The team no one wants to face right now in the Class 3A baseball state playoffs? The answer, all of a sudden, is the Warrenton Warriors, who took down No. 2 seed Brookings-Harbor, 3-2, in a quarterfinal game Friday in Brookings.
The win sends Warrenton — for the first time since 2003 — on to the semifinals, where the Warriors will play Santiam Christian, which defeated Taft in another quarterfinal.
“Gosh … we just pitched and defended well, and did a fantastic job,” said Warrenton coach Lennie Wolfe, shortly after the game ended. “And as everybody has been texting me and telling me, it’s going to make for a nice ride home.”
Three runs in the first inning was all the Warriors could score in Friday’s game … and three runs was all they would need.
In their one big inning, Gabe Breitmeyer drew a one-out walk in the top of the first, and Jake Morrow singled to center and took second on the throw.
Duane Falls followed with an infield hit to score Breitmeyer with the first run, and Dalton Knight singled to right to plate Morrow and Falls for a 3-0 lead.
The Bruins scored a run in the second inning — a line-drive homer to left by Jacub McCollum — but Knight gave up little else. The senior threw 94 pitches, and allowed eight hits with one strikeout and one walk.
Brookings starter Adam Shew (“he’s going to be pretty special,” Wolfe said) also went the distance, and scattered seven hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks.
The Bruins cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fifth inning, and had runners at first and second with one out in the sixth before Knight retired the side.
“The key was Dalton,” Wolfe said. “He kept the ball down and got us out of some tight spots in almost every inning. He only had one strikeout, which tells you a little about how we played defensively. The kids just made play after play after play.”
The Warriors turned one double play, running their season total to “17 or 18” DPs, according to Wolfe.