This is the time of the season you want to be at your best.
In Warren's case, Thursday's Region 8 game against visiting Harbor Creek was for first place.
Matt Jaskolka made sure the Dragons kept hold of first place in the region with 17 strikeouts in a 3-0 no-hit win over two days.
Times Observer photo by Mitchell Wilston
This game started on Friday but was suspended in the bottom of the first inning at Old Legion Field due to rain. Jaskolka struck out the first Husky on Friday, walked the second, struck out the third, walked the fourth and struck out the fifth to end the inning on Friday.
"Too bad we didn't start the game today," Warren catcher Andrew Bevevino told head coach Jeff Passaro after the game.
That's because Jaskolka threw six perfect innings on Thursday, striking out 14 of the 18 batters he faced.
"He was just pounding the strike zone all night long," said Passaro.
From the third through fifth innings, Jaskolka (3-0 with one save) struck out eight Huskies in a row. Harbor Creek had just a pop up to second base, a foul out and two fly outs to right in making contact in the game.
Meanwhile, Jaskolka started a two-out rally with a triple in the bottom of the fourth, and was then tripled home by Eddie Dorunda.
Warren scored just three runs with five extra-base hits. Jaskolka was pitching under pressure with a 1-0 lead until the sixth.
Hank Morrison tripled in the sixth and was singled home by Jaskolka for a 2-0 lead. Dorunda had his second RBI with a double for insurance.
The Dragons had two runners thrown out on the bases, including at the plate in the second inning.
It doesn't get less stressful for Warren, as the Dragons host General McLane at 4 p.m. Friday with more region implications. Warren is 10-1 overall and 6-1 and in first place in Region 8. McLane has two region losses.
"We have to make sure we hit the ball," said Passaro.
HARBOR CREEK (0): Barclay 1b 3-0-0-0, Fife 1b 0-0-0-0, Zoltowski 2b 2-0-0-0, Brennan c 2-0-0-0, Heitzenrater ph 1-0-0-0, Hoss rf 2-0-0-0, Concilla cf 3-0-0-0, Merritt lf 2-0-0-0, I. Mattson ss-3b 2-0-0-0, Adams 3b-ss 2-0-0-0, King dh 2-0-0-0, Rutkosky p 0-0-0-0, Mowris p 0-0-0-0. Totals 21-0-0-0.
WARREN (3): Thomas ss 3-0-0-0, Bevevino c 2-0-0-0, Morrison 3b 3-1-1-0, VanOrd dh 3-0-1-0, Fantasky rf 0-0-0-0, Jaskolka 3-1-2-1, J. Stanton 0-1-0-0, Dorunda 2b 3-0-2-2, McMeans 1b 3-0-0-0, Maeder lf 30-1-0, Danielson cf 2-0-1-0, Schwanke cf 0-0-0-0. 25-3-8-3.
Harbor Creek 000 000 0 - 0 0 1
Warren 000 102 0 - 3 8 0
2b-Dorunda (W), Danielson (W). 3b-Morrison (W), Dorunda (W), Jaskolka (W). WP-Jaskolka. LP-Rutkosky.
Ike 16, Iroquois 0
LAWRENCE PARK - Every region win is a big win.
Aaron Jackson pitched three no-hit innings and the Eisenhower bats came alive as the Knights cruised to a 16-0 Region 5 victory over the Iroquois Braves.
The win improves Ike to 5-8 overall, and 3-0 and in first place in the region. Iroquois falls to 3-11 (1-3).
The Knights came out strong, knocking in five runs in the first inning. Aaron Lundmark reached on an error before Aaron Jackson hit the first of his two doubles to put runners at second and third. Kyle Hunt knocked in the first run of the game on a groundout before Ryan Williams knocked in another with a single. After Shane Arford reached on an error that allowed another run to score, Jeb Fedorchuk put an exclamation point on the inning with a two run single.
Eisenhower pushed three more runs across in the second. Hunt hit a sacrifice fly before Williams and Arford each added RBI singles.
In the third, Joe Rutsky smashed a bases loaded double to score two runs and Lundmark, Arford, Fedorchuk, and Trevor Spicer all added RBI singles.
Jackson recored all nine outs via strikeout while earning the win.
"We finally came through today and hit in clutch situations," Eisenhower head coach Jon Vincent said after the game. "All game long we were putting the ball in play. And Jackson pitched great, striking out nine and not giving up a hit."
Eisenhower looks to remain in first place when they take on another region foe in Youngsville on Saturday morning.
EISENHOWER (16): ab-r-h-rbi: Hastings, lf, 2-1-0-1, Lundmark, c, 3-3-1-1, Jackson, p, 2-3-2-1, Hunt, ss, 3-2-0-2, Rutsky, 1b, 3-2-1-2, Williams, 2b, 3-1-2-2, Spicer, 3b, 2-2-1-1, Arford, rf, 3-1-2-2, Fedorchuk, cf, 3-1-2-2, Totals: 24-16-11-14
IROQUOIS (0): Lobenthal, rf, 2-0-0-0, Yokof, 1b, 1-0-0-0, Quinn, cf, 1-0-0-0, Roda, c, 1-0-0-0, Edinger, p, 1-0-0-0, Fink, 3b, 1-0-0-0, Carpen, ss, 1-0-0-0, Stanford, dh-p, 1-0-0-0, Major, 2b, 0-0-0-0, Purgos, lf, 1-0-0-0, Totals: 10-0-0-0
Eisenhower 538 - 16 11 0
Iroquois 000 0 0 4
2b-Jackson, 2 (E), Rutsky (E). WP-Jackson. LP-Edinger.