SPOKANE — One inning made all the difference and it was the first at-bat of the day.
The Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak sent 13 batters to the plate in the opening frame and piled up eight runs to eliminate the Yakima Pepsi Beetles from the Senior Legion state baseball tournament with a 10-2 victory on Monday at A.K. Jackson Field.
It was a dream start to the clash of rivals for the Pak, which gave a heap of run support right out of the gate to winning pitcher Taylor Logan, and a defensive nightmare for the Beetles, who committed all three of their errors in the first inning to offer up six unearned runs.
Yakima Valley (42-19) advances to the final four and will play a loser-out game against fellow Central Washington League team Twin City at 10 a.m. today. The Beetles finished their best season in years at 37-22.
The Pak’s big blows in the breakout inning came from Dylan Peters, who knocked a two-out, two-run single for a 4-0 lead, and Fabian Gutierrez, whose back-breaker, three-run double pushed the margin to 8-0.
Yakima’s first infield error could have ended the inning at 2-0 and the second miscue came directly after Peters’ base hit. More painful yet, starter Landon Messmore then struck out Jace VanDeBrake for the apparent third out but the ball got away from the catcher and VanDeBrake reached first base, extending the inning.
Gutierrez then delivered his bases-clearing double.
Messmore, who yielded only two earned runs, was lifted after Gutierrez’s hut and Kyle Bohl pitched the rest of the game.
Yakima Valley starter Taylor Logan continued his late-season roll, throwing a complete game with two earned runs and seven consecutive shutout innings. He worked around five walks, struck out two and threw 139 pitches.
Peters finished with four RBI and Ryan Ross was 3 for 5 with two runs scored for the Pak, which collected 12 hits and committed no errors.
Kris Janis and Trenton Dupre were both 3 for 5 for the Beetles.
Game 9: Yakima Valley 10, Yakima 2, loser out.
Game 10: Hanford 10, Lakeside Recovery 7, loser out.
Game 11: Centralia 16, Twin City 0
Game 12: Yakima Valley vs. Twin City, loser out, 10 a.m.
Game 13: Centralia vs. Hanford, 1 p.m.
Yakima Valley 10, Yakima 2
Yakima Valley 800 200 000 — 10 12 0
Yakima 100 000 001 — 2 11 3
Logan and Peters; Messmore, Bohl (1) and Trudeau, Sauve (3).
Highlights: Dylan Peters (YV) 2-5, run, 4 RBI; Fabian Gutierrez (YV) 2-4, 2b, run, 3 RBI; Ryan Ross (YV) 3-5, 2 runs, RBI; John Piper (YV) 2-5, run; Ryan Engquist (YV) 1-3, run, 2 BB; Taylor Logan (YV) CG, 1 ER; Kris Janis (Yak) 3-5; Trenton Dupre (Yak) 3-5, run, RBI; Nate Giles (Yak) 2-4, 2b, RBI; Justin Juarez (Yak) 2-5, 2b; Kyle Bohl (Yak) 8.1 IP, 2 ER.