By Mike Morrison
The Marietta Times
VINCENT - What might have been an inning-ending double play instead turned out to be the play that scored the game winning run as the Warren Warriors kicked off the 2013 baseball season with a 3-2 walk-off victory over the Meigs Marauders Monday night at Warren High School.
Photo courtesy of Robin Pannell
Warren’s Danny Pannell stretches to catch a ball at first base during a game Monday
For the Lady Warriors, the Rachelle Pallini-coached squad topped Meigs 12-5.
In baseball, Warrior Zach McKenna scored all the way from second base on what appeared to be a tailor made double play ball off of the bat of Garrett Kennedy as the relay throw bounced away from the Meigs first baseman allowing the winning run to cross the plate.
Warren got outstanding starting pitching in the season opener as Justin Hill shutout the Marauders over the first five innings on just four base hits. Hill struck out 11 Meigs hitters and departed after the last of the fifth clinging to a 1-0 lead.
"I was really happy with the way that Hill pitched tonight," said Warrior head coach Mark Farr. "He pitched well and threw strikes."
After the Warriors added an insurance run in the last of the sixth inning on a run scoring single by David Ryan, Jake Freeman took over on the mound looking to secure the save.
Freeman held the Marauders scoreless in the sixth and had them down to their final at bat with runners on second and third in the top of the seventh. Helton came through in the clutch for Meigs however as he pulled a solid single into left field to score both runners and tie the score at 2-2.
McKenna reached base on a one-out single for Warren in the top of the seventh and moved to second on a base on balls, setting up the game winner.
Kennedy then hit a sharp grounder to the shortstop and was safe at first when the relay throw got away allowing McKenna to cross the plate with the game winning run.
"We kind of made a miscue there in the top of the seventh and they (Meigs) made us pay with a couple of quality hits," said Farr. "We put the ball in play there at the end and got a break and that's kind of the name of the game."
Freeman ended up being credited with the win, while Hill got a no decision despite his outstanding start.
Ryan led the Warriors offensively with a pair of base hits, while Hill, Lance Schafer, McKenna, and Kennedy all chipped in with singles.
The Lady Warriors scored four times in the opening inning and went on to a 12-5 victory over the Lady Marauders.
Kaylee Higgins earned the complete game victory as the Lady Warriors pounded out 12 base hits to make their season opener a winning one.
Warren followed the big first inning up with an even bigger third inning as they scored seven times to take a commanding 11-3 lead heading to the fourth.
Higgins allowed seven base hits and seven base on balls in her seven innings of work while fanning eight Meigs hitters.
Arrian Schetter paced the Warrior offensive onslaught with three singles, while lead-off batter Hailey Murdock chipped in with a pair of hits while scoring twice and knocking in two more.
Sadie Fox accounted for two of the seven Meigs hits in the game including an RBI double.
Lady Marauder starting pitcher Haley English lasted just one inning and was saddled with the defeat.