On a afternoon that was a family reunion of sorts for Tri-City baseball, Kenton Brunson had a big day against his old team.
The freshman outfielder from Richland, who redshirted at Walla Walla last year, had six hits on the day to lead Columbia Basin College’s attack in a pair of 11-3 wins over the visiting Warriors on Saturday in Pasco.
The NWAACC East sweep pushed CBC’s winning streak to six games and upped its record to 12-8 in the East and 20-16 overall. Walla Walla (21-5, 13-7), meanwhile, saw its eight-game tear snapped off.
“Kenton Brunson had a huge day for us,” said CBC coach Chris Staton. “Our starters were great, our relievers bailed each other out of some huge situations, and our defense was pretty good all day.”
Walla Walla starter Jake Campeau was in control in Game 1, throwing six strong innings and striking out 10 while giving up just one earned run. But a couple of Warriors miscues opened the door to an eight-run eighth inning that blew open a tie game.
Ryan Neal, one of five Tri-City products in the Walla Walla lineup, was 4-for-4.
Danielle Neville stood up for CBC in the second game, throwing six innings of shutout ball before running into a spot of trouble in the seventh. But that was plenty good as the Hawks kept up the offensive pressure, taking 7-0 lead after four innings.
Travis Key had the big game, going 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs. Nick Savas drove in three runs.
The Hawks have a one-game lead over Spokane for the fourth and final regional berth, and Wenatchee Valley is just two games back with four doubleheaders remaining.
“Our guys have played really well recently,” Staton said. “They have worked harder than anybody else and deserve the success they are having right now.”
Walla Walla 000 101 100 — 3 9 7
Columbia Basin 100 100 18x — 11 13 1
Campeau, Schmidt (7, L,1-2), Brockman (7), Dixon (7) and Holbrook; Bevington, Danek (7), Sorensen (7), Cantu (8, W,2-0), Staudt (9) and Wolgamott. Highlights—Toon (WW) 2x5; Neal (WW) 4x4, 2R; Holbrook (WW) 2x3, RBI; Atkinson (CBC) 2x6, 3 RBI, 2R; Key (CBC) 2x4, 2 RBI; Brunson (CBC) 3x4, 3B, 2 RBI; Wolgamott (CBC) 2 RBI; Lochridge (CBC) 2x5, RBI.
Walla Walla 000 000 300 — 3 6 2
Columbia Basin 112 300 13x — 11 16 1
Costello (L,3-1), Bettinson (3), Carkner (4), Klute (8) and Turner; Neville (W,4-2), Sorensen (8), Staudt (8) and Roletto. Highlights—Jones (WW) 2x4, 3B; Salas (WW) 2-R HR; Webb (CBC) 2x4, 2B, 2R; Johnson (CBC) 3x4, 2B, 2R, RBI; Key (CBC) 3x4, 2B, 4 RBI; Savas (CBC) 2x4, 2R, 3 RBI; Brunson (CBC) 3x3,, 2R, RBI; Besmer (CBC) 2 RBI.