HERMISTON, ORE. - Sunnyside High School pitcher Joel Zakahi must have taken his vitamins yesterday because the Grizzly hurler was nearly unstoppable.
Zakahi tossed six solid innings to help lead Sunnyside to a dominating 11-1 victory over Hermiston.
"He really had a good outing," said Sunnyside Coach Dave Martinez.
Zakahi had six strikeouts while scattering six hits. The only walk Zakahi gave up came in the fourth inning, when Hermiston scored its lone run of the game.
Martinez said the key for Zakahi was that he was able to relax yesterday. Martinez said early in the season Zakahi was trying to finesse his pitches, due in part to a less than spectacular Sunnyside defense at the time.
The Grizzly defense did a pretty good job of supporting Zakahi, committing only two errors. Both errors, said Martinez, were throwing miscues that didn't cost Sunnyside anything.
"Last night, he (Zakahi) let the defense work," said Martinez. "The defense had some crispiness to them."
The Grizzlies were able to turn two double plays and nearly a third one in last night's game.
Martinez also had a lot of praise for the way Pete Marquez called the game behind the plate.
"He was a captain on the field last night," said Martinez.
Martinez especially cited the leadership of Marquez after the Grizzlies scored four runs in the top of the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. Martinez said there was an incident in the bottom of the fourth that could have led to things getting out of hand for the Grizzlies, but Marquez provided the calm leadership that a captain should exhibit on the field.
After scoring a pair of runs to open the game, Sunnyside put together a nice fourth inning to pad its lead even further. Tyler Esqueda led off a with a triple, which was followed by a key RBI single from Lucas Ramos. Martinez said Ramos' hit was crucial at the time, as it energized the Grizzly offense. Chris Newberry later hit a two-run single to score Ramos and Tyler Cullen. Derek Uberuaga then ripped a double to plate Newberry.
The Grizzlies had an impressive 12 hits in last night's game, led by Uberuaga, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Cullen also went 2-for-3 for the Grizzlies.
Last night's game marked the end of Sunnyside's non-league schedule. The Grizzlies (1-5, 6-8) finished its non-league campaign with a decent 5-3 mark, which includes a win over state-ranked 2A East Valley.
The Grizzlies will now have a week break before resuming league play at Wapato next Saturday, April 30.
"The kids have earned it," said Martinez of the break. "They have been going pretty hard for me."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
S'side 2 0 0 4 0 2 3 11 12 2
Hermiston 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 2
Pitching-Joel Zakahi six strikeouts, six hits, one walk in six innings. Tyler Cullen one strike out in one inning.
Hitting-Derek Uberuaga 2-for-3 with a double in the third and fourth innings. Tyler Cullen 2-for-3. Lucas Ramos 1-for-3. Tyler Esqueda 1-for-3 with a triple in the fourth inning. Eric Crimp 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Chris Newberry 1-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Pete Marquez 1-for-4. Cole Boboth 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs.