Paced by pitcher R.J. Elizondo's one-hitter, the Sunnyside High School baseball team pieced together a solid game yesterday against visiting Wapato.
Sunnyside scored early on in its 3-0 victory over a much improved Wapato squad yesterday.
The Grizzlies improved to 2-1 in Mid-Valley League play and 5-4 on the season heading into Saturday's home doubleheader against Prosser.
Elizondo had a sturdy game on the mound for the Grizzlies. The Sunnyside senior had a no-hitter going into the fifth inning until one of the Wapato players put a dribble down the first base sideline. In 6-1/3 innings of work, Elizondo allowed just one hit while striking out six Wapato batters. Elizondo did give up five walks and hit one Wapato batter in the victory. Micah Zakahi came in and got his second save of the season. He needed only one pitch as Wapato hit into a double play to end the game.
"It was nice to get a good pitching performance out of R.J.," said Sunnyside Coach Dave Martinez.
Martinez said Elizondo will be one of the pitchers Sunnyside needs as it gets deeper into the season.
"He is a guy that we will need who can throw for us," Martinez said.
Michael Johnson scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the opening frame. Johnson singled and later scored off a passed ball.
Sunnyside plated a pair of runs in the second inning. Derek Uberuaga singled and later scored off a sacrifice fly from Jessie Ramirez. Elizondo scored the final run off a Wapato error. On a ball hit by teammate Tyler Esqueda, Elizondo was able to score after a throwing error by Wapato's first baseman.
The Grizzlies had only four hits in yesterday's game. Johnson, Uberuaga, Esqueda and Pete Marquez accounted for the Grizzlies' offense. However, the Grizzlies were able to make a lot more contact with the ball than the box score indicates. Wapato's center fielder basically spent the afternoon shagging balls for Sunnyside's line-up. The Grizzlies sent long ball after long ball to the outfield for Wapato to catch.
Martinez said he wasn't displeased with the effort of his team at all yesterday. With the exception of not popping the ball up as much for easy outs, Martinez said the Grizzlies played well all around.
"We just need to make some adjustments and not pop the ball up as much," said Martinez.
Martinez felt Johnson caught a great game for the Grizzlies. Johnson picked off two Wapato players trying to steal a base.
Martinez is looking forward to this weekend's home games against Prosser.
"We just need to come out and take care of business," said Martinez.