SPOKANE — Playing its crooked-number game again on Tuesday, the Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak routed the Twin City Titans 14-2 to win its third consecutive loser-out contest and reach the final day of the Senior Legion state baseball tournament.
A day after putting eight runs on the board in its first at-bat against the Yakima Pepsi Beetles, the Pak erupted for seven runs in the fourth inning to surge ahead of Twin City and plated six more runs in the seventh to invoke the 10-run rule.
Kurt Lindemann pitched a five-hitter with five strikeouts and clubbed a two-run home run for Yakima Valley, which has outscored its last two state opponents 24-4 to advance to championship day at A.K. Jackson Field.
The Pak (43-19) will have a rematch with opening-day opponent Hanford (37-19) at 10 a.m. today with the winner moving on to face Centralia at 1 p.m. in the championship game. Washington’s state champion qualifies for the Northwest regional in Eugene, Ore.
Hanford edged Yakima Valley 4-3 on Saturday and the Pak survived its first elimination round narrowly the next day, ousting Bellingham 4-3. Since then the Pak have swung away and not looked back.
On Tuesday, Twin City led 2-1 heading into the fourth inning when everything changed as the Pak sent 12 batters to the plate to turn a tight contest into a runaway. Ryan Ross contributed a two-run single and Ryan Engquist’s RBI double — his second hit of the inning — capped the uprising and stretched the margin to 8-2.
With two outs and nobody on base in the seventh, the Pak put together seven straight hits, including a three-run single by Cole Gilman followed by Lindemann’s home run.
Ross and Fabian Gutierrez have led the team offensively, collecting eight hits apiece in four games and combining for nine RBI.
Every batter in the lineup on Tuesday scored at least one run with Jace VanDeBrake plating three. Gilman finished with four RBI and Ross drove in three.
In Tuesday’s second game, Hanford handed Centralia its first loss, 15-8, in a game that had 32 total hits and five doubles for each team. All three of today’s finalists are 3-1 but Centralia got a pass into the championship because it was the last team to drop a game.
Game 12: Yakima Valley 14, Twin City 2, loser out.
Game 13: Hanford 15, Centralia 8.
Game 14: Yakima Valley vs. Hanford, loser out, 10 a.m.
Game 15: Centralia vs. Winner 14, championship, 1 p.m.
Yakima Valley 14, Twin City 2
Yakima Valley 100 700 6 — 14 14 0
Twin City 200 000 0 — 2 5 2
Lindemann and Logan; Drury, Craig (4), Ruane (7) and Early.
Highlights: Kurt Lindemann (YV) CG, 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 hits, 5 K, 3 BB, 2-5, run, HR, 2 RBI; Cole Gilman (YV) 1-4, 2 runs, 4 RBI; Ryan Ross (YV) 2-5, 2 runs, 3 RBI; Taylor Logan (YV) 2-4, 2b, run; Ryan Engquist (YV) 2-3, 2b, run, RBI, 2 BB; Kameron Hood (YV) 1-3, run, RBI; Fabian Gutierrez (YV) 2-4, 2 runs, RBI; Jace VanDeBrake (YV) 2-3, 3 runs, RBI, 2 BB; Logan Jackson (TC) 2-3, run.