YAKIMA — Four runs in the bottom of the third inning gave the Walla Walla Griz their first lead over the Eisenhower Cadets, and they stayed on top to the end for a 13-5 victory in opening round action here at East Valley High School’s Loftus Field in the 17th annual Red Hawk Classic Baseball Tournament.
A five-run bottom of the sixth forced play to stop due to the eight-run mercy rule.
Drew Coleman went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in for the Griz (11-9 record), Noah Braunel also had three RBI as he was 2-for-4 leading off the order, and Carter Schreindl wemt 2-for-3 with a couple of RBI.
The Griz had to rally from behind early on, before that four-run third inning, as Eisenhower jumped ahead with three runs in the top of the first.
Walla Walla tied things up in the bottom of the second when Nathaniel Window singled home Alex Mata, and then scored on a two-out double by Noah Braunel.
When Eisenhower attempted to pick Braunel off at second base, he raced around third base and scored to make it a 3-3 game.
Eisenhower came back with two runs in the top of the third, but the Cadets would fail to score again.
The bottom of the third saw the Griz load the bases with no outs on back-to-back walks by Schreindl and Drew Worden before a bunt single by Jesse Berry.
Schreindl then walked home when a pitch hit Window with one down, and Javi Esparza lifted a sacrifice fly to left field that scored the tying run in Worden.
Window then stole second base, enabling Braunel to bring home two runs with his single for a 7-5 lead, and the Griz stayed ahead to the end.
The four-day, eight-team tournament includes four games each day with the championship on Sunday.
Teams include an East and West Valley squads from Yakima as well as others from Elma, Kennewick, Moses Lake, Kittitas, and Othello.
Griz 13, Cadets 5
Miller, Manley (4) and Berger. S. Braunel, Garza (5) and Berry.
HR — none.
Hits — Eis: Spurrier, Gomez, Manley, Hansen, Voltake. Gourneau, Berger. WW: N. Braunel 2, Schreindl 2, Coleman 2, S. Braunel, Zimmerman, Berry, Norris, Window, Fones.