Martin’s walk-off boosts Warwick

By on April 26, 2017

Warriors remain tied for first

Amid the rain drops, Warwick sophomore Brendan Martin fires a two-seam fastball against Conestoga Valley on Monday. Martin took a no-decision, but delivered a walk-off RBI base hit in the Warriors’ 3-2 win. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Amid the rain drops, Warwick sophomore Brendan Martin fires a two-seam fastball against Conestoga Valley on Monday. Martin took a no-decision, but delivered a walk-off RBI base hit in the Warriors’ 3-2 win. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Despite pitching 5 1/3 solid innings on the mound, Brendan Martin was headed for a no-decision.

Yet, the Warwick sophomore still had a lot to say about the outcome against Conestoga Valley on Monday.

Facing Buckskin righty Trevor High in a bases-loaded one-out situation in the bottom of the seventh inning, Martin delivered a game-winning walk-off RBI single through a drawn-in Conestoga Valley infield and into right field to lift the Warriors to a 3-2 Section One-Two crossover victory in Lititz.

High, trying to protect a 2-2 tie, got ahead in the count, but Martin was able to square up a 1-2 fastball for the clincher.

“I was sitting on fastball, but I knew I had to adjust to curve,” said Martin, who moved from the pitching rubber to the hot corner. “I was actually trying to lift the ball just to get it to the outfield since they were playing in.”

The victory improved Warwick’s record to 7-3 Section One (9-3 overall), keeping them tied with Penn Manor atop the standings. The Warriors, who suffered an 8-2 loss to Elizabethtown last Friday, still haven’t lost back-to-back games this season.

“It’s a huge morale boost just to get out here and get the huge dub (W),” Martin said.

It took some resilience on their part to get the job done after the Buckskins came back from a 2-0 deficit, tying it in the top of the seventh on on an RBI infield single by Luke Trainer (3-for-4).

Adam Ricketts started the home half of the inning by reaching on a fielding error by CV shortstop Addison Dienner. One out later, pinch-hitter Dagen Young laced a single to center, then both runners advanced on a wild pitch, and Bryce Zimmerman worked a six-pitch free pass, loading the bases.

That set the stage for Martin.

“Their infield was up, you’ve just got to put it in play and he did a nice job of taking the pitch where it was and going the other way,” Warwick coach Bob Locker said.

Zach Peters, who pitched the one inning in relief of Brendan Martin and Colby Martin, picked up the win, improving to 5-0, 0.25 ERA.

High K’d four and walked three while taking the complete-game loss. Although the Warriors managed only five hits off of the CV right-hander, it was just enough.

“I give their pitcher (High) a lot of credit today,” Locker said. “I thought he had a little bit of zip and he threw a real good game and he kept us off-balance for awhile.”

Brendan Martin, who brought a 3-0 record into the game, scattered just five hits and pitched out of a jam in the top of the fifth when CV put their first two batters on, courtesy of Jagger Blough’s single to left-center and Dienner’s walk. The next three hit harmless fly outs, and it remained scoreless.

“I felt good,” Martin said. “(I was throwing) mainly fastballs, dropping a curve on them, just keeping them off-balance most of the time.”

Meanwhile, High spun a no-hitter through four, yielding only a one-out walk to Justin Byler in the second inning. But then in the bottom of the fifth, Byler had a masterful eight-pitch at-bat, ending with a sharply-hit double to right-center.

“It was a real good piece of hitting on his part,” Locker said. “He’s a good hitter and he battled. Sometimes I tell the kids, ‘Keep it going, keep it going. You’ll get a mistake pitch, something you can hit,’ and he did and took advantage of it.”

Evan Clark’s single put runners at the corners, and after Tyler Hess reached on a fielder’s choice, Jake Weachter walked, loading the bases with two outs. Bryce Zimmerman (2-for-4) then followed with a clutch infield RBI single, driving in Clark, and Hess scored on Dienner’s throwing error, putting Warwick up 2-0.

The Bucks rallied in the sixth with one out on Trainer’s single to left-center and back-to-back walks. Trainer scored on a wild pitch, but Colby Martin ended the threat with a K and a ground out, keeping Warwick in front 2-1.

In the seventh, CV scratched for the tying run with two outs off of Peters. A seeing-eye base hit to left by Gavin Horning (2-for-4) started it, then Logan Andrew singled, and Trainer’s infield hit just out of the reach of Peters knotted the game at 2-all.

Warwick, though, pulled it out in the bottom half.

“It shows that we’re fighters, that we have the grit to come back in big games and hopefully it will show in the post-season,” Martin said.

*****

Last Friday, in a showdown between Section leaders, Elizabethtown broke open a close game with a five-spot in the sixth inning, leading them to an 8-2 crossover win in E-town.

Nick Stoner slugged a two-run homer to left, Casey Cooper added an RBI single, and Chad Caley had a two-run double to fuel the rally.

“I think (Stoner’s home run) sucked some life out of the kids,” Locker admitted. “(Down) 3-2 is a lot different than 5-2, so I think it had some (effect). But that’s a good baseball team. They’re 10-0.”

Earlier, Byler’s RBI ground out in the top of the third tied it 1-1, and then after the Bears scored two in the bottom of that inning, Adam Ricketts’ RBI double cut Warwick’s deficit to 3-2 before the game was stopped to a lengthy rain delay.

The Warriors had a couple runners thrown out on the base paths in the game, but they appeared to be in business in the top of the sixth. With one out, Tyler Hess singled to deep short and Ricketts walked. The next batter, Weachter, lofted a medium-range fly to short, which Warwick believed should have invoked the infield fly rule. They didn’t get the call, and Stoner let the ball hit the ground, then turned an inning-ending double play.

Unfortunately for Warwick, the Bears were able to pull away in the bottom of the inning.

Ethan Norman started and took the loss for the Warriors, striking out two and walking none before the rain delay ended his outing after three innings.

Logan Yohn, who K’d three and walked three in five innings, got the win for E-town. Nate Hess was 2-for-3 with a walk and Zimmerman went 2-for-4 to lead the Warriors’ offense.

*****

Last Wednesday, April 19, Peters got the job done with his arm and bat, tossing 6 2/3 innings and going 1-for-3 with three RBIs in a 3-2 Section One-Two crossover win over Ephrata.

The senior right-hander K’d five, walked two and yielded two runs — none earned — on three hits before reaching his pitch limit and handing the ball to Norman, who recorded the final out.

Warwick took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a two-run single by Peters.

After the Mounts tied it with two in the top of the third, Peters’ fielder’s choice RBI in the fifth drove in the go-ahead run and then Warwick held on.

Nate Hess was 3-for-3 with a run scored and Zimmerman went 2-for-3 with a run.

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