American Legion baseball: West Kootenay Phillies, Diamondbacks on a roll

The Washington State American Legion single-A and double-A leagues are feeling the heat from a pair of West Kootenay teams.

The Washington State American Legion single-A and double-A leagues are feeling the heat from a pair of West Kootenay teams.

The single-A West Kootenay Phillies counted seven of a possible eight points on the weekend, while the double-A West Kootenay Diamondbacks won a pair of games in Medical Lake.

The Dbacks cruised to a 16-3 victory in the first game against Medical Lake with Tanner Johnson notching the victory, while Joe Ferraro powered the offence going 4-for-5 with three doubles and a single.

Scott Davidson then took the mound for the second end of the doubleheader, getting the win in a closer 14-9 match. The Dbacks ran their record to 9-1 and sit atop the American Legion Federal division with Pullman, 12-2, nipping at their heals one game back.

The Phillies meanwhile reversed an 0-6 start and have been unbeatable in the last few weeks, winning six and tying one in its last seven starts. The Phillies opened the weekend Saturday with a doubleheader against West Valley.

Derek Green got the start and threw a gem, going the distance in a 10-0 shutout in the first game. Green gave up just two hits and three walks, while striking out five. Brendan Makay was 3-for-4 at the plate, while Daniel Gagnier scored three times, going 2-for-3 with a stolen base.

In the second game Makay helped his own cause on the mound by knocking in the winning run in the bottom of the fifth with a single that scored two runs to make it 10-7 Phillies.

The Valley comeback came up just short as they plated two more in the top of sixth before Colton Miracle shut the door, striking out the final two batters in the top of seven for the save.

On Sunday the Phils travelled to Pullman to play Whitman County looking to sweep. They opened the series with a 13-3 victory riding another fine pitching performance, this time, from Braedon Zarikoff.

“I can’t say enough about our pitching, three 13-year olds, and Braedon Zarakoff, he threw a gem again, so our pitchers are doing real well and were hitting quite well too,” said Phillies coach Darren Miracle.

The Phillies scored seven runs in the third inning to break open a close 3-2 match for the victory.

Phillies coach Darren Miracle is impressed with the turn around, “It’s just the way the kids are playing. They’re battling, they’re hitting the ball well, but I think they’re having a lot of fun.”

The second match seemed to be locked up as well. Yet, with the Phillies leading 11-2 in the top of the fifth, Pullman rallied scoring seven in the fifth to close the gap to 11-9. West Kootenay scored four more in the top of seven to go up 16-9, but improbably the Pullman squad plated another seven runs to tie the game and force extras. However, the game would be called a tie as it entered the 10th inning due to lateness.

The team is just five games back of Central Valley in the Western division, but have four games in hand, and a playoff spot not looking so far off.

“We’re in the thick of things,” said Miracle. “If we keep winning we got a chance. It’s looking pretty good, if we win our next three we go to University 2 on Sunday and we might actually have to finish the 16-16 game.”

The Diamondbacks played a doubleheader Tuesday night but scores were unavailable at presstime, and will play Thursday at Butler in another double bill against Rogers at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The Phillies are back in action on with a game on Friday at Butler at 7:30 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday at 10 a.m. and noon.