WALLA WALLA — After having its eight game win streak stopped in a double dip loss to Columbia Basin Saturday, it took Walla Walla Community College 90 minutes to start another NWAACC East region baseball winning streak here Wednesday.
The Warriors took just over 90 minutes and Drew Christina’s seven-hit complete game to post a 5-2 win over Big Bend in the opener. The Warriors pounded out 15 hits to run their new winning streak to two with a 14-6 win in the nightcap
“It’s really important to see how the guys are going to regroup (after CBC),” Warrior coach Dave Meliah said. “We had a good practice yesterday, so I was confident that we had picked ourselves up off the scrap heap, but you never know until you get in game situations.”
The Warriors lost a ball in the sun that fell for a Dylan Signorelli double and led to a Viking second-inning run. That 1-0 lead stood to the home fourth.
Jarod Gonzales led off the Warrior fourth with a slow roller to second base that he beat out with a head first dive into first.
“It’s a matter of one or two guys doing something positive and it steamrolls,” Meliah said. “Something small like that can get everybody excited. That got it going for the rest of the day.”
Ryan Neal followed Gonzales with a single and, with one out, Jesse Houser knocked in Gonzales and Trevor Jones followed with an RBI single to get Neal home. The Warriors never trailed again in posting the sweep.
Gonzales added a two-run homer into the bullpen in right field in the fifth to run the lead to 4-1.
“At this level, you are not going to find too many hitters better than Jarod,” Meliah said. “We’re real happy with what he’s been doing.”
Christina, the ex-Wa-Hi southpaw, faced one batter over the minimum from the third to the top of the ninth to earn the 5-2 win.
“The big change came after the first couple of innings,” Christina said. “I talked to (pitching) coach (J. C.) Biagi and he told me I was doing too much. I was trying to mix pitches. He told me that I had the stuff and not to be tentative but to attack. I got into attack mode and told myself that I would only need one pitch (fastball). I threw it to the best of my ability and good things happened.”
The Warrior defense turned a double play, catcher Conner Holbrook threw out a base stealer, Christina picked off a base runner, and Christina faced 19 batters to get 18 outs over that six inning stretch.
“We had some excellent plays on pop ups in the sun,” Christina said. “I appreciate that any day.”
The Warriors took advantage of three Viking errors and RBI hits from Holbrook, Neal, and Kevin Toon to score five times in the third to break open the second game and go up 6-0 after three.
Cody Poznanski drove in one with a single in the fourth. Trevor Jones plated Jarrod Turner in a two-run fifth. Holbrook’s two-run single highlighted a four-run Warrior sixth, and Tony Salas’ double drove in the 14th WWCC run in the seventh.
“There have been times this year when we haven’t done that,” Meliah said. “It was nice to see us keep adding runs. They (BBCC) didn’t quit playing and played hard to the end. It was important to add on those extra runs.”
For the Vikings, DeSales alum Spencer Cordiero pitched two scoreless innings in relief, and collected a pinch-hit single.
The wins move the Warriors into a tie with Yakima Valley for second in the East at 15-7. WWCC hosts Blue Mountain Saturday at 1 p.m.
“First is well within our reach,” Christina said. “We weren’t flawless today, but we knew what it took to get the job done and we executed that plan. You can make the playoffs with that attitude.”
BBCC 010 000 001 — 2 7 0
WWCC 000 221 00x — 5 10 0
Johns, Cordiero (7) and Noyola; Christina and Holbrook.
HR — WWCC: Gonzales.
Hits — BBCC: Stearns 2, Signorelli, Darlington 2, Walker 2; WWCC: Gonzales 3, Wolfe 2, Neal, Houser, Jones 2, Salas.
BBCC 000 040 101 — 6 14 6
WWCC 015 124 10x — 14 15 3
Higley, Gonzales (4), Maio (5), Shaffer (6), Lybbert (7), Walker (8) and Schmedding; Houser, Bettinson (8), Brockman (9) and Turner.
Hits — BBCC: Signorelli 2, Darlington 2, Schmedding, Smith 3, Lyons 2, Howland 2, Daily, Cordeiro; WWCC: Wolfe 2, Neal 3, Jones 2, Salas 2, Poznanski 2, Toon, Bakker, Holbrook 2.