Using an eight-run second inning, Washington (Walla Walla) knocked off Montana 10-6 to reach the Northwest Regional Championship Game.
After the two teams traded single runs in the first inning, Walla Walla broke the game wide-open with five hits, including Brixen Betzler’s two-run homer, to take a 9-1 lead after the second inning.
Montana was able to close the gap to 9-6 with five runs in the bottom of the third that would end the day for Walla Walla starting pitcher Andrew Coleman. Carson Jones, Rylan Warren and Caiden Thomsen combined to allow two hits with four strikeouts over the final three innings for Washington.
Thomsen closed the game in brilliant fashion by striking out Montana in the sixth to send Walla Walla to Saturday’s title game against La Grande (Oregon).
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The game can be seen at noon on ESPN.
La Grande rallied to beat Walla Walla 8-4 in Thursday’s semifinals.