Cedar Cliff, Ryan oust the Warriors in Districts

By on June 1, 2016

 

Warwick senior catcher Justin Smith connects on a pitch during recent District Three playoff action. (Lititz Record file photo)

Warwick senior catcher Justin Smith connects on a pitch during recent District Three playoff action. (Lititz Record file photo)

Warwick pitcher Tim Griest couldn’t have thrown a better quality two-strike pitch to Cedar Cliff’ junior Grant Brenemen.

Somehow, the Colts’ number three hitter got his bat on the ball and laced a two-run double to center field in the top of the third inning.

“Down and away curve ball, it was right where we wanted it,” Warrior coach Bob Locker said. “He just did a good job of putting his bat on it.”

That was all Cedar Cliff needed, as junior pitcher Maddux Ryan, relying on a heavy diet of off-speed pitches, tossed a complete-game shutout to help lead the 13th-seeded Colts in a 5-0 win over 5th-seeded Warwick in the District Three Quad-A quarterfinals last Thursday at Red Lion High School.

While Cedar Cliff (13-9) advanced to Tuesday’s semi-finals opposite 9th-seeded Governor Mifflin (16-7), Warwick ended its season at 16-5.

“Like I told the kids, when it’s all said and done, I hope they reflect upon the fact that in two years, they won 34 baseball games,” Locker remarked. “They’re great kids, great teammates, I hope they had some fun playing and it would have been nice to still be playing. I don’t think Cedar Cliff was particularly better than we were … Their pitcher just did a real nice job of keeping us off-balance.”

Ryan K’d five, walked none and scattered seven hits to earn the decision.

Although the Warriors outhit the Colts 7-6 in the game, they struggled to bunch hits in support of Griest, who struck out four, walked four and yielded four runs in five innings of work. Senior Thomas Elliott pitched the final two innings in relief.

“(Ryan) threw pre-dominantly breaking balls … it would be a reasonable estimate of 60 to 70 percent breaking stuff,” Locker said. “He pitched us backwards all night and he threw strikes. We’re a very, very good fastball-hitting team. We struggled with the breaking stuff a little bit.”

In four of their final seven games, the Warriors mustered only two or fewer runs.

“You go in cycles in baseball. It’s been like the last couple of weeks we’ve just struggled at the plate,” Locker said.

Leading 2-0 through four, Cedar Cliff added two insurance runs in the fifth and another in the sixth.

Sophomore third baseman Evan Clark went 2-for-3 to lead Warwick’s offensive attack, but they were unable to break through against Ryan.

“Evan did a nice job,” Locker said. “He did a nice job of putting his bat on the ball. He’s got potential to be a very good high school hitter.”

Without injured starters Matt Cover and Zach Peters, Warwick’s lineup against the Colts went into battle without a couple very good hitters.

“It doesn’t change anything,” Locker said. “We just needed some timely hitting and (Cedar Cliff is) a good baseball team. Mid-Penn’s got excellent baseball.”

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