meridian Rangers in the first game of an American Legion baseball doubleheader at Walla Walla Community College’s Tausick Way field.
Kyle Barker tossed a six-hit complete game in the nightcap as the Bruins completed the sweep with an 11-2 triumph.
Friday’s wins improved the Bruins’ record to 12-4.
Walla Walla spotted Meridian a first-inning run prior to taking a 2-1 edge in the third on RBI singles by Logan Cordeiro and Kal Gray — who led a 12-hit Bruins’ attack with three knocks apiece.
The Rangers tallied single runs in the fourth and fifth innings before Walla Walla evened the score in the home fifth on a ground single to right by Cordeiro.
In the Bruins’ ninth, Zach Zehner led off with a walk and Cordeiro reached base with a bunt single. Zehner moved up to third base and Cordeiro to second on a wild pitch.
Gray was intentionally walked to load the bases.
One out later, and with the infield drawn in, Magnaghi bounced a Zach Toney pitch to the right side that skipped by the outstretched glove of Rangers’ second baseman Tyler Winkler and produced the game-winning run.
Both teams squandered numerous scoring opportunities. Walla Walla and Meridian combined to strand 22 runners on the base paths.
“Our kids showed a lot of resilience,” Walla Walla coach Jason Parsons said. “We had a lot of chances to score. The truth is, so did they. We were fortunate to pull it out.”
The Bruins scored twice in the home first of game two. Ali Buentello led off with a triple and crossed the plate on a Cordeiro sacrifice fly.
Magnaghi made 2-0 with a successful squeeze bunt.
After yielding a run in the second inning, Walla Walla picked up four runs without the benefit of a hit in the third to take a 6-1 lead.
The Rangers registered their final run in the fourth.
Walla Walla responded with two runs in the fourth inning and three in the fifth. Magnaghi and Robbie Novak brought runs home in the fourth with singles. Gray connected for an RBI hit and Zehner rapped a two-run double in the fifth.
Barker gave up just one earned run, struck out two and did not issue a walk.
“I was impressed with Kyle Barker,” Parsons said. “He was very efficient.”
The Bruins host the Kennewick Bandits for a twin bill at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at WWCC.
Meridian 100 110 000 — 3 9 1
Walla Walla 002 010 001 — 4 12 1
Winkler, Toney (5) and Kreft; Zehner, Eskil (6) and Watilo, Novak (6).
HR — none.
Hits — Meridian: Harris 4, Redford, Kreft, Lainhart, Yrazabal, Cooper; Walla Walla: Cordeiro 3, Gray 3, Magnaghi 2, Kimball, Sumerlin, Novak, Buentello.
Meridian 010 100 0 — 2 6 0
Walla Walla 204 230 X — 11 7 1
Carr, Cooper (4) and Kidd; Barker and Watilo.
HR — none.
Hits — Meridian: Cooper 2, Lainhart, Staggs, Kreft, Yrazabal; Walla Walla: Zehner 2, Buentello, Magnaghi, Novak, Cordeiro, Gray.