MOXEE - It was a good weekend of baseball for the Sun Valley 16-18-year-old squad.
Sun Valley finished third at the six-team East Valley tournament this past weekend. Sun Valley started the tournament last Thursday with a 7-1 victory over a Selah squad.
Sun Valley grabbed third place honors with a 5-4 victory over the Yakima Valley Peppers on Sunday.
Sun Valley won the eight-inning game when Derek Uberuaga lofted a sacrifice fly that scored Micah Zakahi in the top of the eighth. Timmy Briones pitched in relief in the bottom of the eighth, allowing just two hits to get the save.
Sun Valley jumped on the Peppers early in the consolation championship, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first. The Peppers fired back with a two-run showing in the bottom of the second. The Peppers added a run in the bottom of the third. Sun Valley scored lone runs in the top of the fourth and sixth innings. The Peppers tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, scoring an unearned run off Uberuaga.
Sun Valley Coach Dave Martinez said Uberuaga has yet to give up an earned run during the summer season.
Tyler Esqueda worked a decent five innings on the mound, striking out four batters and giving up four hits. Esqueda did mix in four walks. Uberuaga took over in relief, fanning three Peppers while giving up another three walks in two innings of work.
After Sun Valley scored what proved to be the winning run in the top of the eighth, there were some dramatics in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and a runner on second, the Peppers hit a ball to center. Chris Newberry fielded the ball for Sun Valley and threw a rocket from the outfield to catcher Cole Boboth to end the game on a play at the plate.
Newberry went 2-for-3 at the plate in the consolation championship, recording a double in the sixth inning. Eric Crimp also had a decent game with a 2-for-4 effort.
On Friday, Sun Valley played eventually tournament champion East Valley, losing 11-3.
Four Sun Valley errors led to five unearned East Valley runs.
Martinez said his team didn't play very good defense for starting pitcher Tyler Cullen, who was tagged for seven runs in the first two innings, only two of which were earned.
East Valley added a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Sun Valley scored its three runs in the top of the third. Briones had a two-run double to plate Crimp and Joel Zakahi. Jessie Ramirez, who was 2-for-2 at the plate, singled to bring in the final run.
Martinez said errors were the difference in the game against East Valley.
The following day proved to be busy for Sun Valley. Saturday morning, Sun Valley pulled out a 6-5 victory over the Yakima Scarlets. Zakahi was cruising along for the first three innings, giving up only two hits. Zakahi became a bit rattled in the fourth when an error by Sun Valley, one of three in the game, led to a run being scored.
The Scarlets went on to score three runs in the fourth and a run apiece in the fifth and sixth innings.
Sun Valley had four runs in the second and lone runs in the third and fourth innings.
Boboth scored what proved to be the winning run in the fourth with his single to plate Sef Amaro.
Crimp was overpowering at the plate for Sun Valley, going 3-for-3 with a double in the fifth.
"Eric had a good day at the plate," said Martinez. "He had a good tournament. Crimp is swinging a hot bat right now."
Saturday afternoon, Sun Valley lost a close game to Port Angeles, 4-3. Port Angeles also beat Sun Valley at the same tournament last year.
Sun Valley gained eight strong innings of work from Micah Zakahi, who had seven strikeouts and five hits. He did mix six walks into his outing.
Port Angeles picked up the winning run in the bottom of the ninth after a wild pitch from Crimp. Port Angeles also scored a pair of runs in the third and one more run in the fifth. Port Angeles would go on to lose in the championship game to East Valley.
Sun Valley pulled out a seventh-inning rally to send the game into extra innings. With the bases loaded, Uberuaga singled to plate Boboth. Crimp followed up with a single to bring in Newberry. Joel Zakahi then hit into a fielder's choice to score his older brother, Micah.
Crimp led Sun Valley at the plate with a 4-for-4 effort.
Martinez said he wasn't displeased with the loss. He said Port Angeles is a good, solid team.
Martinez looks at the entire tournament as a good experience for his team.
"I hope these are things they take with them into next March," said Martinez.
Sun Valley (8-4) plays a 7 p.m. game tomorrow night (Tuesday) at Selah.
. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
SV 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 7 4
EV 3 4 0 2 2 0 X 11 6 1
Pitching: Tyler Cullen, three hits, two earned runs, three walks and two hit batters in 2-1/3 innings. Timmy Briones three hits, two strikeouts, four earned runs in 2-2/3 innings.
Hitting: Jessie Ramirez 2-for-2. Tyler Cullen 1-for-2. Timmy Briones 1-for-2 with a double in the third inning. Tyler Esqueda 1-for-3. Chris Newberry 1-for-3. Eric Crimp 1-for-4.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
Scarlets 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 5 8 2
SV 0 4 1 1 0 0 X 6 7 3
Pitching: Joel Zakahi six hits, three strikeouts, three walks, two earned runs in five innings. Timmy Briones one hit, one strikeout in one inning. Derek Uberuaga three strikeouts, one hit in one inning.
Hitting: Derek Uberuaga 1-for-2. Sef Amaro 1-for-2. Derek Uberuaga 3-for-3 with a double in the fifth inning. Tyler Cullen 2-for-3.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T H E
SV 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 9 3
Port Angeles 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 5 1
Pitching: Micah Zakahi seven strikeouts, five hits, six walks in eight innings. Eric Crimp one walks in one inning.
Hitting: Derek Uberuaga 1-for-3. Eric Crimp 4-for-4. Chris Newberry 1-for-4. Micah Zakahi 1-for-4. Timmy Briones 1-for-4. Tyler Cullen 1-for-4.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 T H E
SV 2 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 5 6 2
Peppers 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 6 2
Pitching: Tyler Esqueda four hits, four strikeouts, four walks in five innings. Derek Uberuaga three strikeouts, three walks in two innings. Timmy Briones two hits in one inning.
Hitting: Chris Newberry 2-for-3 with a double in the sixth inning. Derek Uberuaga 1-for-3 with a triple in the fourth inning and a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Eric Crimp 2-for-4. Cole Boboth 1-for-4.