With the game on the line, Columbia Basin College’s Gabe Tolrud blasted what looked to be a walk-off three-run home run, but the ball fell into the glove of Treasure Valley left fielder Brad Jekich at the warning track to end the game.
That left the Hawks with a 5-4 loss in the first game of their NWAC East doubleheader and put a dent in their quest to pull away from teams in the East Region.
“We didn’t pitch well overall,” CBC coach Brent Wyatt said. “We gave them eight or nine free bases by either walk or hit by pitch. We scored in the first and our bats went downhill from there.”
The Hawks (28-9, 13-5 East) came back to win the second game 3-2 behind eight strong innings from sophomore Anthony Alvarado (6-2), who scattered five hits and struck out two.
“That is really who he is,” Wyatt said of Alvarado’s performance. “Every time he is out there, he will compete well enough to get us the win.”
With Walla Walla sweeping Big Bend on the road 10-1 and 9-8, the Warriors (20-12, 12-6), who have won three in a row, are one game back of the Hawks
Treasure Valley (19-16, 10-8), which swept CBC earlier in the season in Ontario, Ore., led 5-2 going into the bottom of the ninth of the first game, where the Hawks tried to rally for the win.
Mark Jones led off with a single, went to second on a passed ball, and scored from second on a single to left field by Isaiah Hatch.
With two outs, Michael Wyatt laced a single to the left-center gap that sent Hatch all the way to third. Griffen Halle lined a hard-hit ball to third base, where Treasure Valley’s Jerred Seamons booted it. Hatch scored and Halle was safe at first to give CBC a 5-4 lead.
That brought up Tolrud. The 6-foot-2 power hitter from Connell got his bat on the ball, but it didn’t quite have the distance to get over the fence.
“The wind blows like it usually does out here, and that is a three-run walk-off homer,” Wyatt said. “Our mentality is to come out and put teams away and we didn’t do that. In all three games against them, we have scored first. Usually, your chances are pretty good when you do that.”
In the nightcap, TVCC led 1-0 through two innings before the Hawks put a run on the board in the bottom of the third.
The Chukars took a 2-1 lead in the fifth, only to see CBC come back with the tying run in the sixth.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Hawks pushed the go-ahead run across the plate to earn the split.
Evan Sather drew a two-out walk, and Connor White doubled down the right-field line on a 1-2 count, scoring Sather from first.
Highlights: Nolan Jekich (T) 2B, 2 RBI; Tanner Cantwell (T) 7IP, 3H, 7K; Isaiah Hatch (C) 3x5, RBI; McKlane Elgin (C) 3B, RBI.
Highlights: Dylan Mansanzarez (T) 2x3; Nolan Jekich (T) 2B, RBI; Isaiah Hatch (C) 2x3, 2B, RBI; Zeb Chamberlain (C) 2x4, 2B; Connor White (C) 2B, RBI; Anthony Alvarado (C) 8IP, 5H, 3BB, 2K.