RAINIER - They quietly "ran the table" in the second half of the league season, and now they're the Lewis & Clark League co-champions and a No. 1 seed to the state playoffs.
The Warrenton Warriors spent much of the year ranked below league rivals Clatskanie and Rainier, and much of the season in third place in the league standings.
But a second-half turnaround, capped by an 8-4, 8-3 sweep at Rainier Friday, the Warriors are now winners of 10 straight and on a roll as they head to the state playoffs.
Warrenton will open the postseason May 20 against the third-place team from the Pac West League. The Warriors may schedule a nonleague game this week.
"We're all just feeling pretty good about things," said Warrenton coach Lennie Wolfe, who now has 13 league championships to his credit in his 17 years at Warrenton. It was Warrenton's first league title in the new Lewis & Clark League. "To start the league season 3-2, and then go 10-0 (in doubleheaders) the second time through ... I'm really proud of what we've accomplished, and so pleased with the improvement we've shown in the last 21/2 weeks."
The key has been the defense, as Warrenton committed just one error Friday. Michael Moore and freshman Billy Kerr tossed complete-game wins on the mound.
Traditionally a "small-ball" team, Warrenton used the big hits in Game 1.
Moore had a two-run triple in the third inning, Brandon Slaughter had a two-run homer in the fourth, and Kevin Moore added a two-run double in the sixth.
"Our extra-base hits were really profitable" in Game 1, Wolfe said. "And Michael Moore got himself out of a jam early (Rainier led 4-1 after two innings) and threw very well."
It was Warrenton that jumped out to a 5-0 lead in Game 2, as Kevin Moore led the Warriors' offensive attack with three hits, including a double, three RBIs and two runs scored.