WAPATO - It was a day of ups and downs for the Sunnyside High School baseball team this past Saturday at Wapato.
The Grizzlies added to the confusion in the Mid-Valley League by splitting a doubleheader with the Wolfpack. Sunnyside handily won the opener, 12-2, behind some solid pitching from Joel Zakahi. But the Grizzlies just came out flat in the second game, losing 8-5.
"The kids really were aggressive in the first game," said Sunnyside Coach Dave Martinez.
The Grizzlies cruised along in the opener, feeling comfortable behind the nice work of Zakahi on the mound.
Sunnyside led 7-2 going into the top of the seventh, before exploding for five runs. Zakahi had a lead-off double, eventually scoring off a single from Tyler Esqueda. Esqueda and Anthony Palomarez, who had singled earlier in the inning, scored off passed balls. Chris Newberry then scored a pair of runs with his double, plating Timmy Briones and Pete Marquez, for the final runs of the inning.
Zakahi had a nice day, scattering six hits while only giving up two walks. Zakahi fanned five Wapato batters. Esqueda shut down the Wolfpack in relief, giving up only one hit over the last two innings.
Sunnyside had a nice game with its bats, collecting 12 hits. The Grizzlies were led at the plate by Eric Crimp, who swung a solid bat, going 3-for-4.
"Crimp had a nice game at the plate," said Martinez.
Martinez was also pleased with the base running of Marquez, who stole bases.
The Wolfpack had seven errors in the opener.
"We took advantage of their mistakes," said Martinez.
The Grizzly coach said his players did a nice, collective job. Sunnyside was able to back up Zakahi's effort on the mound defensively, committing only one error.
The nightcap wasn't too friendly for the Grizzlies, as Wapato's big gun, Justin Clements, came around.
Clements finished 2-for-3 at the plate in the nightcap, including a two-run homer that helped propel Wapato past Sunnyside 8-5.
Errors were a bit of a factor for the Grizzlies in the second game. Sunnyside had four.
The errors didn't help Grizzly starting pitcher Tyler Cullen, who was struggling a bit. Cullen gave up eight hits and four walks, but only three of the six runs charged to the Sunnyside hurler were earned.
Wapato used a three-run fourth and a pair of two-run innings in the third and sixth to push past the Grizzlies.
Sunnyside was kept quiet until late in the game, only scoring two runs going into the top of the sixth.
Esqueda had an RBI single in Sunnyside's two-run sixth. Lucas Ramos had an RBI groundout.
Martinez said the Grizzlies missed a couple of key scoring opportunities in the game, leaving runners at the corners in the first and third innings with only one out.
Cole Boboth woke up his bat, which has been dormant lately, going 2-for-4 at the plate.
Martinez said a lot of the problems Sunnyside had in the second game could have been prevented.
"We are making things difficult for ourselves," said Martinez.
The Grizzlies (2-6, 7-9) can wrap up a Mid-Valley League playoff berth this Saturday with a sweep at Prosser.
; 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
Sunnyside 2 3 1 1 0 0 5 12 12 1
Wapato 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 7 7
Pitching-Joel Zakahi five strikeouts, six hits, two walks in five innings. Tyler Esqueda one hit, one strike out in two innings.
Hitting-Anthony Palomarez 1-for-1. Eric Crimp 3-for-4. Joel Zakahi 1-for-4 with a double in the seventh inning. Tyler Cullen 1-for-4. Tyler Esqueda 1-for-4. Chris Newberry 3-for-5 with a double in the seventh inning. Pete Marquez 2-for-5.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
Sunnyside 1 0 0 1 0 2 1 5 6 4
Wapato 0 0 2 3 1 2 x 8 10 2
Pitching-Tyler Cullen eight hits, three strikeouts, four walks in five innings. Tyler Esqueda faced two batters in the sixth. Cole Boboth one strike out.
Hitting-Tyler Esqueda 1-for-1. Joel Zakahi 1-for-2. Eric Crimp 1-for-3. Cole Boboth 2-for-4. Chris Newberry 1-for-4.