Leopards scratch out two close wins against SCHS Knights

ZILLAH - A complete game, three-hit pitching performance by Austin Krueger in the opener and a four-run rally in the late stages of the nightcap propelled the Zillah Leopards JV baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Sunnyside Christian's varsity yesterday afternoon.

Both non-league games were just five-inning affairs, decided ahead of time because Zillah had a limited number of arms in its bullpen.

The first game of Tuesday's twin bill went Zillah's way by an 8-2 count. Hunter King and George Mendoza each turned in a 2-for-2 performance at the plate to lead the Leopards' offensive attack.

All told, though, Sunnyside Christian hurlers Brant Bosma and Alex Brouwer only gave up five hits total in the opener. Bosma started atop the mound, lasting three and a third innings before handing the ball over to Brouwer in the fourth with the Knights trailing by six runs.

Bosma (0-2), who took the loss, looked sharp at times, based on his five strikeouts and yielding just four hits. His downfall, however, was in issuing seven walks.

"He had a few control problems," admitted SCHS Coach Tyler Alseth.

Brouwer only allowed a single hit in his final one and two-third innings of work.

Offensively for the Knights in game one, it was Brouwer who generated both of their scores. He walked his way aboard in the top of the first, stole second and then raced home on a ball that was booted by the Zillah second baseman, off the bat of Bosma.

Brouwer drew another walk in the third inning, again stole second and plated the final run of the game for Sunnyside Christian on a ringing double off the bat of Brandon Moore.

It was Moore who took the hill for the Knights in the twin bill finale, and heading into Zillah's home half of the fourth the pitcher had kept the Leopards at bay, his team leading 3-1.

Moore quickly retired the first two batters he faced in the fourth, but following two consecutive walks and a hit, he got lifted in favor of hurler Wyatt Hoff. The pitching change didn't work out for Sunnyside Christian, as the Leopards clanked a double and a single off Hoff to take the lead for good, at 5-3.

After tying the game at one-all by pushing a single tally across the plate in the top of the second, the Knights went up 3-1 with a two-run outburst in the third frame. Drew Puterbaugh, batting close to .500 for the season and who went 3-for-3 in yesterday's nightcap, started the go-ahead rally by socking a triple. Hoff drove him in with a double, but got thrown out at third trying to stretch his hit into a triple. Brandon Broersma then reached first on the only error Zillah committed in the game, and he eventually scored on a Billy Van Wingerden single.

Zillah's hitting stars in its 5-3 victory in game two included Josh Williamson, who went 3-for-3, and Justin Dunsmore and Efrain Ponce, each of whom had two hits.

Sunnyside Christian (1-1, 3-8) returns to 1B league action next Tuesday at Lyle/Wishram.


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