Pak shakes off the rust and sweeps the Beetles to start a four-game series | Legion Baseball

SELAH – As rare as they are and as strange as it may seem, a three-game losing streak can be invaluable for Yakima Valley’s Pepsi Pak.

Like a year ago, when the Pak lost three in a row before the Senior Legion State Tournament. What followed was a 5-0 rocket ride through the bracket and the program’s fourth Washington championship in seven years.

Last week in Reno, after going 27-3, Yakima Valley encountered some tough pitching and returned home after losing three straight. Potentially adding to the advantage this slippage could create, the Pak then did not play for five days.

“I’m not sure nervous is the right word, but it was definitely different not to play that long,” head coach Mike Archer said. “We had training and then we have to come here and play well because everything is on the line.”

Everything is in play, indeed, and the Pak – like last year – responded very well.

Starters Steven Johnson and Ty Estey pitched efficiently and Yakima Valley racked up 23 hits in an 8-3, 11-2 sweep over the Yakima Pepsi Beetles on Saturday to open a four-game series that will decide who will be the representative of the Central Washington League. in the Senior Legion State Tournament.

With a win in Sunday’s doubleheader at Parker Faller Field, the Pak will be on their way to Spokane to defend their title. If there is a sweep of the Beetles, a one-game playoff will take place on Monday.

“We said to the guys, look, this is our rival and these are the two games that a lot of our alumni will come to see,” Archer said. “We are expected to win, okay, but in a rivalry, strange things can happen. After five days without playing and then needing to be precise, it makes a coach a bit nervous.

The Pak took a 5-0 lead in Game 1, but the Beetles pulled back in the fourth inning with three straight hits, including two doubles, against Johnson to cut the deficit to 5-3. But that’s all the generosity Johnson would show the rest of the way.

In his first season with the Yakima Valley senior team, the West Valley junior faced the minimum in the fifth, sixth and seventh and pushed his summer record to 6-0 – all complete games.

“In Reno, Steven was really sharp and today not as much,” said Archer, who had opponents back in two doubleheaders on Wednesday and Thursday. “But after the fourth he tuned in and had some really fast runs. He was solid.

And the Pak Bats had plenty to back him up with six different hitters driving in runs. Jackson May, seventh at bat, was 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs, John Sullivan had a double and two RBIs and Adam Goodrich scored three runs.

In the last drink, Estey worked five innings, left with a 7-2 lead, and Luke Jenkins closed it out. The offense kept the pressure on with leadoff batter and three-year Pak Ryker veteran Fortier going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. May scored his third brace of the day in the first set, making two runs to cap a 4-0 start, and Goodrich added a 3-for-3 effort and finished with five runs scored for the day.

The Beetles (15-25), who had 15 hits for the day, will now host the Pak (29-6) at Parker on Sunday with Game 1 moved from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The eight-team Senior Legion State Tournament, which begins July 23, will be held at Jackson Field at Shadle Park High School, where Yakima Valley won its 2017 title.

Game 1

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Haffner, Rodriquez (6) and Moser; Johnson and Chapman.

Strong points: Eddie Messer (Yak) 1-3, 2b, run, 2 RBI; Teghan Moser (Yak) 2-3, RBI; Stevan Rodriquez (Yak) 1-3, 2b, run; Jackson May (YV) 3-4, 2 2b, run, 2 RBI; John Sullivan (YV) 1-3, 2b, run, 2 RBI; Adam Goodrich (YV) 2-4, 2b, sb, 3 points; Derek Wolff (YV) 2-4; Ryker Fortier (YV) 1-2, sb, RBI; Cade Gibson (YV) 2 points, RBI; Steven Johnson (YV) CG, 7 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.

Game 2

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Rettig, Messer (3), Johnston (5) and Moser; Estey, Jenkins (6) and Moore.

Strong points: Kaden Taylor (Yak) 2-4, running; I’Den Briones (Yak) 2-4; Stevan Rodriquez (Yak) 2-4, run, sb, RBI; Nick Field (Yak) 1-2, 2b; Ryker Fortier (YV) 3-4, 2 points, RBI; Drew Johnson (YV) 2-5, 3g, run, 2 RBI; Derek Wolff (YV) 1-4, 2 RBIs; Eian Peralta (YV) 1-3, 2 pts, sb, RBI; Adam Goodrich (YV) 3-3, 2 points; Jackson May (YV) 2-4, 2b, sb, 2 RBI; Ty Moore (YV) 2 points; Ty Estey (YV) 5 ​​IP, 8 hits, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.

Peppers wins district title

KENNEWICK – Jonathan Rominger threw three hits in five innings and the Yakima Valley Peppers shut out the Kennewick Phantoms 10-0 in the Junior Legion District Championship game on Saturday.

Conner Speer was 2 for 2 with three RBIs and Justin Busey was 3 for 3 with a brace for the Peppers, who will host the eight-team Junior Legion State Tournament July 23-27 at Archer Stadium.

Yakima Valley will play matches at 7 p.m. on the first two days of the tournament. The Phantoms also qualified for the state.

YV Highlights: Conner Speer 2-2, 3 RBIs; Justin Busey 3-3, 2b; Anthony Renteria 1-3, RBI; Reid Bala 1-3, 2b, 2 points; James Hull 1-3, 2 points; Jonathan Rominger CG, 5 IP, 3 hits, 1 K, 1 BB, 2g, RBI.