Dragons make quick work of Corry
Playing their second game of five this week, Warren’s bats are starting to get on a little bit of a roll. The pitching has been pretty good, too.
The Dragons pounded out 12 hits in four innings and Mitch Grosch retired the first 11 batters he faced as they rolled to an 11-0, 5-inning Region 7 victory over Corry on Wednesday at Legion Field.
“It’s fun playing every day and just try to keep winning games one day at a time,” said Grosch, who turned in a dominant pitching performance.
After a quiet first inning, the Warren (6-3 overall, 2-2 Region 7) bats went to work, beginning with cleanup hitter Aidan Morrison, who led off the inning with the first of his three hits on the afternoon.
That started a string of five-straight singles from Morrison, Micah Passmore, Ryan Rafalski, Ben Berdine and James Swanson. Rafalski drove in pinch-runner Ryan Arnold and Berdine’s hit brought home a pair of runs, with Lance Baldensperger’s RBI groundout knocking home the final tally of a 4-run inning.
“From the second inning on, we put the ball in play,” said Warren coach Rick Eaton. “We scored the four runs and we continued to add on. That’s the key in high school baseball. We stepped right on that snake, as you would call it today. We didn’t let them get loose.”
An offense that’s as dangerous as any in District 10 was just beginning to get rolling. With one out in the third, it was Morrison, the Canisius signee, who got it going again, roping a double into the left-field corner.
Passmore brought in the fifth run of the game on his second hit and after Berdine walked to load the bases, Swanson was hit by a pitch to make it 6-0.
“We had a lot of balls that were hit well and a few seeing-eye,” Eaton noted. “That’s what happens when you get on a little bit of a roll and start seeing good pitching.”
Grosch, meanwhile, was in cruise control.
He threw just 25 pitches in the first three innings and didn’t allow a baserunner until Lucas Nichols’ 2-out single in the fourth.
“Just trying to throw strike after strike, keep pounding the zone, working ahead and getting batters out quick,” he said.
That last part was key, as the Dragons are in the middle of this busy stretch. But, after Nick Hussey’s dominant performance against McDowell on Monday, Grosch kept the ball rolling, with Ben Berdine and Ryan Rafalski likely to get the starting pitching calls on Thursday and Friday.
“We just keep pushing each other to get better every time we go out,” Grosch said of his fellow pitchers.
Warren batted around in the fourth, with the first five batters reaching safely. Morrison ended his stellar day at the plate with a 2-run single that found its way through the left side of the infield, and Passmore brought in another run to make it 9-0. Designated hitter Hunter Loomis put a cap on the frame with a hard-hit 2-run single that made it 11-0.
“I think (our lineup) is very tough for opposing pitchers,” Grosch said. “Everybody just tries to go out there and do their job.”
Morrison, Passmore and Rafalski all had multiple hits for the Dragons, as everybody in the lineup reached base at least once.
“Overall, we’ve seen good pitching and it’s starting to show because our at-bats are getting better,” Eaton said.
The busy week for the Dragons continues with three more games – at Cathedral Prep today, at Meadville on Friday and home against Bradford on Saturday.
NOTES: Through 9 games, the Dragons have outscored their opponents 71-22 … Grosch lowered his ERA to 1.58 … Of the 9 Dragons with at least 20 plate appearances, seven are hitting .300 or better.
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Richardson cf 3-0-0-0, Jackson 2b 2-0-0-0, Nichols c 2-0-1-0, Lesher p-lf 2-0-1-0, Elchynski 3b 2-0-0-0, Ehrhart dh 2-0-0-0, Gentilman 1b 2-0-0-0, James rf 1-0-1-0, Zajac p 1-0-1-0, Carey lf-rf 1-0-0-0, Totals 18-0-3-0
Baldensperger cf 4-1-1-1, Grosch p 1-1-0-0, Cummings lf 3-0-1-0, Arnold cr 0-3-0-0, Morrison c 3-0-3-2, Passmore 3b 3-3-2-2, Rafalski ss 3-1-2-1, Berdine 1b 2-1-1-2, Swanson rf 2-0-1-1, Loomis DH 2-0-1-2, Gustafson 2b 0-0-0-0, Totals 23-11-12-11
Corry 000 00 – 0
Warren 042 5x – 11
2B – Morrison (W), James (C); DP – Corry 1
IP H R ER BB SO
Lesher (L, 0-2) 3 11 10 9 3 0
Zajac 1 1 1 0 0 1
Grosch (W, 2-0) 5 3 0 0 1 4
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JV: CORRY 3, WARREN 2
J.T. Blum had two hits and Ethan Wilson had a hit and an RBI in a 3-2 JV loss.
Blum also tossed three innings on the mound, allowing one run and striking out two. Ryan Arnold threw a pair of scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts.