The Walla Walla Bruins claimed the Washington State AA American Legion baseball title, in a dramatic seventh-inning come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Kenewick Dusters in Olympia, Wash. on Thursday night.
The Bruins watched a 2-0 lead morph into a 3-2 deficit in the sixth inning Thursday, but the Bruins didn’t panic.
“We just knew we had to get a runner into scoring position,” Bruins coach Jason Parsons told the Union Bulletin. “This was the last game of the season, and you have to take some chances. It didn’t work out for us in the sixth inning, but it did in the seventh.”
Still trailing Central Washington League rival Kennewick 3-2 going to the bottom of the seventh, Walla Walla loaded the bases with one out. Mitch Lesmeister was hit by a pitch, Joe Yenney singled to left, and Josh Needham worked a walk.
That brought Gus Calzaretta to the plate, and he lined a single into right field that scored Lesmesiter from third base with the tying run.
The Dusters drew the infield in at that point, and Carter Davis rammed a ground ball single into left field. Pinch runner Kahili Helm scored easily from third base and a victorious Bruins dog pile ensued on the infield.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these kids and what they have been through this season,” said Parsons, who has now guided the Bruins to a pair of state championships in the past three years. Walla Walla was also state champion in 2013 after losing in the title game in 2012.
The Trail AA Orioles competed in the State championship but were eliminated after losing their opening two matches.