The Warriors (1-0) went up against a King high school team (0-1) Friday night for their first home game of the season. It was a nail biting 2-1 win in seven innings with a walk off hit-by-pitch for senior catcher, Jessie Haney.
Former baseball star Sammy May returned to the field to throw out the games first pitch, he is currently battling cancer.
“It just feels awesome that my team is able to stand by me the whole journey and serve as a huge inspiration for me. I feel real honored that they are doing this for me and I feel honored that they chose me to throw the first pitch” said May.
After May was called onto the field, he threw a pitch straight into the glove of Haney, the entire stadium erupted. Junior pitcher Cole Gordon had only two walks and was able to strike out five throughout his four innings pitched.
After junior Warrior outfielder Alex Hanson smacked a line drive over the Lion’s center fielder’s head for a stand up double, the Warriors were able to advance him to third base on a fielder’s choice play where later in the inning. With one out, senior Warrior Chase Turner drove Hanson in with a sacrifice fly to the outfield. 1-0 Warriors.
“We left lots of runners on base tonight but we played consistent and our pitching was consistent in the strike zone. We just have to relax and get the job done” said Warrior Head Coach, John Crumbley.
After Hanson scored, the score remained the same for three more innings until the Lion’s managed to get a base runner on second base. Then Crumbley made the pitching change and brought in senior pitcher, Dominick Ficarrotta, who gave up an RBI double to Lion second baseman, Tanner Williams. The Warriors then brought in senior pitcher, Logan Lapace to finish the job.
Hanson got his second hit of the game to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Turner got on first with a solid hit, an overthrown pickoff attempt allowed himself and Hanson to advance to second and third with no outs. With one out and Gordon up, the Lion’s called for an intentional walk. Jessie Haney then stepped in with the bases loaded and only one out. The Lions made a pitching change to Taylor Jenkins to try and get out the jam, but it didn’t work out for King, as Jenkins sent one sailing into the rear end of Haney, bringing in the winning run.
“We were able to beat one of the best teams in the district and we did it by working hard and getting guys on base,” said Hanson.
“I was really excited and energy was flowing. I got on base and was able to help the team. We faced one of the best pitchers in the county (Brett Morales: a national top prospect who brought in many major league scouts on Friday night), it was amazing” said Hanson. If there is one thing that the Warriors need to perfect by next game according to Hanson and Crumbley, it was that getting base runners to score instead of leaving them stranded was key.
Evan Abramson / Staff Writer