Warriors edge McCaskey ace Esh

By on April 3, 2019
Senior Colby Martin connects on a pitch from McCaskey’s Dylan Esh in the Warriors’ 2-1 win on Monday. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

Senior Colby Martin connects on a pitch from McCaskey’s Dylan Esh in the Warriors’ 2-1 win on Monday. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

Bounce back from loss to Penn Manor

The last thing Warwick wanted was to fall two games behind the Section One leaders.

Yet, after suffering a 4-2 loss to Penn Manor last Friday and then staring at a match-up against McCaskey ace Dylan Esh Monday, the Warriors were in danger of doing exactly that.

“You don’t want to lose track of people early in the year,” Warwick coach Bob Locker said.

They didn’t.

Thanks to a combined gem from pitchers Jackson Davies, Colin Brubaker and Colby Martin, not to mention a key RBI triple from Brendan Martin, the Warriors pulled out a 2-1 victory over the previously-unbeaten Red Tornado.

As a result, Warwick (2-1 L-L, 3-1 overall) pulled into a second-place tie with McCaskey (2-1 L-L), one game behind Hempfield (3-0 L-L).

The first-place Black Knights were up next for the Warriors yesterday (Wednesday), followed by Cedar Crest on Friday.

“Winning this close game against a good team, it just gives us good energy and morale going into this week,” second baseman Brendan Martin said.

Martin’s clutch second-inning triple was one of only three hits surrendered by Esh, a Lancaster-Lebanon League Sweet 16 selection last year after going 4-1 with two saves and a 3.04 ERA.

But it was just enough.

“Just the fact that (Esh) is crafty, he knows how to work with his change-up, curve ball and fastball, and spot all his pitches, it’s just really important to scratch runs across if we can,” Martin said.

“I’m really proud of what the kids did today,” Locker said. “We struggled a little on Friday (in the loss to Penn Manor). We kinda gave one away, a game we feel like we should have won. And they came back today and the three pitchers did an outstanding job piecing it together and we did enough offensively to win.”

The first of those three pitchers was Davies, a crafty pitcher in his own right. Throwing his curve for strikes, the junior lefty K’d six and walked two while throwing 68 pitches in four innings for the win.

But McCaskey took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Alex Polito singled to center, then stole second and Hunter Lloyd’s one-out sharply-hit single off Davies put runners at the corners.

McCaskey catcher Nate Santiago struck out, but then Alex Ruiz (3-for-3) served an RBI single to right-center to put the Red Tornado up 1-0.

It didn’t stay that way for long, however.

In the home half of the second, Ethan Heller worked a six-pitch walk from Esh. Brendan Martin was next and, sitting on a first-pitch fastball, he slugged an RBI triple over the head of McCaskey center fielder Mason Lee to tie it 1-1.

“I knew the wind was going to be blowing out to right, so hopefully it was blowing away from the center fielder,” Martin said. “I saw it fall and just took off. I thought I got a good piece of it, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to get over or not.”

“(Brendan) jacked it,” Locker said. “He caught all of that. And that was huge. He got a good swing on the ball and he’s a good hitter.”

Designated hitter Collin Beech then played textbook ball, hitting an RBI ground out to the right side of the infield, to second baseman Evan Proulx, to drive in Martin with the go-ahead run.

There were still some tense moments to come for the Warriors, however.

McCaskey would leave nine runners on base in the game, stranding men in scoring position in the second, third, fourth and sixth innings. In all, the Red Tornado out-hit Warwick 8-3 in the game.

“Jackson did a good job of spotting his breaking ball,” Locker said. “Bru had some pop and Colby had some pop tonight.”

Davies got a helping hand from his defense in the top of the fourth, when a relay throw from right fielder Josh Farina to second baseman Brendan Martin to third baseman Zach Shertzer cut down McCaskey’s Santiago at third.

Warwick threatened to build their lead in the sixth when a couple of pop flies fell and then Brendan Martin walked with two outs to load the bases. But Esh — who struck out five and walked two — got an inning-ending ground out to escape.

Brubaker, meanwhile, K’d four in two shutout innings and retired leadoff batter Esh to end a first-and-third, two-out sixth-inning threat before handing the baton off to Colby Martin in the seventh.

Facing the 2-3-4 batters in the Tornado’s lineup, Martin needed only 14 pitches to strike out the side and put the Warriors’ win in the books.

“The pitchers did a great job,” Brendan Martin said. “Only giving up one run and then just shutting them out the rest of the innings is incredible.”

***

Last Friday, Penn Manor took a 4-0 lead through three innings and held on for a 4-2 Section One win over Warwick in Millersville.

The Warriors, who outhit the Comets 8-6, got two back off of Penn Manor pitcher Ryan Glenn in the fourth, but couldn’t come all the way back.

Glenn struck out two and walked none in the complete-game victory. Brendan Martin started and suffered the loss for Warwick.

***

The Warriors were also in action last Wednesday, March 27, getting a home run from John Seibert and four shutout innings from lefty starter Dagen Young in a 2-0 whitewashing of Manheim Township in their Section One opener in Lititz.

A pretty inning-ending double play — from Zach Shertzer to Brendan Martin to Ethan Heller — got Warwick out of trouble in the top of the fourth, and then the Warriors doubled their lead in the fifth after loading the bases against Blue Streak starting pitcher Colin Yablonski.

That turned out to be enough.

Colin Brubaker came out of the ‘pen to pitch two scoreless innings and then closer Colby Martin slammed the door in the seventh. Young struck out five and walked four to get the decision.

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