The fireworks came five days late for the Palouse Patriots.
The Pullman squad rolled out 13 runs over the final two innings, including nine runs in the seventh, and walloped the Lewis-Clark Twins 17-3 Tuesday in an American Legion baseball game at Harris Field.
The game was a rematch of a 10-5 Twins win earlier this season at Pullman High. This time, the Patriots pulled out their biggest victory of the year.
“It was nice seeing the guys swing the bats and find some holes and put multiple runs together,” said Palouse coach Mike Kinkade, whose squad racked up 18 hits.
Four players smacked three hits apiece for the Patriots (15-13), including Payton Kallaher, Reece Chadwick, Cam Vis and Nate Akesson.
Akesson made arguably the two biggest plays of the game, one at the plate and one in the field. The centerfielder hammered a standing, two-RBI triple off the corner of the right-field wall in the seventh, part of a huge nine-run, eight-hit frame for the Patriots.
In the bottom of the inning, Akesson made a fully extended, diving catch in centerfield for the frame’s first out.
Despite the final score, the game was close through five innings, with the Patriots taking a 4-3 lead in the fifth on Akesson’s sac fly that sent Kallaher across home plate.
Then the Patriots put the game away 13 more runs, working against three Twins pitchers and taking advantage of six errors committed by Lewis-Clark (19-15).
“I thought that it was good for four innings. We executed on offense and got some runs across,” Twins coach Kevin Maurer said. “The thing that killed us this game is we just lacked the energy and focus to commit to every inning.
“Something we’ve been great at our last six games is everyone’s been locked in for each other and today we went away from that, and it cost us big time.”
Six Palouse batters went to the plate three times over the last two innings and all nine players scored at least one run.
Kinkade said the Patriots have struggled at times to find holes and string hits together at times this season, but that was far from lacking Tuesday.
The Patriots’ other biggest hitters were Konner Kinkade (two hits, three RBI) and Conner Green (two RBI, three runs). Chadwick added three RBI and two runs.
“I thought we hit a lot of balls the other way, a lot of balls found holes,” Mike Kinkade said. “Hit balls hard at people, there were a few hops. I think they had six errors, we gotta take advantage of that too. I really think we did tonight.”
The Twins were led by Brayden Turcott (two hits, one run) and Dalton Hart (triple, two RBI).
On the mound, Palouse’s Chadwick struck out four over five innings and Mitch LaVielle came in and faced only seven batters through the final two innings.
The day was originally scheduled to be a doubleheader, but was reduced to one game to save some pitching arms, Kinkade said.
“I thought Reece really pitched well, battled out of some tough spots, especially early in the game,” Kinkade said. “Mitch came in throwing strikes and mixing his pitches up and really making I think some good hitters look off balance.”
Palouse 021 014 9—17 18 1
Lewis-Clark 102 000 0— 3 6 6
Payton Kallaher, Reece Chadwick (1), Mitch LaVielle (6) and Konner Kinkade, Tristan Wilson (6). Trent Reel, Coy Stout (6), Jose Barajas (7) and Austin Kolb.
Palouse hits — Payton Kallaher 3, Nate Akesson 3 (3B), Reece Chadwick 3, Cam Vis 3 (2B), Konner Kinkade 2, Connor Green 2, Carson Coulter, Mitch LaVielle.
Lewis-Clark hits — Brayden Turcott 2, Mason Daniel, Dawson Bonfield, Dalton Hart (3B), Cole McKenzie.