If a good pitching matchup is your cup of tea, Mason Hilty and Jarod Molnaa served it up for seven innings Friday, both going the distance before Kennewick pulled out a 2-1 Game 1 victory over Richland at Roy Johnson Field.
That set the stage for the Lions’ 9-6 Game 2 win, giving them a rare doubleheader sweep of Richland.
“It’s been a long time since we swept Richland. I can’t remember the last time we did it,” Kennewick skipper A.J. Marquardt said.
Hilty struck out five batters and also drove in the Bombers’ only run in the first before giving up a two-run home run to Dylan Wilbert in the bottom of the second.
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Molnaa threw six scoreless frames for the Lions, striking out six, after allowing a run in the first. Kennewick outfielder Kaden Julian helped his pitcher with a strong defensive play in the top of the fourth. With runners on first and second and no outs, Julian ran down a line drive in right center field and then doubled Gibson McGeorge off first base for a double play.
“It was a great catch and a good throw,” Marquardt said.
In Game 2, the offense flowed. The Lions took a 3-1 lead on Julian’s RBI single in the bottom of the second and then jumped ahead 7-1 in the fourth on four consecutive two-out hits by Julian, Steven Sordahl, Vinny Gonzalez and J.J. Hancock.
Gonzalez and Sordahl each drove in two runs in the nightcap for Kennewick.
Lions starter Clayten Ayres struck out seven through six innings before freshman Matt Driver came in to close out the game in the seventh. He allowed a run but retired the side to make his coach proud.
“There’s a lot of emotions riding high, but he kept his composure,” Marquardt said.
Richland 100 000 0 — 1 5 1
Kennewick 020 000 x — 2 4 1
Mason Hilty and Tyler Kjarmo; Jarod Molnaa and Dylan Wilbert. Highlights—March (R) 2x4; Hilty (R) RBI, 5 Ks; Wilbert (K) 2-run HR; Molnaa (K) 6 Ks.
Richland 100 004 1 — 6 4 1
Kennewick 030 411 x — 9 9 1
Levi Broeske, Nate Ruane (5) and Kjarmo; Clayten Ayres, Matt Driver (7) and J.J. Hancock. Highlights—Ayres (K) 7 Ks; Steven Sordahl (K) 3x4, 2 RBI; Vinny Gonzalez (K) 2 RBI; Hancock (K) 2x4; Larry DeWitt (K) 2x3; Julian (K) 2x3; Hilty (R) 2x4.
Southridge 9-11, Pasco 3-1: Cole Henderson’s RBI double and Phillips Schwartz’s two-run single powered a five-run sixth inning as the Suns pulled away late in the first game of a Mid-Columbia pair against the visiting Bulldogs.
“The Beck kid threw pretty well,” Southridge coach Tim Sanders said of Pasco starter Tony Beck, who went the distance. “We were in a ballgame, and we just kind of started to find a couple knocks here and there, strung some hits together and it finally paid off with a five-spot in the sixth.”
Grant Lathim had a busy game in the finale, going 3-for-3 with a double, four RBIs and three stolen bases as the Suns jumped out to a seven-run lead after two innings.
“The balls that were hit hard from Game 1 that didn’t go, did,” surmized Sanders.
Roger Ingram Jr. led Pasco wiht a 3-for-4 performance in the opener, including a triple.
The sweep leaves Southridge in a first-place tie with Kennewick at 6-0 in league.
Pasco 110 000 1 — 3 6 2
Southridge 020 115 x — 9 8 1
Tony Beck and Brady Ritala; Trevor Oldham, Conner Morfin (4) and Austin Morfin. Highlights—Roger Ingram Jr. (P) 3x4, 3B, SB; Justus Scott (P) 1x2, 2 SB; Jared Newbry (S) 2x3, 2R, RBI, SB; C. Morfin (S) 2x4, RBI; Cole Henderson (S) 2B, 2R, 2 RBI; Phillip Schwartz (S) 2 RBI.
Pasco 001 000 — 1 4 1
Southridge 341 012 — 11 10 1
Scott, Ingram (3) and Ritala; Trenton Nett, Justin Kreutz (4), Jake Ebberts (5) and A. Morfin. Highlights—Newbry (S) 1x2, 2R, 2 SB; Henderson (S) 1x3, 2R; Conner O’Neil (S) 2x3, 2R, 2 RBI; Grant Lathim (S) 3x3, R, 4 RBI, 2B, 3 SB; Oldham (S) 1x1, R, RBI; Corey Miller (S) 2 SB.
Hanford 14-14, Chiawana 10-1: Hanford pounded out 23 hits on the day, including four home runs, to sweep Chiawana in a Mid-Columbia Conference doubleheader in Pasco.
Isaac Benard went 5-for-8 with two home runs and three RBIs for the Falcons, while Cody Kowalski was 4-for-4 with a double, two home runs and three RBIs in the opener.
Brennan Sutey hit three doubles in the second game for Hanford.
Chiawana scored its lone run in the night cap as T.J. Avery scored on a passed ball.
Hanford 104 033 3 — 14 13 1
Chiawana 300 123 1 — 10 10 2
Henry, Mitchell (4), Beatz (6) and Enderlin; Bennion, Thornhill (6) and Graff. Highlights—Isaac Benard 3x3, HR, 2 RBIs; Cody Kowalski (H) 4x4 3 RBIs, 2B, 2 HR; Jake Oram (H) 2x4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Jesse Briones (C) 3x4, 2B; T.J. Avery (C) 2x3, 3B.
Hanford 801 50 — 14 10 0
Chiawana 000 01 — 1 0 0
Anderson and Enderlin; Peiffer, Aviles (3), Saprigo (5) and Graff. Highlights—Benard (H) 2x5, RBI, HR; Sutey (H) 3x4, 3 2B; Tefft (H) 2x3; Avery (C) 2 SB.
Connell 14, Liberty Christian 10: Jess Hawk broke things open for the Eagles with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the sixth, sparking Connell to a four-run frame in a nonleague win over the Patriots.
Brendal Holst went 4-for-5 with three RBIs for the Eagles. He was one of five Connell players with three hits or more.
Mitch Godwin led LC with three hits and three RBIs.
Liberty Christian 022 015 0 — 10 11 6
Connell 243 014 x — 14 16 2
Taylor Lindquist, Brandon Petersen (5) and Mitch Godwin; Austin Forsythe, Mark Borgens (3), Jess Hawk (6) and Austin Ochoa. Highlights—Godwin (LC) 3x4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI; Eder Preston (LC) 2x3; Brendan Holst (C) 4x5, 2B, 3 RBI; Hawk (C) 3x4; Kyle Jones (C) 3x4, 2 RBI; Forsythe (C) 3x4; Jacob Jenks (C) 3x4.