Bruins rocket past Colville in opener

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WALLA WALLA — A 10-run, nine-hit third inning helped power the Walla Walla Bruins to a 14-2 victory over Colville at Walla Walla Community College’s Tausick Way field during opening-round action in the Washington American Legion Class AA State Baseball Tournament.

Walla Walla, which improved its record to 34-6, will face Mason in a quarterfinal matchup tonight at 7 on the WWCC diamond. Mason upended defending champion Burlington, 13-3, on Saturday.

The Bruins spotted Colville a 2-0 edge prior to their offensive explosion in the third. Kal Gray plated the first run with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Walla Walla evened the score at 2-2 on a Colville error.

With a pair of runners aboard, Ryan Kimball put the Bruins up for good when he deposited the first pitch he saw from Colville starting pitcher Ben Knight beyond the left-field fence. The rainbow-like blast put Walla Walla up 5-2.

“It was a high fastball. He left it right over the plate and I turned on it,” Kimball said of the pitch he rocketed out of the park. “I didn’t think it was out.”

Other highlights in the inning included RBI singles by David Pontarolo and Ali Buentello, a two-run single by Logan Cordeiro, and a run-scoring double by Gray.

In all, 13 Bruins batted during the frame.

“It was a matter of making adjustments and letting the pitches travel a little,” Walla Walla coach Jason Parsons said. “We were able to hit the ball more on a line than in the air.”

The Bruins tallied four more times in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to Pontarolo, an RBI single by Daniel, and a two-run knock off the bat of Cordeiro — his third hit of the contest.

Walla Walla starter Zach Zehner shook off early struggles to toss scoreless ball over the final three innings of the game that was called in the middle of the fifth due to the 10-run mercy rule.

“I took a couple of deep breaths, mellowed out, and pitched the way I can pitch,” Zehner said.

“Zach settled in after the first couple of innings and had a fine outing,” Parsons said.

Tonight, the Bruins will face a Mason team that collected 14 hits in its win over Burlington.

“They can swing it,” Parsons said. “We’re going to put Kimball on the mound. I like our chances any time Ryan pitches for us.”

Bruins 14, Colville 2

Colville 020 00 — 2 7 2

Walla Walla 00(10) 4X — 14 12 2

Knight, L. Holling (3), T. Holling (4) and Morrison; Zehner and Daniel.

HR — Walla Walla: Kimball.

Hits — Colville: L. Holling 2, Morrison 2, Harvey, T. Holling, Boggs; Walla Walla: Cordeiro 3, Gray 2, Daniel 2, Buentello 2, Kimball, Sumerlin, Pontarolo.

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