SPOKANE - Sometimes things just take a weird twist and that was sort of the case yesterday for the Sunnyside High School baseball team.
The Grizzlies lost their opening round Regional playoff game to East Valley-Spokane, 10-1. The loss ended Sunnyside's 2005 season.
The Grizzlies went in with a strong game plan, but things took a turn south when scheduled starting pitcher Joel Zakahi reopened a cut on his finger that happened last week during warm-ups. Sunnyside Coach Dave Martinez said Zakahi's finger wouldn't stop bleeding. Since no wrapping or other objects are allowed on a pitcher, Zakahi was unable to throw in the game, instead being moved out to left field.
This threw the Grizzly pitching staff into a spin and Derek Uberuaga, who was scheduled to toss the middle of the game in relief, was brought up early to take the start.
The Knights, which dropped down from the 4A ranks last season, got off to a good start, plating four runs in the bottom of the first. East Valley-Spokane took advantage of five hits and one hit batter in the first inning.
"They really didn't hit the ball hard," said Martinez. "They found the holes."
The other big inning for the Knights was a four-run fourth. East Valley-Spokane took advantage of a couple of walks, two triples and a two-run home run to score the four runs.
The Knights plated lone runs in the second and sixth innings.
The Grizzlies looked as if they were going to get off to a promising start, but ended up stranding a pair of runners in the top of the first.
Sunnyside had trouble with the Knights' starting pitcher, who brought in a 7-1 record. Martinez said his players had trouble reading a slider that the East Valley-Spokane hurler threw.
The Grizzlies' lone run came in the top of the sixth inning. After ripping a double, Chris Newberry scored off a fielder's choice Uberuaga hit into.
Sunnyside didn't help its cause any by committing five errors in the game.
"We didn't play defense," said Martinez. "We didn't swing the bats really well."
Martinez, though, is happy with the season his Grizzlies had.
"You hate to see the season end," said Martinez. "But, they worked hard this year. I hope they have a lot of good memories."
Sunnyside finished the season fourth in the Mid-Valley League with a record of 6-6. The Grizzlies ended the year 11-10 overall.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
Sunnyside 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 5
East Valley 4 1 0 4 0 1 x 10 11 0
Pitching-Derek Uberuaga seven hits, five strikeouts, two walks in 3-1/3 innings. Tyler Cullen four hits, three strikeouts, one walk in 2-2/3 innings.
Hitting-Chris Newberry 1-for-1 with a double in the sixth inning. Joel Zakahi 2-for-3. Pete Marquez 1-for-3.