The Warrenton baseball program’s time to shine is the postseason — and that’s what the Warriors were tuning up for Monday afternoon at Tapiola Park.
Warrenton’s summer 17U Junior Baseball team swept a doubleheader with Astoria Ford, 9-5 and 5-2, bringing a close to regular season games. Both teams will take part in a three-day tournament beginning Thursday at Tapiola Park.
Neah-Kah-Nie finished first in the league standings, while the No. 2 seed Warriors (5-2) open the tournament Thursday at 4 p.m. against Ilwaco (2-5).
The first game features Knappa vs. Astoria Ford at 11 a.m., followed by Tillamook vs. Seaside at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free for the tournament, with all games at Tapiola. There is a two-hour time limit for each game.
In Monday’s league-counting opener against Astoria, Warrenton led 9-0 through five innings, before giving up five runs in the bottom of the sixth, with the help of four walks, two hit batters and Astoria Ford hits by Teague Palmberg and a run-scoring double from Connelly Fromwiller.
The Fishermen scored their last two runs on bases-loaded walks, and had the tying run at the plate when Warrenton pitcher Mikey Ulness struck out the final batter.
Ulness retired Astoria in order in the seventh, as three Warrenton pitchers (Dawson Little, Dylon Atwood and Ulness) allowed five hits with seven strikeouts and seven walks.
Merrick Benesch had a pair of doubles for Astoria Ford, but the Fishermen stranded nine base runners.
Meanwhile, the Warriors pounded out 12 hits off two Astoria pitchers, with the big days from Little (single, double, triple) and Atwood (three singles).
Hordie Bodden Bodden beat out an infield single to drive in the first Warrenton run in the top of the third, and Little followed with a bases-loaded triple to the fence. An Astoria error on the throw to third allowed Little to trot home for a 5-0 lead.
A double by Little scored Josh Earls in the fourth, followed by a run-scoring single from Ulness.
The second game was stopped after five innings.
Game 1 11 a.m. — Knappa vs. Astoria
Game 2 1:30 p.m. — Tillamook vs. Seaside
Game 3 4 p.m. — Ilwaco vs. Warrenton
Game 4 6:30 p.m. — Clatskanie vs. Neah-Kah-Nie
11 a.m. — Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 4
1:30 p.m. — Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3
4 p.m. — Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3
6:30 p.m. — Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 4