YAKIMA — The Walla Walla Cubs 16U independent select baseball team is in the championship game of the Summer Sizzler Wood Bat Tournament today at 2 p.m. after winning a trio of games Friday and Saturday on the campus of Yakima Valley Community College.
The Cubs opened the tournament with a 4-3 victory over the West Valley Bees Friday and went on to beat Selah Pepsi Pak 10-2 in Saturday’s first game and the Kennewick Dusters 6-4 in the nightcap.
Kennewick held the Cubs without a run until the seventh inning of their game, taking a 4-0 lead into the frame after scoring three runs in the first and adding another in the fifth inning.
The Cubs, however, managed a six-run rally highlighted by a Koty Hano triple that cleared the bags and gave Walla Walla the lead for good.
“The kids battled all day and finally in the seventh the ball started falling our way,” Cubs coach Kevin McNeil said. “We had about six or seven hard-hit balls hit at players early in the game that, if the ball was hit 5 feet either way, they would have been hits, but that is baseball.
“Koty Hano has been swinging a great bat for us all year long,” McNeil said. “Koty has come along way this year to be a very successfully hitter for us, which is a testament to his hard work that he puts in.”
Walla Walla didn’t wait around to score its runs in Saturday’s first game, however.
The Cubs scored seven runs in the first inning and tacked on three more en route to a 10-2, five-inning quickie.
In his debut as a starter, pitcher Havin Heytvelt held Pepsi Pak without a through four innings.
“He did a great job with keeping the Pepsi Pak batters at bay and throwing strikes to get us the victory in this shortened game,” McNeil said.
On Friday the Cubs rebounded from six errors to post a 4-3 victory over the Bees.
West Valley held a 3-1 lead after scoring three runs in the first when Walla Walla responded with a three-spot of its own in the fifth to secure the win.
Starter Talen Larsen was efficient in recording a one-hitter, tossing just 74 pitches in six innings. Lowden Smith recorded his first of two saves in the tournament by striking out the side in the seventh.
“The coaches were quite happy with how the team overcame the early errors to get the W,” McNeil said.
Cubs 10, Selah Pepsi Pak 2
PepsiPak 000 02 — 2 5 2
Cubs 711 01 — 10 10 0
Emmal, Archer (3) and McNutt. Heytvelt, Hano (5), Larsen (5) and Spencer.
Hits — PepsiPak: Monson, Dietrich 2, Doam, Quincy; Cubs: Larsen 2, Warner 2, Smith 2, Hano, Spencer, Gradwohl, Heytvelt.
Cubs 6, Kennewick Dusters 4
Cubs 000 000 6 — 6 4 3
Dusters 300 010 0 — 4 5 3
Gradwohl, Smith (7) and Heytvelt, Spencer (6). Garrard, Mulderig (7) and Mavth.
Hits — Cubs: Smith, Hano, Warner, Spalinger; Dusters: Dearing, Symmons, Pflieger, Avery, Mavth.
Cubs 4, West Valley Bees 3
Cubs 010 030 0 — 4 8 6
Bees 300 000 0 — 3 1 2
Larsen, Smith (7) and Spencer. Pfett and Orvald.
HR — Cubs: Smith.
Hits — Cubs: Larsen 2, Warner, Smith 2, Gradwohl 2, Spalinger; Bees: Orvald.