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MOSES LAKE – On a hot Tuesday night at Larson Playfield, the Othello Red Raiders defeated the AA 18U Columbia Basin River Dogs in both games of a doubleheader, winning the first game 12-2 and picking up a 13-4 victory in the night game.

“We felt pretty good,” Othello head coach Sonny Garza said. “Obviously the weather was rough, so we had to battle through it, but we knew that going in. We just had to get through it. The guys played pretty good baseball, so we were excited to come here and try to play some good baseball.”

Othello struck first in Tuesday’s opener when shortstop Sonny Salazar gave the Red Raiders a 1-0 lead in the first inning with an RBI single that sent home second baseman Quade Gonzalez IV. The Red Raiders scored two more runs in the third inning on RBI doubles by Gonzalez and left fielder Aaden Montes, and later scored four more runs in the fourth inning on RBIs by pitcher Kal-El Ozuna, Gonzalez and Salazar, and right fielder Carlos Castillo, who scored on an error.

The Red Raiders scored five runs in the fifth inning with RBIs from first baseman Jojo Garza, Castillo, Ozuna and Gonzalez.

Ozuna started on the mound and pitched all five innings, allowing two hits, one earned run, two walks and recording seven strikeouts.

“We started slow, but we got going in the third and fourth innings,” Garza said. “We had a good pitching performance from Kal-El Ozuna — he’s been one of our most important pitchers this summer and he’s pitched really well for us. He’s thrown a lot of strikes, getting to the batters and keeping us in the game.”

Gonzalez hit three of three and had three RBIs, leading the team in both categories.

“My approach was very centered, so any time I see a fastball, I hit it right down the middle,” Gonzalez said. “(If it’s a) curveball, I turn my hips and hit it to the left — that’s what I did most of the game.”

Columbia Basin’s two runs of the game came in the fourth and fifth innings, when both center fielder Elijah Davis and first baseman Andre Godefroy scored runs.

“Basically just not making routine plays,” River Dogs head coach Chuck Hansen said of the reasons for the loss. “Not being aggressive and not being competitive at the plate, letting some guys walk … it just keeps building up.”

Othello’s offense got rolling early in the second game on Tuesday. The Red Raiders scored three runs in the first inning and seven runs in the second to take an early 10-0 lead. Salazar, catcher Garrett Weyns, Montes, Castillo and Ozuna each scored runs in the first two innings.

“They were able to land some really good shots and execute our plan, and that got us going,” Garza said.

Castillo led Othello to a 13-4 win with two hits and three RBIs. Montes and Castillo both appeared on the mound in the second game, with the duo combining for three hits, four earned runs and seven walks.

“Our pitchers were playing well, so we thought we had to hit for them,” Gonzalez said. “We had to be consistent throughout the game.”

For the River Dogs, right fielder Trenton Ralston, catcher Clayton Wolther and shortstop Javier Flores each scored one run. Columbia Basin was only able to score seven hits and six runs in the two games.

“We just have to play better in all facets of the game, we just have to get better,” Hansen said. “We have to be more focused and more aggressive.”

The two teams met again in a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon, but results were not available in time for press time. Doubleheaders on consecutive days put a strain on the teams’ pitchers, Garza said.

“It’s really tough because we know we have four games in two days and we have the pitch count rules,” Garza said. “We know we have to kind of ride the pitchers and throw a lot of guys. It’s been a tough thing for us, but at the same time it’s been good because we’ve been able to see different guys that we don’t get to see a lot in the spring.”

Ian Bivona can be reached at [email protected].

Match reports

Game One

RED: 1-0-2-4-5 12

RVR: 0-0-0-1-1 2

Game Two

RED: 3-7-2-1-0 13

RVR: 0-2-0-2-0 4

River Dogs first baseman Andre Godefroy (right) turns back to first base to avoid being intercepted in the first inning against Othello on Tuesday.
River Dog shortstop Javier Flores fields a ground ball and throws it back to first base in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Othello.
Red Raiders right fielder/pitcher Carlos Castillo reaches second base during the second inning of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the AA Columbia Basin River Dogs. Castillo led the team with two hits and three RBIs in the game.