Astoria Ford won the battle, while Warrenton closed the night with two victories, as the last Junior Baseball games of the year in Clatsop County were played Monday night at Ernie Aiken Field. Warrenton was scheduled to play two games against Ilwaco in Long Beach, Washington, on Wednesday.
After the spring sports season was canceled, the Junior State season lasted just a month this year, with teams from Astoria, Ilwaco, Knappa, Neah-Kah-Nie, Tillamook and Warrenton playing each other in games at Aiken Field in Astoria and Tinker Field in Long Beach.
In Monday’s triple header finale, Astoria Ford defeated Ilwaco 7-4, and Warrenton followed with wins over Knappa (15-3) and Astoria (6-5).
The Warriors had doubles by Josh Earls, T.J. Hicks and Talon McGrorty in the victory over Knappa (Drew Miller was 2-for-2 and had a double for the Loggers), while Warrenton rallied from a 5-1 deficit after four innings to defeat Astoria Ford.
Astoria’s first two batters in the bottom of the seventh reached base, but Warrenton pitcher Duane Falls came on in relief and struck out two batters to end the game. Gunnar Olson pitched well for the Fishermen.
Warrenton coach Lennie Wolfe and other area coaches were just happy to have any games at all.
“We were able to play, mainly through the efforts of two people,” Wolfe said. “Dane Gouge of Astoria Ford covered all the costs, including the umpires. He basically saved North Coast baseball for the year.
“And (Astoria Ford coach) Tyler Lyngstad took on ownership of the facilities,” he said, “taking on caretaker and administrative duties. Here’s a 22-year-old kid who was able to coach a team and put things together so we could have a 14-game schedule. I hope Astoria realizes just how fortunate they are to have Tyler.
“And (Ilwaco coach) Bret Hopkins also put in a lot of time and effort so that we could play games in Long Beach. With everything going on, the six teams and the North Coast community bonded together so we could have a season.”
Astoria Ford 7, Ilwaco 4
In the first game of the day, the Astoria Ford Fishermen defeated the Ilwaco Fishermen 7-4.
Ilwaco led 1-0 after a half inning, before Astoria Ford rallied with at least one run in every inning but the second.
Ilwaco scored twice in the top of the fifth to cut Astoria’s lead to 5-4, but Astoria tacked on two runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull away.
Nate Hopkins and Cannon Johnson had two hits apiece for Ilwaco. Evan Agee, Hopkins and Johnson each had a double.