YAKIMA — After an unsteady start, Kyle Gradwohl righted the ship by pitching eight scoreless innings and key the Walla Walla Cubs 3-2 victory in 10 innings over the Yakima Rookie Beetles here Sunday.
The victory gave the Cubs a summer baseball sweep of the Beetles to extend their season record to 9-7. The Walla Wallans prevailed 11-3 in Sunday’s first game.
Gradwohl was touched for a pair of Yakima runs in the first inning but was stingy thereafter. Walla Walla picked up single runs in the second and seventh innings to forge a 2-2 tie and send the game into extra innings.
After neither team dented the scoreboard in the eighth and ninth innings, the Cubs pushed across the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th. Lowden Smith, who pitched five scoreless innings to pick up the victory in the first game, took over for Gradwhol in the bottom of the ninth and was the winning pitcher in the nightcap as well.
“It was nice to get the victory after such a great pitching performance by Kyle,” Cubs coach Kevin McNeil said of Gradwohl. “He struggled a little bit in the first inning and then got into a great rhythm.”
Gradwohl kept his pitch count under 100 through his eight innings of work. He scattered five hits while striking out six.
The opener wasn’t nearly as suspenseful as the Cubs plated three runs in the first inning and three more in the second.
Another three-run rally in the top of the fourth made it a 9-0 score and McNeil was comfortable in taking Smith off the mound in favor of Justin Olivares, who worked the final two frames.
The Cubs will be back in action Tuesday when they travel to Richland to take on the Hanford Junior Flames in a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Richland High School.
Walla Walla 330 302 0 — 11 7 0
Yakima 000 003 0 — 3 5 2
Smith, Ju. Oliverars (6) and Heytvelt; Stephens, Gomez (4) and Brown
Hits — WW: Larsen, Smith 2, Hano, Gradwohl 2, Arellano; Yakima: Gomez, Roy 2, Fuerst, Brown.
Walla Walla 010 000 100 1 — 3 6 1
Yakima 200 000 000 0 — 2 4 2
Gradwohl, Smith (9) and Spencer; Williamson and Roy
Hits — WW: Warner, Smith, Gradwohl 2, Heytvelt 2; Yakima: Deleon, Gomez, Johnson, Furest.