ELMA — The battle of tournament unbeatens went to the Twin Cities on Wednesday.
The two best teams in the Southern Washington 14-year-old state tournament met at Eagle Field in the championship game and neither team disappointed. Richland created chances against the Twin Cities and the Twins were forced to score five unanswered runs to secure a 5-3 victory.
On Aug. 1, the Twin Cities will represent the state in the Northwest Regional tournament at The Dalles, Ore.
Both teams entered the contest with 4-0 records, but the Twin Cities were able to take advantage of their chances that Richland could not.
Richland pitcher Trevor Hammit held down the Twin Cities’ big bats and allowed his defense to do the work when those bat did connect. Twins pitcher Jordan Wood had to work out of several jams over the first five innings.
The biggest jam came in the third inning, when Richland struck for its three runs.
After a leadoff walk and a strikeout, Richland pieced together three straight hits. Chandler Symons’ single put two runners on base and both of them scored on Chase Becker’s double to the center-field fence for a 2-0 lead.
Becker came home on Hammit’s RBI single on the next at-bat. Richland put two more runners on base, but Wood escaped without further damage.
The Twin Cities only needed one hit in the fourth inning to tie the game, capitalizing on the only miscues of the contest by Richland.
With one out and Wood at second base, Nolan Hawkins hit a grounder to Richland shortstop Jason Webb. Webb pump-faked with Wood off second base, but couldn’t make the throw to the base as Wood got back in time and Hawkins picked up a fielder’s choice at first base.
A groundout moved the runners to second and third base, then a two-run infield error plated Twin Cities’ first runs of the contest. The only hit of the frame was Brody Holcomb’s RBI single following the error for a 3-3 tie.
Wood stranded two Richland runners in scoring position in the top of the fifth.
The Twin Cities took the lead with three straight hits off Hammit, including back-to-back RBI doubles from Kieran Bredeson and Hawkins in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Wood again stranded Richland runners, this time in the top of the seventh inning, to clinch the victory.
Holcomb and Chase Evinger were named MVPs of the contest for Twin Cities, while Becker and Hammit were the MVPs for Richland.
Rich 003 000 0 — 3 9 1 TC 000 302 x — 5 5 0
Hammit, Wilson (6) and Becker; Wood and Evinger.