Starting pitcher Riley Gates was responsible for all but three outs Wednesday night as the Warriors hosted Cedar.
Gates fanned 18 batters over seven innings as the Warriors defeated the Reds to go 2-1 in Region 9 baseball.
While Gates held Cedar to just two hits, heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Warriors had only four before getting the two hits that would decide the game.
“It’s been that way with Riley on the mound,” said SC head coach Reed Secrist. “For some reason, we can’t give him much run support. It comes down to the last play of each game, and we were fortunate enough to get that one right there.”
The top of the third inning, Cedar’s Brock Englestead made it to first on a dropped third strike. Josh Boyer pinch ran for Englestead and made it to third on a throwing error during a pickoff attempt. A few batters later, Easton Weaver doubled to put the Reds ahead.
The Warriors came right back in the bottom half of the inning when Chandler Day (2-for-2) tripled to left and Clint Gates plated him on a double.
After knotting things up 1-1, the Warriors relied on Gates to continue his strikeout exhibition.
“We got off to a late start. Obviously we need to come out quicker,” said Gates. “But in this region, it’s all seven innings.”
Gates kept the Warriors afloat long enough to give them a chance at some late-game heroics in the bottom of the seventh.
With one out, Jake Lindsey made it to second after a single and a stolen base. Brenden Truman dug in and doubled to right, giving Lindsey enough time to run home and give the Warriors the win.
“For Jake Lindsey to come up and get that hit and steal second and Truman to do what he did on a 1-2 count, that was huge for us,” said Secrist.
Secrist talked about the decision to send Lindsey home from second: “Since he hit it to right, I thought, let’s just see what happens, take that chance, especially at home. Let’s go for it and see if we can get that win.”
Instead of ending the night 2-2 in league, the Warriors are now 3-1.
“I was excited for my team; we’ve been pushing hard,” said Lindsey. “If it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else. It was lucky that I did what I did.”