WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Bears 19-under baseball club team opened the 2013 season Sunday at Walla Walla Community College’s Warriors field with a pair of victories over the Lewis-Clark Twins.
The Bears downed the Twins 8-2 in the opener and rallied from four runs down in the bottom of the seventh inning for an 8-7 victory in the nightcap.
Walla Walla opened the scoring in the third inning of the first game, taking a 3-0 lead off the power of back-to-back RBI doubles from Daniel Camacho and Tyler Hamilton.
The Twins got two back with a two-run homer off Bears starter A.J. Carkner in the fourth. Carkner gave up just two hits in the game while striking out four and walking four.
“It was definitely a good shot,” Bears coach Brian Kitamura said of the home run. “Our pitcher (Carkner) definitely challenged him and he pounded the fastball. That was probably the only mistake Carkner made. That was definitely a strong performance for Carkner in his opening outing.”
The Bears brought the bats in the fifth inning, however, scoring five runs on a Camacho triple, a Pete Bakker double and a two-run blast from Spencer Cordeiro.
Walla Walla took a 3-1 lead after the first inning of the nightcap but Lewis-Clark tied the game with a pair of runs in the second and took a commanding 7-3 lead after scoring four runs in the away sixth on two hits, two errors and two walks.
“Balls were just finding holes,” Kitamura said. “It wasn’t like there were plays to be made, it was just kind of one of those things where they weren’t hitting the ball hard, they were just hitting it in the right spot.”
Walla Walla picked away at the lead in the bottom of the inning, scoring a run on a Camacho sacrifice fly to pull within 7-4.
But luck favored the Bears in the decisive seventh frame, as lead-off man Tyler Hamilton reached base on a third-strike passed ball and Bakker took another freebie after getting hit by a pitch.
Cordeiro doubled in the first two runs of the inning and took third on a wild pitch, and a Carkner walk put the winning run aboard. Scott Kramer scored Cordeiro on a single to right to tie the game but was picked off at first.
Daryl Galloway struck out, but again the Lewis-Clark catcher mishandled the pitch. And when he fired to first to register the second out of the inning, Carkner raced home with the winning run.
“We were definitely shorthanded,” Kitamura said. “We don’t have our full roster yet, but that being said we have a good group of guys — good athletes with good speed this year. We just need to keep working harder to come together and play well as a team. We have guys from six different (prep) teams this year, so it might take a while to get on the same page, but I like the pieces we have and our guys are playing hard.”
Twins 000 200 0 — 2 2 0
Bears 003 050 X — 8 6 0
Woods, Romero (5) and Ralstin. Carkner, Lake (6) and Hamilton.
HR — Twins: Cheibe; Bears: Cordeiro.
Hits — Twins: Martin, Chaibe. Bears: Camacho 2, Hamilton 2, Bakker, Cordeiro.
Twins 120 004 0 — 7 7 1
Bears 300 001 4 — 8 4 4
Schaefer, Ralstin (4), Cheibe (7), Urquhart (7) and Fuller. Cordeiro, Zamora (5), Lake (6), Kramer (7) and Bakker.
Hits — Twins: Shandrick, Urguhart, Ralstin, Martin, Cheibe 2, Vanhorn; Bears: Eggers 2, Handcox, Bakker, Cordeiro, Kramer 2, Galloway.