The Kennewick Bandits’ run at the American Legion AAA
state baseball tournament came to an end Wednesday afternoon in Centralia.
The Bandits lost 9-6 to Central Washington League rival Yakima Valley after the Pepsi Pak exploded for seven runs in the fifth inning, all with two out. Chase Wells slugged a two-run double and Cameron Campbell a two-run single in the frame.
Kennewick led 5-0 after 21⁄2 innings. Larry DeWitt’s two-run single highlighted a three-run second inning, and the Bandits seemed to be on cruise control.
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But the Pak scratched across a pair of runs in the bottom of the third against Bandits starter Colton Plew, who threw a 1-2-3 fourth before being lifted for reliever Mark Driver to start the fifth. Driver got two of the first three batters he faced before running into a load of trouble.
After Pak starter Kyle Dexter left in the fifth, the Bandits were unable to get to reliever Taylor Logan, who threw 41⁄3 innings and allowed just two hits and an unearned run.
Connor Morfin finished 3-for-3 at the plate, and Austin Morfin had a pair of hits and drove in two runs for Kennewick.
Yakima Valley went on to hammer the hosts, beating Centralia Sobe-Toyota 14-3 to claim the state’s berth to the Northwest Regional Tournament at Eugene’s Swede Johnson Stadium.
The Southridge Bandits beat Bellingham 4-2 to claim the state title in Mount Vernon despite managing just a single hit on the day.
The only hits the Bandits needed during their three-run rally in the sixth were a pair of hit batters with the bases loaded. The uprising started with a couple of two-out walks and an error. Tyson Daniels and Gavin Woods wound up “taking one for the team” to push across the go-ahead run plus some insurance.
The Bandits struck first in the second inning when Mason Martin tripled and scored on Woods’ sacrifice fly.
Southridge starter Sergio Midili threw a gem, going the distance and giving up just four hits and one walk.
Yakima Valley 9, Kennewick 6
Kennewick 131 000 001 — 6 11 1
Yakima Valley 002 070 00x — 9 14 5
Colton Plew, Mark Driver (5), Kooper Blair (8) and Dylan Wilbert; Dexter, Logan (5) and Campbell. Highlights—Nate Newbry (K) 2R; Larry DeWitt (K) 2 RBI; Wilbert (2B), Josh Kutzke (K) 2x4; Austin Morfin (K) 2x5, 2 RBI; Connor Morfin (K) 3x3.
Southridge 4, Bellingham 2
Bellingham 000 200 0 — 2 4 2
Southridge 010 003 x — 4 1 1
Nickelson, Alarcon (6) and Webber, Pacheaco; Sergio Midili and Lane Hailey. Highlights—Mason Martin (S) 3B; Gavin Woods (S) 2 RBI.