Colville’s AA American Legion Baseball club advanced to the third day of the Washington State American Legion tournament in Walla Walla after a 6-2 victory over Burlington in a Sunday elimination game. Colville dropped their opening game to host and top-seeded Walla Walla, 14-2, on Saturday night.
Game one on Saturday against Walla Walla started out well for Colville. The Indians took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Morris and an RBI single by Jesse Morrison.
In the bottom of the third, however, the wheels came off for Colville, with Walla Walla scoring 10 runs on nine hits off pitchers Tyler Ward and Lukyn Holling.
Walla Walla added four more runs in the bottom of the fourth to end the game early because of the 10-run rule.
Morrison and Lukyn Holling both went 2 for 3 for Colville, while Ward, who spent most of the season pitching for the Colville Elite A Legion squad, took the loss on the mound.
Coach Boo Morrison was impressed with hard-hitting Walla Walla. For his money, that’s the best hitting team he has seen in a long time.
“They are the best hitting team I have seen since I’ve been coaching,” Morrison said after it was all over. “Their no. 9 hitter was as good as their no. 3 hitter.
Best hitting team
“I think Walla Walla and Mt. Spokane are the two best teams in the tournament.”
Jesse Morrison had a pair of singles and an RBI and Josh Harvey doubled and had an RBI. Lukyn Holling doubled and singled and Tevyn Holling and Chris Boggs both singled in the loss.
Ben Knight took the loss for Colville.
“Once they went through their line-up once, Walla Walla was able to make adjustments against Benny—they hit him hard.”
On Sunday at Borleske Field, Colville faced a win or head home scenario against the Burlington Red Sox.
Colville sent Colville High senior-to-be Colton Vining to the hill to keep the season going.
Vining was up to the task, scattering seven hits and a walk in the 6-2 complete game win.
Vining was aided immeasurably by three double plays turned by the defense behind him.
Colville roared out of the gate early against Burlington, scoring four runs in the first inning. The first two runs came on a two-run triple by Lukyn Holling. Colville plated two more runs in the inning on two wild pitches by Burlington pitcher Drew Larson.
In the third inning, the Red Sox had Vining in a bit of trouble, with two runners on and nobody out. What initially looked like a force out and a throwing error plated a run for Burlington. But the play was overturned by the umpiring crew on an interference call. The ruling was that the Burlington runner slid too wide of the bag attempting to break up a double play at second base.
Colville took full advantage of the break and Vining was on cruise control.
With the potential rally snuffed, Vining held the Red Sox scoreless until the sixth inning. After Colville scored two runs to go ahead 6-0 in the top of the sixth on a two-run single by Tevyn Holling, the shutout was broken up when Burlington plated two runs and cut Colville’s lead to 6-2.
There was no drama in the seventh. Vining retired the Red Sox in order to nail down the complete game victory.
Vining went the distance in likely his strongest outing of the summer, striking out three and walking only one batter. Tevyn Holling went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Defense and pitching have carried Colville through this post-season run. Head coach Boo Morrison has been very happy with the growth his players have shown this Legion season.
“In the last week-and-a-half our defense has been really solid,” Morrison said on Sunday. We’re not scoring a lot of runs, but we’re scoring enough runs to win. Our defense is the difference between what happened during high school ball (in the spring) and what is happening now.”
Colville faced Buckley-Enumclaw on Monday at 1 p.m. in another loser out game. Morrison sent left-hander Chris Boggs to the mound.
“We’re going to go with Bogsey as long as we can and piece it together from there,” Morrison said.
A win on Monday will send Colville to Tuesday’s game at 3 p.m.
In other games on Sunday, Mt. Spokane scored 11 runs in the fourth inning to outscore Enumclaw 18-11. Mt. Spokane is the lone area team still in the winner’s bracket. They played Mason of Aberdeen on Monday night at Walla Walla Community College.