WEST VALLEY - It wasn't quite the finish Sun Valley 16-18-year-old baseball coach Dave Martinez was looking for, but the local skipper saw some promising things from his team at the West Valley tournament.
Sun Valley finished eighth at the four-day, eight-team West Valley tournament, which finished up this past Sunday. Sun Valley went 0-3 after opening up tournament play on Thursday with a victory over the younger of two West Valley teams in the tournament.
"This is a good, little tournament," said Martinez. "I never felt like we were overmatched. There were some things I saw this weekend that I liked."
Friday's tournament game saw Sun Valley go up against North Thurston. North Thurston pulled away late in the game for a 9-6 victory.
One of the pitching prospects of the Sunnyside High School baseball team, Tyler Cullen, took the mound on Friday for Sun Valley. Cullen had a strong outing for a young arm, going 4-2/3 innings, striking out seven and giving up eight hits. Cullen also allowed five walks. The problem for Cullen, said Martinez, was he basically ran out of gas. Cullen endured a 28-pitch count in the first inning after Sun Valley had a couple of miscues that extended the inning for Cullen. Despite such a high pitch count, Cullen gave up only one run in the bottom of the first. Up until the fifth inning, Cullen had allowed only four hits and struck out five.
"North Thurston is a quality program," said Martinez. "We should have been out of that (first) inning with a 12-pitch count. Tyler started running out of gas."
North Thurston ended up having back-to-back four-run frames in the fifth and sixth.
Sun Valley countered with four runs in the fourth inning. Eric Crimp, who went 3-for-3 at the plate, started the fourth with a double. Sun Valley misplayed a sacrifice attempt by Nick Uribe, which resulted with Crimp being thrown out. Jessie Ramirez walked and then Tyler Esqueda singled to load the bases. Jeff Stamschror saw his first action of the summer and he came up huge with a two-run double. Timmy Briones singled to plate Esqueda. The final run of the inning came off the bat of Joel Zakahi, who put up a sacrifice fly to plate Stamschror.
Sun Valley scored its final pair of runs in the top of the seventh.
Some of the things that Martinez liked was the play of Crimp at the plate.
"He is doing a nice job of swinging the bat," said Martinez.
Martinez said he was also very impressed with Cullen, who tossed a solid game against a quality team.
Saturday didn't prove to be a kind day for Sun Valley pitcher Derek Uberuaga. Uberuaga was roughed up in Sun Valley's 11-3 loss to Wilkinson Academy, a Seattle area team.
Uberuaga looked like he was going to cruise in the game after getting the first four batters he faced out. But the second inning proved to be a nightmare for the Sun Valley hurler. Uberuaga gave up five walks and hit one batter as Wilkinson Academy scored four runs in the frame. It was the first earned runs of the summer season Uberuaga has allowed.
Wilkinson Academy went on to score seven runs off the pitching combination of Briones and Uribe.
Sun Valley scored one run in the top of the first and two more in the fifth, leaving the bases loaded to end the frame.
Sun Valley stranded 11 baserunners during the game.
Ramirez was one of the bright spots for Sun Valley, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Uberuaga went 2-for-2.
Sun Valley dug itself an early hole in Sunday's game against the older of two West Valley teams in the tournament. West Valley won the game 10-5.
West Valley scored three runs in both the first and sixth innings. West Valley also notched two-run showings in the second and fifth innings.
Sun Valley had a lone run in the fourth and then scored five runs in the top of the fifth. In the fifth inning, Cole Boboth got aboard off a walk. Ramirez singled and then with one out Uberuaga laced a base hit to load the bags. Crimp then unleashed a two-run double. Stamschror ripped a single to plate two runs.
Martinez said it was a matter of Sun Valley getting in a hole early that proved to be the difference.
Sun Valley (10-7) will play a doubleheader at Grandview this Tuesday beginning at 4 p.m.
. 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 0 4 0 0 2 6 11 3
North Thurston 1 0 0 0 4 4 X 9 12 0
Pitching: Tyler Cullen seven strikeouts, eight hits and five walks in 4-2/3 innings. Nick Uribe four hits in 1-1/3 innings.
Hitting: Jessie Ramirez 1-for-2. Timmy Briones 1-for-2. Eric Crimp 3-for-3. Nick Uribe 1-for-3. Jeff Stamschror, Tyler Esqueda, Joel Zakahi, Chris Newberry and Derek Uberuaga were all 1-for-4.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
SV 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 9 2
Wilkinson 0 4 1 0 3 3 X 11 8 1
Pitching: Derek Uberuaga one strikeout, five walks, one hit batter in 1-2/3 innings. Timmy Briones five hits, three strikeouts, two walks in 2-1/3 innings. Nick Uribe three hits, one strikeout in two innings.
Hitting: Nick Uribe 1-for-1. Derek Uberuaga 2-for-2. Cole Boboth 2-for-3. Tyler Esqueda 1-for-3. Jessie Ramirez 3-for-4.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
SV 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 5 7 0
WV 3 2 0 0 2 3 X 10 10 1
Pitching: Joel Zakahi nine hits, five strikeouts, four walks in 5-1/3 innings. Tyler Esqueda one hit in 2/3 innings.
Hitting: Tyler Cullen 1-for-3. Derek Uberuaga 1-for-3. Tyler Esqueda 2-for-4 with a double in the second inning. Jessie Ramirez, Eric Crimp and Jeff Stamschror were all 1-for-4. Crimp had a two-run double in the fifth inning.