Warrior hardballers 2-2 on opening weekend

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WALLA WALLA — One day after pounding out 29 hits and sweeping Centralia 14-7 and 9-6, Walla Walla Community College found itself on the other end of the spectrum as it hosted the Prairie Baseball Academy Sunday.

The visitors crunched WWCC pitching for 26 hits and took advantage of seven Warriors errors en route to a 7-0, 14-1 sweep that left Walla Walla with a 2-2 record.

“It’s hard to win games when you struggle in just one area — offense, defense or pitching,” Warriors coach Dave Meliah said. “Today we weren’t good in all three of those areas resulting in two really poor showings.”

In addition to the seven errors in the field and all the hits Walla Walla pitchers yielded, the Warriors managed just six hits over 18 innings. They scored their only run of the day in the final inning of the nightcap on a double by Brett Christina that plated Mo Handcox, who had reached base when he was hit by a pitch.

Conner Holbrook collected WWCC’s only other hit with a third-inning single.

The Warriors managed four singles in the first game, one each by Cody Poznanski, Corey Morris, Tony Salas and Pete Bakker.

Drew Christina allowed three earned runs on six hits over six innings in the first game and was the lone bright spot in the pitching staff, according to Meliah.

“Drew had a solid outing, but we didn’t do anything to help him,” the coach said.

Travis Steinke paced Prairie’s 11-hit attack in the first game with three singles and three runs batted in. Tyson Zarowny and Ryan Pidhaichuk had two hits and two RBIs each.

Cory Wood stroked three singles and knocked in two runs in the nightcap for the visitors. Evan Comeau, Mitch Dormblunt and Taylor Wolstenholme contributed two singles each and Pidhaichuk, Steinke and Dylan Doucette slugged doubles, the team’s only extra base hits.

“The only good things is that it is early in the season and we have a lot of time to correct some of the problems that we saw today,” Meliah said. “We expect a lot more of this group of players.”

Next up for the Warriors are Olympic and Pierce, who are coming to town this weekend. The Rangers take on the Warriors Saturday in an 11 a.m. doubleheader and the Raiders will provide the opposition in Sunday’s 11 a.m. twin bill.

First Game

Prairie 001 020 400 — 7 11 0

Walla Walla 000 000 000 — 0 4 3

Major, Kosteniuk (7) and Steinke; D. Christina, Munos (7), Douglas (7), Klute (9) and Turner.

Hits — Prairie: Pidhaichuk 2, Domblunt, Steinke 3, Wood, Doucette, Clausen, Zarowny 2; WWCC: Poznanski, Morris, Salas, Bakker.

Second Game

Prairie 034 003 013 — 14 15 0

Walla Walla 000 000 001 — 1 2 4

McDonald, Cooper (7), Harvie (8) and Steinke, Sakatch (8); Bettinson, Plew (3), Dixon (6), Brockman (8), Carkner (9) and Holbrook.

Hits — Prairie: Comeau 2, Pidhaichuk, Domblunt 2, Steinke, Wood 3, Doucette, Porter, Wallace, Wolstenholme 2, Zarowny; WWCC: B. Christina, Holbrook.

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