WALLA WALLA — Green River’s pitching struggled in a doubleheader against Walla Walla Community College Saturday, and the Warriors took advantage in a pair of lopsided NWAACC baseball wins, 18-7 and 12-3.
The Gators (2-6 overall) opened the first game by pushing three runs across in the first inning on the strength of one hit, two errors, a walk and a sac fly, but the Warriors (5-1) responded emphatically in the bottom of the inning with five runs of their own, including a three-run homer from designated hitter JJ Robinson.
Robinson went on to have a banner day, going 4-for-4 at the plate with four hits, including a double, and seven RBI.
“JJ Robinson swung the heck out of it in game one and helped us get the momentum back in our favor with his home run in the first inning,” WWCC coach Dave Meliah said. “A four-hit, seven-RBI game isn’t too shabby.”
The Gators tied it at 5 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, but again the Warriors responded with five more runs on two hits, three walks and a hit batter to retake the lead, 10-5.
The Warriors cruised from there, batting through the order and tacking on six runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth before the game ended early thanks to the 10-run mercy rule.
“We played some sloppy defense but the guys battled through it and put enough runs on the board to overcome it,” said Meliah, whose Warriors committed four errors in the game.
In addition to Robinson’s bomb, third baseman Jarod Gonzales also left the yard with a two-run blast in the sixth.
WWCC never trailed in the nightcap, scoring all 12 of its runs before Green River put a crooked number on the board with two runs in the seventh.
The Warriors again benefitted from suspect pitching, as Green River starter Cody Whitemarsh surrendered seven walks and four hits for five runs in 3 2/3rds innings before being pulled with the Warriors up 5-1 with an out left in the fourth.
Warrior starter Kalani Omoto had a solid outing, however, giving up just one run on four hits, three walks and two strikeouts in five innings of work.
“Kalani had another solid start,” Meliah said. “I’m sure he would have liked a few less walks but he was around the zone enough and our defense played much better in the second game.”
The Warriors spread the offense around more in the second game, with five different batters picking up an RBI, including Gonzales and second baseman Corey Morris with two apiece.
“The bottom of our order really stepped up,” Meliah said. “Corey, Moe (Handcox Jr.) and Cody (Price) all had good at bats and hit the ball hard.”
The Warriors next host a doubleheader with Grays Harbor (1-5) today at 11 a.m.
GR 302 000 2 — 7 9 0
WWCC 505 062 X — 18 13 4
Diefendorf, Tsujimura (1) and Collins. Costello, McNerney (3), Lake (7) and Browne.
HR — WWCC 2 (Gonzales, Robinson).
Hits — GR: Burns, Johnson 3, Kimmell, Hernandez 2, Sansom, Mackie. WWCC: Wolfe 2, Gonzales, Robinson 4, Ayres, Jones, Browne 2, Klute, Morris.
GR 010 000 200 — 3 11 1
WWCC 203 034 00X — 12 9 0
Whitemarsh, Torres-Perez (4), Diefendorf (5), Seeley (6), Glahn (7) and Barker. Omoto, Carkner (6), Neal (7), Klute (8) and Crater.
HR — none.
Hits — GR: Burns, Johnson, Tsujimura, Christiansen, Kimmell, Diefendorf, Mackie, Hernandez, Barker, Sansom, Seeley. WWCC: Houser, Robinson, Ayres, Morris 2, Handcox 2, Price 2.