Inning by inning, the Warrenton baseball team slowly put away visiting conference foe Orchard Farm 6-1 on Tuesday.
The Warriors were consistent at the plate, scoring at least one run in each of the first four innings to improve to 3-0 on the season. Coach Eric Burle says the chance existed to dispatch the Eagles earlier, but too many runners were left stranded on base.
“During the first three innings we never felt overly comfortable, because we thought leaving guys on might come back to bite us,” said Burle. “But we were able to push through three runs in the fourth and that helped.”
Sophomore Ben Stephens opened the first inning with a walk and was eventually driven home on a single by junior Brandon Moeller, who also started on the mound.
Junior Luke Darity pushed the lead to 2-0, scoring senior Kenny Dildine home on a hit. Dildine had reached on an error and advanced on pass balls.
“We’ve had some timely hitting this season,” said Burle. “We’d like to be able to hit a little bit better with runners in scoring position.”
Hitting was existent but sporadic at times on Tuesday, with another run scored in the third. Senior Jakob Junker hit the first of three consecutive singles, before scoring on a fielders choice that rendered freshman Dallas Johnson out.
The Warriors one-run act finally escalated in the fourth, with Darity collecting two RBIs and another run scoring on a fielders choice.
Darity finished the game 2-for-3, while Junker was 3-for-4.
Burle was pleased to see his team’s bats weren’t stagnant despite having gone over a week without a game.
“That was a little bit of a concern after having over a week off,” said Burle.
The Warriors’ fielding effort was also solid and has been crisp through all three games.
“We really only had one error in the field,” said Burle. “It was a fairly clean effort. So far we’ve been able to keep our defense strong and opponents at bay.”
Moeller tossed another strong game for Warrenton, striking out five and walking two through six innings of work. Senior Paul Inman entered in relief.
“He could have finished out the game, but we wanted to give Paul some work and hopefully get Moeller back on mound later this week,” said Burle.
Moeller and Stephens have been steady arms on the mound so far this season.“We’ve felt pretty good about Brandon and Ben’s pitching,” said Burle. “Those guys have done a good job through the first three games.”