Brady Heid singled in a run and then came around for the go-ahead score, and the Hanford Flames recovered from a slow start to beat rival Yakima Valley 4-3 in the first round of the senior American Legion state tournament at Jackson Field in Spokane.
The Flames see another familiar face at 6 p.m. today, going up against Twin City. The Titans closed out the first days play with a 13-7 win over Bellingham.
The Kennewick Bandits blew an early lead and lost 11-8 to Centralia SoBe. They face a loser-out game at 9 a.m. against defending champ Lakeside Recovery, which was pounded 18-5 by the Yakima Beetles.
Hanford fell behind 3-0 in the third inning to its Central Washington League neighbor and had trouble getting any traction.
We were struggling, said Flames coach Nat Roe. Ski, bless his heart, he was trying but he didnt have his best stuff. And our offense struggled.
Hanford starter Colin Serkowski, despiting being limited to his B game, pitched into the eighth, working around eight hits and three walks with four strikeouts. After giving up three runs in the third, he settled in and was able to hand a one-run lead to Nate Mitchell when the reliever came on in the eighth.
The Flames took advantage of a Yakima Valley miscue to get on the board in the fifth, when Trevor Jones single to right got under the glove of the fielder for a two-run error.
In the sixth, Serkowski led off with a double and scored on Heids single. Heid worked his way to third and came around on Jamieson Hopps sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run.
Once we got the lead, defensively and on the mound, we just sort of locked them down, Roe said.
Isaac Benard added a 3-for-3 day for the Flames, and Serkowski finished with a pair of hits.
Twin City scored five runs in the fifth inning to finally get some leverage.
Nate Ruane started it with a one-out double, and a pair of walks loaded the bases with two out. Bellingham continued to help out, allowing three runs to score on wild pitches. Dylan Keechs ground-rule double plated the other two runs.
Bellingham answered back with three in the sixth. Twin City scored again in the seventh when Logan Jacksons single scored Alex Storaci for a two-run cushion. The Titans blew the game open with five runs in the top of the ninth, all with two out.
Ruane doubled in a run, Mason Hilty hit a two-run single and Ty Earley an RBI single to power the inning.
Hilty started for the Titans and battled into the sixth inning. Ruane came on with three-plus innings of lights-out relief for a big save.
The Kennewick Bandits seemed well on their way to a win, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first and leading 8-4 after two innings of a wild start.
But their bats went quiet the rest of the day, and Centralia scored five runs in the top of the ninth to pull out the win.
Dylan Wilbert, Clayten Ayres and JJ Hancock each had three hits for the Bandits, Wilbert and Hancock both notching a pair of doubles. Hancock and Kaden Julian each drove in three runs.
Hanford 4, Yakima Valley 3
Yakima Valley 003 000 000 3 9 1
Hanford 000 022 000 4 10 1
Peters and Logan; Serkowski, Mitchell (8) Browne. HighlightsVanderbrake (YV) 2x5; Gutierrez (YV) 3x5; Piper (YV) 2x3; Serkowski (H) 2x4, 2B; Benard (H) 3x3; Mitchell (H) 2B.
Centralia 11, Kennewick 8
Centralia 400 002 005 11 NA NA
Kennewick 710 000 000 8 13 2
Calkins and Steen; ONeil, Morfin (7), Driver (8) and Wilbert. HighlightsJulian (K) 2B, 3 RBI; Wilbert (K) 3x5, 2 2B; Ayres (K) 3x4, 2B, 2R; Hancock (K) 3x4, 2 2B, 3 RBI; Killian (K) 2x5.
Centralia SoBe 11, Kennewick 8
Hanford 4, Yakima Valley 3
Yakima 18, Lakeside Recovery 5
Twin City 13, Bellingham 5
Game 5, Kennewick vs. Lakeside Recovery, 9 a.m.
Game 6, Yakima Valley vs. Twin City/Bellingham, noon
Game 7, Centralia SoBe vs. Yakima, 3 p.m.
Game 8, Hanford vs. Twin City/Bellingham, 6 p.m.
Game 9, loser 7 vs. winner 6, 10 a.m.
Game 10, loser 8 vs. winner 5, 1 p.m.
First championship semifinal
Game 11, winner 7 vs. winner 8, 5 p.m. Tuesday
Game 12, loser 11 vs. winner 9/10
Second championship semifinal
Game 13, winner 11 vs. winner 9/10
Note: pairings for Tuesdays games will not match previous opponents unless necessary
Game 14, winner 13 vs. winner 12, 10 a.m.
Note: If loser of game 14 suffers first loss, teams play again; if winner game 11 loses game 13, it plays winner of 14
Hanford Junior Flames 13, Central Valley 3: Ian Ross threw five standout innings as the Flames cruised in the opener of the state tournament in Olympia.
Ross allowed five hits and six strikeouts as the game was shortened to five innings on the mercy rule.
Trevor Smith and Trevor Hammitt each had two hits and drove in a pair of runs, and Robert Young went 2-for-3 and scored three runs.
Hanford is back on the field at 6 p.m. today against North Kitsap.