The Hanford Flames continued to have a hot hand at the plate Tuesday, this time getting production up and down the lineup in a 15-8 win over Centralia SoBe to stay alive at the senior American Legion state tournament at Jackson Field in Spokane.
Trevor Jones went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, three runs scored and three stole bases to spark the Flames, who had runners on base in all but two innings.
“The whole lineup was getting after them today,” said Hanford coach Nat Roe.
Hanford will play Yakima Valley at 10 a.m. today, with the winner taking on Centralia 30 minutes later for the championship and a berth into next week’s Northwest Regional in Eugene, Ore.
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The Pepsi Pak ended the tournament for the Twin City Titans with a 14-2 rout earlier in the day. Kurt Lindemann threw all seven innings for Yakima Valley and also homered. Cole Gilman drove in four runs.
Logan Jackson went 2-for-3 and was the only multi-hit batter for the Titans. He singled and scored to start Twin City’s two-run first inning, with Mason Hilty knocking in Nate Ruane for the team’s other run.
It was all zeroes for the Titans the rest of the way, however, and Yakima Valley struck for seven runs in the fourth to take charge. Six more runs in the seventh put the game away.
Hanford was looking to put Centralia away from the start. The Flames beat SoBe in the district tournament, and they jumped on the tourney’s last unbeaten team from the start.
Isaac Benard’s two-run single in the second helped Hanford to a 5-0 lead, and the Flames struck for eight more in the top of the fourth. Ryan Neal hit a two-run double, Jake Browne an RBI two-bagger and Jamieson Hopp a two-run single to power the big frame.
To that point, Hanford starter Aaron Enderlin was on cruise control, but Centralia answered with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, all with two out.
Still, the Flames were up 13-5, and Enderlin lasted through the sixth before giving way to Brandon Peterson for the final three innings. Centralia piled up 18 hits — four more than Hanford — but never landed the big blow to get back in the game.
The Flames hit five doubles and drew 13 walks while striking out just five times.
“It’s hard to be aggressive and patient at the same time, but we’re walking that line right now,” Roe said. “If you throw it over, they’ll hammer it. If you don’t, they’re laying off. You have to throw strikes to get us out.”
Hanford 320 800 200 — 15 14 0
Centralia 001 401 002 — 8 18 1
Enderlin, Peterson (7) and Browne; Doughty, Housden (5) and Chamberlain. Highlights—Benard (H) 2x5, 2B, 2 RBI, SB; Jones (H) 3x5, 2B, 2 RBI, 3R, 3 SB; Neal (H) 1x1, 2B, 2 RBI, 2R, 5 BB; Browne (H) 2x4, 2B; Hopp (H) 2x6, 2B, 2R, 2 RBI; Heid (H) 2x6; Forgione (C) 4x5, 2B; Elam (C) 3x5, 2B.
Yakima Valley 100 700 6 — 14 14 0
Twin City 200 000 0 — 2 5 2
Lindemann and Logan; Drury, Craig (4), Ruane (7) and Earley. Highlights—Jackson (TC) 2x3; Lindemann (YV) 7IP-5H-2ER-3BB-5K, 2x5, HR, 2 RBI; Gilman (YV) 4 RBI.
Yakima Valley 14, Twin City 2 (Twin City eliminated)
Hanford 15, Centralia 8
Yakima Valley vs. Hanford, loser out
Yakima Valley/Hanford vs. Centralia, championship
Babe Ruth 15s
Kennewick had plenty of chances but couldn’t get the big hit in a 9-4 loss to Grays Harbor at the Pacific Northwest Regional in Centralia.
Kennewick stranded 15 runners in the seven-inning game — including four times with the bases loaded. The local club was unable to take full advantage of seven hits and 10 walks.
Lane Dahl, Paven Combs and Skyler Morby each had two hits, and Gabe Duran drove in a pair of runs.
Kennewick fell to 1-1 in pool play and has today off. They resume Thursday against Coos Bay, Ore., and finish on Friday. The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals.