WARRENTON — It took the Warrenton baseball team 44 days and 15 games to win their first game last season.
In a sign that things may be changing, it took the Warriors a little under two hours to pick up victory No. 1 of the 2018 season.
Four Warrenton pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts, four walks and six hits allowed in a 4-3 win over Nestucca, in a nonleague game Monday at Warrenton’s Huddleston Field.
The Warriors scored two runs in the first, gave up two in the top of the fifth, then came back with two of their own in the bottom of the fifth.
Warrenton’s fourth pitcher of the day, sophomore Austin Little, gave up two hits with two outs in the seventh, but struck out Nestucca’s Ben Hurliman with a runner at third to end the game.
“We did exactly what we were hoping to do,” said Warrenton coach Lennie Wolfe. “Our pitchers were all in the strike zone, and the game was close enough that each one had to do some good pitching.”
Starter Devin Jackson was followed by Gabe Breitmeyer, Dalton Knight and Little, with Knight picking up the win.
“We were doing a comparative analysis of the game with last year’s game (Nestucca won last year’s opener, 13-2), when we gave up 13 walks and hit four batters, with numerous errors,” Wolfe said. “We played errorless ball today. Last year we had six extra base hits for the whole season, and today we had three.”
Little had the first, a double in the first inning. Knight scored the first run on an RBI grounder by Jacob Morrow, and Little came in on a grounder by Jackson.
Nestucca senior Cole Strober had a single, double and a triple, and sophomore Mitch Richwine added a pair of doubles for five of Nestucca’s six hits. Each also drove in two runs.
After the Bobcats tied the game in the top of the fifth, Knight led off Warrenton’s next at-bat with an inside-the-park home run.
Breitmeyer later drew a walk, and Morrow sprinted home from third when Breitmeyer got himself involved a rundown between first and second.
“That was a state playoff team from last year with many of the same players, so it was a good game to gauge where we’re at,” said Wolfe, whose team finished 1-17 overall last year.
“It was just good to get out in the sun, and we (the Warrenton coaching staff) were amazed at the size of the crowd that turned out. It’s only one game, but it was a great start.”