RICHLAND — Walla Walla High School lived to play another day here Saturday in Mid Columbia Conference district baseball action.
The Blue Devils defeated Pasco 5-2 in a loser out game that earned them a trip to battle the Greater Spokane League in a regional playoff. Wa-Hi also earned a shot at Richland for the district title.
The Bombers blanked Wa-Hi 10-0 and will take the No. 1 MCC seed into regionals.
“The players and coaches are happy,” Wa-Hi coach Keith Gradwohl said. “We’re still breathing and still playing.”
The Blue Devils took advantage of Bulldog wildness to grab a 2-0 lead after one in the opener. Two walks and two hit batsmen, plus a Zane Henderson single, led to two Wa-Hi first inning runs. With the bases loaded, Trevor Coronado was hit by a pitch to force in one run, and with the bases still loaded, J. J. Zamora worked a walk to force in the second Blue Devil run.
Pasco chipped away and cut the Blue Devil lead to 3-2 after four. Daniel Lake drew a walk in the Wa-Hi fifth and stole second. Henderson plated Lake with a run-scoring single. Zach Zehner delivered Henderson with a double and the Blue Devils gave starting pitcher Adam Mathews some breathing room.
Mathews didn’t need much breathing room as he retired 12 of the last 13 Bulldogs that he faced, including the last seven in a row. Mathews finished with a three-hitter, walking two and striking out one.
“He (Mathews) got two-strike counts on a lot of hitters and was able to get guys to swing at his pitch,” Gradwohl said. “He had 1-2-3 innings in four of the seven.”
Wa-Hi, with its trip to regionals wrapped up, ran into Richland’s Mason Hilty in the battle for the No. 1 seed. Hilty limited the Blue Devils to three hits and blanked Wa-Hi 10-0. Daniel Camacho, Henderson, and Ali Buentello collected the only Wa-Hi hits.
“Hilty was in big-time command the whole game,” Gradwohl said. “It was one of those games. Richland had its ace on the hill and our guys battled, but couldn’t get it done.”
Wa-Hi returns to Richland Saturday to battle the No. 2 GSL seed in a loser-out contest at 10 a.m. Richland plays the No. 1 GSL seed at 1 p.m. for a state berth. If the Blue Devils win the first game, they will face the loser of the battle of No. 1s in a loser-out, winner-to-state game.
Pasco 010 100 0 — 2 3 2
Wa-Hi 210 020 x — 5 5 2
Ingram, Scott (5) and Killoy; Mathews and Fulmer, Watilo (6).
Hits — PHS: Kasselder, Beck, Raines; Wa-Hi: Camacho, Lake, Henderson 2, Zehner.
Wa-Hi 000 000 — 0 3 6
RHS 102 043 — 10 9 4
Zehner, Barker (6), Cordeiro (6) and Fulmer; Hilty and Kjarmo.
Hits — Wa-Hi: Camacho, Henderson, Buentello; RHS: Kjarmo 3, Fields, Ruane, March, Hilty, McGeorge, Liikala.