Yakima Valley Pepsi PAKS: Welcome
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Friday, July 30
Lindemann’s ninth-inning homer lifts Pak
SELAH, Wash. — With the two best teams from the best league in the state inseparable for eight innings, the American Legion state baseball tournament was poised for a special moment Thursday night.
And Kurt Lindemann pounced on it at his first chance.
Driving a first-pitch fastball over the rightfield wall for a two-run home run in the ninth inning, Lindemann lifted the Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak to a 6-4 victory over the Twin City Titans and launched his home crowd at Carlon Park into celebration.
“It was the ninth inning, we had a guy on and I knew I had to get a big hit,” said the clean-up hitting rightfielder. “I wasn’t thinking, ‘go up there and be aggressive,’ I was just looking for a fastball inner half.”
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And with Travis Fuller’s first offering, there it was.
“I got it, too,” Lindemann smiled. “I knew it was going out.”
With Lindemann’s clutch shot and D.J. Smith’s stout pitching, the Pak (39-14) remain in the winner’s bracket and will take a 14-game win streak into today’s 7 p.m. game against Kelso Pacific Tech (28-13), which defeated the Spokane Bandits 8-6.
Smith, who beat Bellingham with eight-plus innings on Sunday, recovered powerfully on three days rest and managed to shut out the Titans for six of his 8 2/3 innings.
With Twin City the home team, the Titans had one last crack after Lindemann’s go-ahead homer. And they didn’t go quietly.
The left-handed Smith put two down in a hurry with his fifth strikeout and a 6-3 groundout, but then he gave up a double and issued just his second walk, bringing the winning run to the plate.
With Smith at 117 pitches, pitching coach Rob Archer sent in closer Jacob Vetsch and he got A.J. Griffiths to fly out to right for the final out.
“I was tired. Right now my arm feels like it’s going to fall off,” said Smith, who improved to 9-3. “I got two outs and I battled, but I also had complete faith in Vetsch. He goes in and gets it done.”
Smith only hiccup came in the third when Twin City put together a string of four hits in five at-bats for three runs. After that, all the Titans got on the board was Zach Rapacz’s RBI double in the eighth.
Rapacz’s hit, though, countered Matt Snider’s two-out RBI single in the top of the eighth and knotted the score at 4-4, setting up Lindemann’s heroics.
“I felt ready today but I put in a lot of hard work to recover,” said Smith. “A lot of ice, some running and a good massage. Yesterday maybe I could have thrown two, three innings. But today was felt strong again.”
The Titans (41-18) won three of four games against the Pak in early June and Garrett Anderson, Thursday’s starter, threw five innings in a seven-inning 6-0 shutout.
But Anderson had trouble locating in the rematch, issuing five walks and hitting a batter. Three double plays helped erase some of those free passes, but the Pak chased Anderson in the fifth and drew even at 3-3 on Lindemann’s RBI single.
Leadoff hitter J.R. Weigel went 3-for-5 and scored two runs, and Alex Fickes reached base four times with three walks and a hit-by-pitch, the latter preceding Lindemann’s fourth home run of the season.
The Central Washington League can still have three teams in the final four with the two Tri-Cities teams in loser-out games today — Kennewick vs. the Spokane Bandits at noon followed by Twin City vs. Centralia at 3 p.m.
Yakima Valley 100 020 012 — 6 10 1
Twin City 003 000 010 — 4 10 2
Smith, Vetsch (9) and Snider; Anderson, Fuller (5), Drury (9) and Wolf.
Highlights: J.R. Weigel (YV) 3-5, 2 runs; Kurt Lindemann (YV) 2-4, run, sb, HR, 3 RBI; D.J. Smith (YV) 8.2 IP, 5 K, 2 BB; Drew Oord (TC) 2-4, 2b, 3b, run, RBI; Zach Rapacz (TC) 2-4, 2b, RBI; Matt Minnich (TC) 1-1, 2b.
Tuesday, July 20
Here are the final Central Washington League senior legion baseball standings. Officials have determined that the Yakima Pepsi Beetles do NOT have to make up a doubleheader at Wenatchee on Thursday.
W L Pct.
x-Yakima Valley 19 5 .792
x-Twin City 18 6 .750
x-Kennewick 15 9 .625
x-Yakima 10 12 .455
x-Wenatchee 7 15 .318
Pasco 7 17 .292
Hanford 6 18 .250
x-qualified for super regionals.