CORVALLIS — The Walla Walla Bears picked up two straight wins, defeating both the Eastside Cutters and Dr. Stewart’s of Roseburg in Mickey Riley Star Spangled Banner Tournament baseball action here at Taylor Field of Hansen Stadium on on Friday and Saturday.
The Bears (21-9-3 record) had lost their first tournament matchup to the host, the Gerding Builders Corvallis Marketmen, 4-2 on Thursday.
But after back-to-back wins, the Bears will wrap up their visit here with a Sunday game — time and opponent unclear as of press time.
Matt McKenzie pitched seven shutout innings, the Bears scratched out a couple of runs in the second inning, and they held on for a 2-0 win over the Eastside Cutters here on Friday.
Eastside put at least one runner on base in each of the first six innings, but with the help of a superb Walla Walla defense, McKenzie and the Bears worked around four Cutters hits and three walks with a pair of strikeouts.
Walla Walla second baseman Josh Bergevin threw out a runner trying to steal home in the top of the second inning, catcher Caleb Ephan gunned down an Eastside attempt at second base in the fifth, and Bears left fielder Kyler Tiner snared a line drive and doubled up on a runner scrambling back to second base.
Kobe Morris scored the first run of the day, and ended up going 2-for-3.
The Bears took the lead in the bottom of the second inning when Morris singled to lead things off, and raced all the way home as an Ephan grounder to left got past the Eastside outfield.
Ephan took second base on the error, tagged up for third on a Heston Richmond flyout to right, and Bergevin eventually singled him home to double the Walla Walla lead.
The slim lead held to the end, the finishing touch with Eastside going down 1-2-3 for the first time all day in the top of the seventh.
The Bears picked up their second win of the weekend on Saturday over Dr. Stewart’s of Roseburg after beating them 5-2.
The Bears got hot early on as they jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning after Taylor Hamada got on base with a lead off single and would advance to second off a Kyren Morris single. Kobe Morris would come up and hit Hamada in with an RBI single and that’s how the scoring got started for the Bears. Josh Bergevin would come up later in the inning and knock both Kyren and Kobe Morris in with a two RBI single.
Roseburgb had no answer for the Bears scoring in the early innings as the Bears would put up another run in the bottom of the second with Hamada scoring for the second time off a Kyren Morris RBI double to center field.
Walla Walla would put up their fith and final run in the bottom of the fourth inning as Ky. Morris, with his third hit of the game, brought in Kyler Tiner with an RBI single to center field. Ky. Morris finished the game three for three with two RBIs and a run scored and was the key factor in the Bears offense.
Roseburg finally got on the board in the sixth inning after Jace Stoffal scored both Jett Black and KC Pettibone on a two RBI single to center field.
Kobe Morris got the win on the mound for the Bears after pitching five innings giving up only three hits, two walks and struck out four batters. Nathan Treadway came on the mound in the sixth inning and got the six out save while giving up two hits, two runs and struck out three batters.
Walla Walla Bears 2, Eastside Cutters 0
Meeker and Porter. McKenzie and Ephan.
HR — none.
Hits — Eastside: Meeker 2, Salter, Morales. Walla Walla: Ko. Morris 2, Hamada, Ephan, Bergevin.
Walla Walla Bears 5, Dr. Stewart’s of Roseburg 2
Zeimet, Borschwa (4) and Burke. Morris, Treadway (6) and Richmond.
HR — none.
Hits — Roseburg: Johnson, Pettibone, Stoffal, Van Norman, Burke. Walla Walla: Hamada 2, Ky. Morris 3, Ko. Morris, Bergevin.