WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla High School produced a shutout and a rally from five runs down in a Mid-Columbia Conference baseball doubleheader at Murr Field on Tuesday.
Logan Cordeiro pitched Wa-Hi to an opening 8-0 win.
The Blue Devils completed a rally in the nightcap to pull out a 6-5 win and complete a sweep of previously undefeated Hanford (8-1).
Wa-Hi improves to 4-0 in the MCC.
Issac Bernard lifted a foul pop-up off third base to open game one. Blue Devil third baseman Blake McKinney set the tone for Wa-Hi’s afternoon as he met the fence but made the catch for the first out.
“How about that catch,” Blue Devil coach Keith Gradwohl said. “That was one of the best catches I’ve ever seen.”
Cordeiro retired the next six Falcons he faced.
In the home first, Ali Buentello led off with a single to center. McKinney walked and Spencer Locati plated Buentello with a single to right.
With runners at second and third, Kal Gray bounced one over the pitcher’s head and Hanford’s shortstop couldn’t come up with the ball. McKinney scored and Locati raced all the way from second to give Wa-Hi a 3-0 lead after one.
Wa-Hi’s aggressive base running led to four fifth-inning runs without benefit of a hit. Three Falcon errors helped, but the base running unnerved the Falcons.
McKinney escaped a rundown to score, Locati scored on a throw to second on an attempt to get Reid Magnaghi, who went to second during McKinney’s rundown, Magnaghi and Gray took advantage of Falcon wild pitches to advance and eventually score, and when the dust settled, the Blue Devils took a 7-0 lead to the sixth.
“(Wa-Hi coaches) Grady (Gradwohl) and Pars (Jason Parsons) always talk about being aggressive on the dirt balls and on the bases,” Locati said. “When they put it in your head enough times, you kind of get it going.”
Cordeiro was the story. The junior right hander took just 90 minutes to quell the Falcons. Cordeiro blanked the Falcons on five hits and did not allow a Falcon past second base.
“I threw a lot of first-pitch strikes,” Cordeiro said. “I was mixing speeds. I threw mostly sliders to start them off. Then I threw a lot of changeups, and mixed in a couple of fastballs. I knew their leadoff hitter, (Bernard) was one of the top hitters in the league. I pounded him with changeups. (Bernard went 0-for-4). We’re undefeated in league. It’s good.”
“He (Cordeiro) faced 28 batters and threw 24 first-pitch strikes,” Gradwohl said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
“We have confidence in Logan,” Wa-Hi senior shortstop Locati said. “When he had them off-balance like that, it made it more confident for the fielders to go and make plays. When your pitcher is on, everything feels good.”
In game two, with Wa-Hi down 4-0, Zach Zehner came on in relief with one out and the bases loaded in the third.
Zehner minimized the damage, but Wa-Hi trailed 5-0 going to the home third.
Locati got the Blue Devils on the board with a sac fly, Zehner blanked the Falcons over the next two frames and Robi Novak struck out, but reached first on a passed ball to open the Wa-Hi fifth.
After Anders Davidson worked a walk, Buentello bunted for a hit, McKinney singled in a run, Locati followed with an RBI single, Gray beat the relay throw on a potential inning-ending double play as McKinney scored.
Cordeiro reached on an error as Locati scored the fifth run of the frame and Wa-Hi led 6-5.
“We seem to come out sluggish in the second game,” Locati said. “We picked things back up there in the fifth. We get people going. It’s just the will of this team to never give up.”
Ryan Kimball relieved Zehner to pitch the sixth. Kimball struck out the side and worked a scoreless seventh to nail down the Wa-Hi win and complete the sweep.
“Zach came in and held them,” Gradwohl said. “Ryan was money. These guys (the team) have shown that they come back. We’re OK, but we didn’t win the MCC today. We want them to continue to improve their strengths, and work on their weaknesses.”
Wa-Hi (9-1 overall, 4-0 MCC) and a healthy Locati travel to Kamiakin on Friday.
Locati, after dealing with serious injuries for the past two seasons, appears healthy and excited to be a part of the Blue Devil run.
“Just being able to play with these guys feels great,” Locati said. “With the help of everybody and me wanting to be back, it all helps quite a bit.”
Hanford 000 000 0 — 0 5 7
Wa-Hi 300 041 x — 8 5 1
Anderson, Mitchell (6) and Enderlin, Romero (6); Cordeiro and Waitlo.
HR — none.
Hits — HHS: Marks 2, Hopp, Colson, Henry; WW: Buentello, Locati 2, Gray, Sumerlin.
Hanford 212 000 0 — 5 8 6
Wa-Hi 001 050 x — 6 5 2
Colson, Henry (5) and Enderlin; Barker, Zehner (3), Kimball (6) and Novak.
HR — none.
Hits — HHS: Bernard 2, Colson, Marks 3, Heid, Cowen; WW: Gray, Kimball, Buentello, McKinney, Locati.