Warrenton High School
WARRENTON — The Warrenton Warriors will be the team that no one wants to play in the upcoming 3A baseball state playoffs.
Warrenton enters the postseason as quite possibly the hottest team at the 3A level, as the Warriors won their 10th and 11th consecutive games Friday at Huddleston Field, a 3-2, 10-0 sweep over Clatskanie.
After finishing 1-17 overall last year, Warrenton is 17-3 and will host a league playoff Thursday at 5 p.m. against either Clatskanie or Catlin Gabel to decide the league’s No. 2 and 3 seeds to the state playoffs.
With their two wins over the Tigers, the Warriors completed their “worst to first” turnaround, as they finished tied with Rainier atop the league standings for the Lewis & Clark League co-championship.
Rainier has the No. 1 seed by virtue of a sweep over the Warriors April 18, but since their two losses to the Columbians, the Warriors haven’t lost.
They also completed a Clatsop County sweep, joining Astoria (Cowapa League co-champs) and Knappa (Northwest League champions), as league champions at the 4A, 3A and 2A levels.
The Warriors used just two pitchers Friday, as Gabe Breitmeyer tossed a four-hitter in Game 1, and Devin Jackson gave up just one hit in Game 2.
“Both pitchers had great games,” said Warrenton’s Lennie Wolfe, coaching his 15th team to a league championship. “Gabe overcame some adversity in Game 1, and Devin in Game 2 threw very well. Gabe (five strikeouts, one walk) exceeded expectations, and I was prepared to throw him as long as we needed. Devin was awfully sharp,” with six strikeouts and two walks.
“The guys feel good about being co-champions,” he said. “And they certainly deserve to. These are kids who haven’t experienced a lot of wins, let alone league championships. At the same time, the reaction was a little subdued, because they realize that we still have more work to do.”
Clatskanie scored two runs off two Warrior errors in the first inning of Game 1. Those would be the only runs of the day for the Tigers.
Warrenton’s Austin Little — with a 20-game hitting streak — had three doubles on the day, his first in the fifth inning of Game 1 that scored Dalton Knight.
Little took third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.
After Warrenton’s first two batters struck out in the bottom of the seventh, Little doubled to the left field fence. After a walk to Jacob Morrow, Little was caught off second base. But instead of going after Little, the Tigers tried to run down Morrow between first and second, as Little raced around third and scored the game-winner.
The Warriors turned two double plays in Game 1, and two more in the nightcap.
Warrenton’s Kale’o Kapua opened the scoring in Game 2 with a solo home run.
The Warriors tacked on seven runs in the third inning, in which they had three hits, three walks and three stolen bases, while the Tigers committed two errors. From the mound, the Tigers hit two batters, with two wild pitches.
Little had his third double in the fifth inning, scoring Ryan Hoagland. A double by Morrow brought in Little for the 10th run to end the game.