The Warrenton Junior State baseball team pulled off a late-game rally to win Game 1 of a doubleheader at Seaside Monday, July 11, but the Warriors were unable to touch Gulls’ pitcher Gage McFadden in Game 2.
The sophomore-to-be right-hander shut down the Warrenton bats, and the two teams settled for a split at Broadway Field, with the Warriors winning the first game 5-4 and Seaside taking Game 2, 3-0.
Warrenton’s Dalton Knight tossed a complete game in the opener, allowing five hits with six strikeouts and eight walks.
The Warriors had six hits off two Seaside pitchers, as Scott Plampin and Duncan Thompson combined for 11 strikeouts and no walks.
The only difference — Warrenton’s hits were timely, and the Warriors took advantage of a few lucky hops.
An RBI single by Kale’o Kapua scored Knight with the first run in the opener, and Kapua scored on an error to make it 2-0.
The Gulls scored twice on passed balls to take a 3-2 lead in the third inning, before Warrenton tied it in the fourth on a grounder by Gabe Breitmeyer that scored Jake Morrow.
The teams remained in a 3-3 deadlock through five innings, until Seaside scored a run in the sixth, as Travis Fenton poked a two-out single to right field, scoring Payton Westerholm with the go-ahead run.
Warrenton rallied in the top of the seventh however, sparked by a leadoff single by Morrow.
Morrow reached third on a steal and a passed ball, then sprinted home on a squeeze bunt by Breitmeyer, who picked up his second RBI.
Alec Herrera and Austin Little followed with singles. Zac Tapio — running for Herrera — was almost picked off second base by Thompson, but an errant throw went into center field, and Tapio took third and headed for home.
The throw from center was on line, but the ball hopped once and hit the catcher’s mask in front of the plate, allowing Tapio time enough to slide in safely with the go-ahead run.
Knight gave up a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh, but retired three straight to end the game.
Tapio and McFadden faced off in the nightcap, and neither pitcher allowed much.
McFadden gave up four hits with four strikeouts and no walks, while Tapio allowed just two hits, with four strikeouts and five walks.
The Gulls scored the only run they would need in the bottom of the first, when Otto Hoekstre drew a one-out walk, advanced to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball, then scored on a grounder by Fenton for a 1-0 lead.
McFadden went to work from there, as the right-hander faced just one batter over the minimum through four innings.
He gave up a double to Morrow (the day’s only extra-base hit) in the fifth, but retired six in a row after that.
Meanwhile, the Gulls tacked on two runs in the third, an RBI single from Hoekstre that scored Thompson, and Plampin scored on a double steal.
The Warriors had the tying run at the plate in the top of the seventh, but McFadden finished off his complete-game shutout by retiring the final batter in a force-out play.
Warrenton’s summer season comes to a close, while the Gulls return to action Thursday in a three-day tournament at Broadway Field.
“It was a nice way to end the season,” said Warrenton coach Lennie Wolfe. “Most of all, I was real pleased with the improvement our players made, from March to now. It was the longest season many of those guys had ever played, and I’m feeling real confident about next spring.”
Physically, “youth will be served at times,” he said, “so we’re going to have to do things and take some chances to make things happen on the bases. But I’m real excited about the direction we’re going, not just with the players, but with some of the improvements we’ll be making with the field (installing a new backstop and artificial-turfed bullpens, and eventually a batting cage facility under the football bleachers).”
Brookings and Seaside open the Seaside Tournament Thursday at 10 a.m., followed by Scappoose vs. Astoria Ford at 12:30 p.m.