Greg Tellez's grand slam late last Friday night gave Columbia High an improbable 19-15 extra-innings victory and a SWW 1A League Trico Division double-header sweep of Ilwaco at Hecomovich Field.
The CHS third baseman's first career grand slam with one out in the bottom of the ninth of game two concluded a marathon day of baseball that Bruins Coach Larry McCutcheon likened to a Sergio Leone spaghetti western.
"It was the good, the bad and the ugly," McCutcheon said of Columbia's overall effort. "The positive thing was, there was a whole lot more of the first stuff than the other two."
The good: Jared McDonald pitched a three-hitter and Nick and Kyle Reeves both homered in support of the right-hander's 12-1 complete-game victory in game one.
For McDonald, who struck out eight, walked none and only let one runner get past second base, it was his first decision of the season.
For Kyle Reeves, Friday was the biggest offensive day of his varsity career. He finished with three home runs (two in game two) and nine runs batted in.
The bad: CHS pitchers yielded twice as many walks (13) as hits (6) in what turned into a long nightcap for both squads.
The ugly: Columbia let a 4-0 lead in game two slip away in the third and fifth innings by walking too many batters (7) and making too many errors (7).
After six innings, Ilwaco led 14-6 and Columbia's five-game winning streaked looked in peril.
But, like Clint Eastwood riding in to save the day against incredible odds, back came the Bruins--once, twice, then three times--to pull out the victory.
"The thing that really impressed me (about the win) was that there wasn't any quit in us," McCutcheon said. "It was a great team effort."
Columbia racked up five runs in the sixth inning--thanks in large measure to Kyle Reeves' three-run homer--to close within 14-11, then tied it up with three runs in the seventh.
Ilwaco regained the lead two innings later, however, with a one-out homer off reliever Austin Krentz (2-0). But the Fishermen couldn't hold it.
With one out, the Bruins loaded the bases via two walks and a hit batter. Krentz, too, took a pitch for the team to bring in the tying run.
And Tellez sealed the outcome on the next pitch, driving a belt-high fastball over the 353-foot mark of nearly straightaway center field.
"Greg just crushed it," McCutcheon said. "Watching that ball fly away into the night was one of the prettiest sights I've ever seen at a ballpark."
The long ball also factored into the Bruins' victory in game one.
CHS took a 4-0 lead in the top of the third on a three-run homer by Nick Reeves (his second of the season) and extended its advantage to 12-0 in the sixth with a grand slam by Kyle Reeves.
Ilwaco's lone run came in the last of the sixth, on a fielder's choice to shortstop that followed a one-out double and an infield error that moved the lead runner one base closer to home.
"When you look at the two games together," McCutcheon said, "we had two really bad, ugly innings. But around them we played 14 pretty good innings."
The Bruins (2-0, 7-1) travel to Carson on Friday for a Trico double-header against the Stevenson Bulldogs (1-1, 2-5).