A pair of road games this past Friday and Saturday brought different results for the Sun Valley 16-18-year-old baseball team.
On Friday at East Valley, it was the pitching of Sun Valley that was suspect in the Sunnyside team's 17-7 loss. But on Sunday, it was pitching that stepped up to the plate in a thrilling 10-9 victory over Naches.
Sun Valley's pitching staff got dinged for 21 hits in Friday's game against East Valley.
"They had a lot of balls that found holes," said Sun Valley Coach Dave Martinez.
Martinez said a lot of the balls East Valley hit were bloopers.
East Valley had several big innings in Friday's game, including a six-run third inning.
Sun Valley had a respectable showing statistically, despite the lopsided loss.
Sun Valley plated seven runs on 11 hits.
"That should be enough for us to win a baseball game," said Martinez.
The highlight for the local baseball team was a three-run first inning. Joel Zakahi had an RBI double and teammate B.J. Miller ripped a two-run double in the frame.
Zakahi started what would be a solid weekend for him with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate on Friday afternoon.
Sunday's game against Naches shouldn't have been as close as the final score indicates, as three Sun Valley errors led to only two earned runs by Naches in the 10-9 win.
"It was fun," said Martinez of the game. "They are hard working kids. They need to get this experience. That is what summer ball is about."
Gibby Briones proved to be the clutch player for Sun Valley on Sunday. A couple of days after getting dinged by East Valley, Briones came up with a game-saving effort on Sunday. With Sun Valley leading 10-9 in the bottom of the ninth, Briones retired the first two batters he faced. The Sun Valley hurler then gave up back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases. Briones ended the game with a gusty effort, striking out the last batter he faced.
"Gibby showed me a lot," said Martinez.
Zakahi had a good game in the start on the mound for Sun Valley, despite not receiving much defensive support. Zakahi allowed seven hits, but fanned seven in six innings of work. The only bad inning Zakahi had was a three-run fourth, which saw Naches plate all its runs with two outs. Zakahi also went 4-for-5 at the plate with 3 RBIs.
Three walks hurt Sun Valley relief pitcher Cole Boboth, who got tagged for five runs in the seventh.
Sun Valley rallied in the top of the ninth, plating four runs. With two outs, Miller had a two-run double. Lucas Ramos, though, had the game clincher, crushing the first pitch thrown at him in his at-bat to deep center to score two runs.
Sun Valley (2-2) will be playing at West Valley in a twin bill on Tuesday. The doubleheader will start at 3 p.m. Sun Valley returns home on Wednesday for a noon game against Hermiston. Wednesday's game will be the last for a week for Sun Valley, as several players will be attending Sunnyside High School football camp at Central Washington University.
. 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 3 1 2 1 0 0 0 7 11 2
EV 4 3 6 0 0 1 3 17 21 0
Hitting-Gibby Briones 2-for-3. Joel Zakahi 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs. B.J. Miller 2-for-4.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T H E
SV 0 0 4 2 0 0 0 0 4 10 11 3
Naches 1 0 0 3 0 0 5 0 0 9 11 1
Pitching-Joel Zakahi seven strikeouts, seven hits, two walks in six innings. Cole Boboth three strikeouts, three walks, two hits in two innings. Gibby Briones two hits, one walk, one strikeout in one inning.
Hitting-Cole Boboth 1-for-2 with three walks. Sef Amaro 1-for-3. Nathan Cornelius 1-for-4. Gibby Briones 1-for-4. B.J. Miller 1-for-4. Joel Zakahi 4-for-5 with 3 RBIs. Zach Marquez 2-for-5 with a two-run double in the third inning. Lucas Ramos 1-for-5.