Warriors keep pace atop Section One

By on April 27, 2016

 

Senior catcher Justin Smith frames a strike for his pitcher during a recent Warwick win. Besides getting the job done defensively, Smith is also batting .475 in 13 games this spring. (Lititz Record file photo)

Senior catcher Justin Smith frames a strike for his pitcher during a recent Warwick win. Besides getting the job done defensively, Smith is also batting .475 in 13 games this spring. (Lititz Record file photo)

Two errors by the normally sure-handed Warwick defense was uncharacteristic on Monday.

Fortunately for the Warriors, they continued to get solid pitching.

And they remained steady at the plate.

When the dust settled, pitcher Zach Peters improved to 4-1 and the Warriors won their ninth straight game, shutting out Conestoga Valley 5-0 in a Section One-Two crossover in Lititz.

Tyler Martin and Jake Weachter had two hits apiece, Matt Cover scored twice, while Peters and Justin Smith each doubled to help lead the Warriors nine-hit offensive.

“I like what we’re doing,” Warwick coach Bob Locker said. “I think a number of our kids are locked in right now, doing a good job hitting the ball. The errors were a little out of sorts today, (but) our pitching’s been solid, it continues to be.”

For the second straight week, the Warriors (9-1 L-L, 12-1 overall) find themselves ranked number one by PennLive in District Three.

And their win over the Buckskins, coupled with a 3-2 loss by Hempfield (8-2 L-L) to Solanco, leaves Warwick in a first-place tie with Penn Manor (9-1 L-L) atop the Section One standings.

Incidentally, the Warriors and Comets meet this Friday in a key showdown in Lititz. Before that, however, Warwick had to take care of business at Garden Spot in their final crossover on Wednesday.

“The last thing we can afford to do is stumble,” Locker remarked.

There was no stumbling by Peters, who came back on short rest after getting four outs in a 5-2 win at Elizabethtown last Friday. But he yielded just four hits while throwing roughly only 65 pitches in six innings. He struck out two and walked none.

“(Zach) threw a great game … mixed his pitches, hit his spots,” Locker said. “He didn’t strike a lot out, but he pitched to contact very well. I think the thing he does best is spot his fastball and then mix in his other pitches. The splitter’s become probably his number two pitch. And today it was effective.”

Peters and Buckskin starter Jared Duffy kept it scoreless through two innings, but then the Warriors took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third, as Martin delivered an RBI single and later scored on a wild pitch.

They added three more in the bottom of the fourth. Luke Mariano had an RBI ground out, Cover stepped up with a run-scoring single and Martin added an RBI double to make it 5-0.

“It was good to see Weachter have two hits,” Locker remarked, “and Justin Smith just continues to hit the ball hard.”

Cover came out of the ‘pen in the seventh to pitch a scoreless inning in relief and that was the game.

In other action last Friday, pitcher Ethan Norman improved to 3-0 and Justin Byler, Zach Peters, and Justin Smith each had two hits, leading the Warriors in a 5-2 win at Elizabethtown.

Warwick was without the services of second baseman/No. 3 hitter Tyler Martin, who had the flu. But they still found a way to generate enough offense against Bears’ pitcher Logan Yohn.

Trailing 2-0 through two, the Warriors pulled even, as Norman walked, then Matt Cover and Byler stepped up with RBI base hits.

They took the lead for good in the fourth, with a run-scoring single from Thomas Elliott.

In the top of the seventh, Smith delivered an RBI triple and Peters added an RBI base hit, putting the Warriors in front 5-2. Each team had 10 hits.

Norman earned the decision while scattering nine hits, striking out one and walking three in 5 2/3 innings.

Last Wednesday, April 20, Tim Griest tossed a three-hit complete-game shutout and the Warriors blanked Solanco 6-0 in a Section One-Two crossover game in Lititz.

Griest struck out three and walked one while going the distance. His offense supported him with three runs in the third and fourth innings.

The Golden Mules committed three errors and Tyler Martin went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Zach Peters and Matt Cover added RBI’s.

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