HARBORCREEK-Warren's 10th-consecutive win was arguably its biggest of the year.
The Dragons beat Harbor Creek for the second time this season, 9-1 on Wednesday, to clinch at least a share of the Region 7 title. While the two teams could end up tied at the top of the standings, Warren is guaranteed a higher seed in the playoffs with wins in both head-to-head contests.
The Dragons got a masterful performance from junior pitcher Tanner Stanz, who worked all seven innings, striking out 14 and walking just one. Harbor Creek's only run of the game came in the form of a solo home run off the bat of Pat Brennan in the fourth inning.
Warren threatened early, but couldn't manage a run through three innings of play.
Derek Reagle and Ryan Gustafson singled to lead off the fourth before Tanner Teconchuk connected on a double to break the scoreless tie and put runners on second and third. Collin Fantaskey drew a walk to load the bases, and Austin Schwanke ripped a single that skipped by the Harbor Creek right fielder to bring home three runs. Stanz doubled home Schwanke one batter later, and the Dragons held a 5-0 lead.
That was more than enough for Stanz, who improved his record to 4-0 on the mound this season.
"It was a good team effort. Everyone contributed," said Warren coach Rick Eaton. "This puts us in good shape for the playoffs. We just keep improving; that's what we've been stressing all year."
Eight of nine starters recorded hits for the Dragons, led by Reagle's 3-for-3 day. Fantaskey and Gustafson each went 2-for-4, and Schwanke was 2-for-5.
Warren (12-3, 8-1) will take on Titusville in a non-region game on Saturday before wrapping up its Region 7 schedule against Fort LeBoeuf on Monday.
WARREN (9): Fantaskey, ss, 4-3-2-0, Schwanke, cf, 5-1-2-2, Stanz, p, 5-0-1-1, DeLattre, cr, 0-1-0-0, Hultquist, 3b, 5-1-0-1, Stanton, 1b, 4-0-1-0, White, lf, 0-0-0-0, Reagle, dh, 3-1-3-1, Gustafson, rf, 4-1-2-1, Teconchuk, 2b, 4-1-1-1, Fasenmyer, c, 3-0-1-0, Vile, cr, 0-0-0-0. Team 37-9-13-7.
HARBOR CREEK (1) Fife, 1b, 2-0-0-0, Koschalk, cf, 3-0-0-0, Brennan, c, 3-1-2-1, I. Mattson, 2b, 3-0-3-0, Shotts, lf, 3-0-0-0, Osborn, 3b, 2-0-0-0, Luniewski, ph, 1-0-0-0, Rutkowski, p-ss, 3-0-0-0, Passmore, ss-2b, 2-0-0-0, Z. Mattson, p, 1-0-1-0, Needham, rf-p, 2-0-0-0, Carr, ph, 1-0-0-0. Team 26-1-6-1.
Warren 000 503 1 - 9 13 0
Harbor Creek 000 100 0 - 1 6 4
2B-Stanz (W), Teconchuk (W), I. Mattson (H). HR-Brennan (H). WP-Stanz. LP-Rutkowski.