... but Warrenton bounces back in the second game to even the honorsKNAPPA - If Thursday night's clash between the Warrenton and Knappa baseball programs is any indication, the 2005 spring season should be a heck of a battle.

The Warriors and Loggers met at Teevin Field in a Junior State doubleheader, and when the dust settled, the two teams were pretty much right back where they were when they started.

Knappa won a dramatic first game, 4-3, while the Warriors won a shortened Game 2, 6-3.

"I think the Northwest League is going to get very interesting next year," said Warrenton coach Lennie Wolfe. "I expect Knappa, Clatskanie and Warrenton to stay very competitive with one another, and it should be fun in that respect."

Knappa coach Jeff Miller, whose team is now 4-1 in league play (8-2 overall), said, "It was a pretty good set of ball games. They were both competitive, and we know we'll probably see them again down the road.

"(Wolfe) has them playing well, and we were glad that we were able to compete. We got half the job done, anyway."

The Warriors and Loggers hooked up in a typical Warrenton-Knappa showdown in Game 1.

The Loggers scored three runs in the second and held a 3-1 lead going into the seventh inning; the Warriors rallied as only the Warriors can, tying the game with two runs in the top of the seventh. The Loggers - as they have many times before - won in their final at-bat, as Dana Barendse drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the game-winning run.

Knappa pitchers Derek Jacobson and Sean Ferguson combined to limit the Warriors to just four hits, while the Loggers collected eight hits off Warrenton starter David Anderson.

Anderson's numbers certainly didn't reflect a loss, as the left-hander struck out 12 and walked three, with all three walks coming in the bottom of the seventh, including one intentional walk.

The Warriors simply couldn't get the timely hits in the opener, stranding eight base runners.

The Loggers had three doubles in Game 1, from Steven Maki, Donald Pitts and Mooch Smith - Knappa's catcher on loan from Ilwaco.

Doug Graham and Maki each had run-scoring singles in Knappa's three-run second inning, while Pitts scored on a double steal attempt.

Anderson gave the Warriors their first run with a single to center in the top of the fifth, scoring Jason Warner.

Warrenton took advantage of three Knappa errors in the seventh to tie the game, with Warner scoring on a sacrifice fly from Anderson, and Nick Miller sprinting home on an error.

Graham led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and took second on a sacrifice bunt from Pitts. Maki and Ferguson drew walks to load the bases, and Anderson ran up a full count before walking Barendse to force in the final run.

"We had all of our guys here today," which made a difference for the Loggers, Miller said. "We've been playing a lot with nine players. It's a balanced lineup. Today (in the first game) it was the bottom half of the order that got through to Anderson, who was dominating the top half of our order.

"We feel we can score with any of 'em," Miller added. "We're at a point where we have a lot of guys who can hit and swing the bat. We just didn't get things going at the plate in the second game."

The Warriors, meanwhile, had another solid effort on the mound in Game 2, as Miller gave up just three hits with five strikeouts. The game was called after five innings because of darkness.

Five of Warrenton's seven hits went for extra bases, including doubles by Shane Rudduck, Tyler Collier, Cody Mullins and Miller, and a solo home run by Eric Gantenbein in the fifth inning.

The Loggers had rallied from a 4-0 deficit with three runs in the fourth, before the Warriors responded with two in the fifth.

Gantenbein led off the fifth with a solo home run, and ended the game by throwing out Smith at first, with two runners on base.

The Warriors are now 5-2 in league play, 8-3 overall.

"I'm pretty happy with the way things are going, despite losing two league games in a row," said Wolfe, whose team dropped a 3-2 decision at Vernonia earlier in the week. "I still feel like we're headed the direction we need to be."

Knappa hosts a doubleheader with Tillamook Tuesday, while Warrenton has a bye before playing at Astoria next Thursday.

Fishermen top LoggersThe Astoria Junior State baseball team swept a pair of league games from Vernonia Thursday night at Aiken Field, 9-2 and 10-0.

Dan Garber and Chris Freeman threw complete-game victories for the Fishermen, who had not played in nearly two weeks.

Sean Walker had two home runs, including a grand slam, while teammates Andy Ames and Mike Gallegos had home runs.

The Fishermen are scheduled to host a doubleheader with Rainier Tuesday.


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