H.S. BASEBALL: Line Mountain defeats East Juniata
MANDATA - Cory Warford blasted a two-run home run into a strong wind, snapping a 4-4 tie and leading Line Mountain to a 6-4 Tri-Valley League victory over East Juniata on Monday.
Warford also worked the final two innings on the mound in relief of starter and winner Kellan Masser, pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to preserve the victory.
The victory, over one of the league's preseason favorites, is one Eagles' head coach Jon Raker thinks will help his team through a busy stretch of games over the next few weeks.
"I think this is a big win for us," Raker said. "It's still early in the season and this gives us confidence we can beat one of the better teams in the league."
The Eagles (3-1, 3-0) outhit the Tigers 7-5,
but committed four errors, issued four walks and hit two East Juniata batters. All four Tigers who scored runs reached base via walks.
"We had a couple walks there that were costly, but we were able to bear down and make some big plays when we had to," Raker said. "Then we showed some toughness getting out of that jam in the seventh."
Leading 6-4 after Warford's fourth-inning blast, Masser put the Tigers down in order in the fifth, then Warford, in his first inning of relief, did the same in the sixth.
After getting the leadoff hitter to ground out to start the seventh, Warford hit Nick Lorenz with a pitch. He then struck out Dalton Rome for the second out before hitting Kyle Hart to put runners on first and second. Bailey Coder's infield dribbler that turned into a single loaded the bases with two outs.
Warford fell behind Mason Hambright with a 2-0 count before throwing three straight strikes to end the game.
In addition to Warford, Zach Bobb, Tanner Spatzer, Cody Romanoski and Corey Paul drove in a run apiece for Line Mountain.
Masser struck out five, walked four and allowed four hits in picking up his second victory of the season.