Jake Sharp and Cody Gibson turned in gutsy pitching performances, and Matt Elliott stepped up at the plate, but it wasn't enough for the Whittell baseball team.
The Warriors lost their first two games Friday morning in light intermittent snow at an opening tournament at Smith Valley HIgh School. Whittell lost its first game 3-5 to Tonopah, and its second game 2-8 to Incline.
First up were the Tonopah Muckers.
The Muckers never trailed, but Whittell kept it close.
Down 2-0 in the bottom of the second half, the Warriors battled back. Avery Laub drew the walk, and Sharp tomahawked a single to left.
With two on, Kody Dangdongdee stepped up for his first ever at bat in a baseball game. The senior rookie did not disappoint. He looped a single over second base, loading the bases for Robbie Poet, who clutch hit a 2-out, 2-run single to left. Poet's RBI knotted the score at 2-2.
The tie was short-lived, however, as Tonopah scored twice on fielding miscues in the third and took the lead for good.
In the fourth inning, Mucker slugger Andrew Snider ripped a leadoff triple. Sharp and the defense contained the threat though, stranding Snider at third.
The Warriors fought to the end. Down 5-2 in their final at bat, Elliott bombed a solo shot over center field. On out later, Sharp ripped a double, but that was all the Warriors could muster in their comeback quest.
Sharp, who's a sophomore, had three hits for the game and Elliott, a junior, whacked a first-inning triple in addition to his home run.
The Warriors then headed into their second game against Incline.
Gibson struck out seven, but extra base hits and errant fielding were the Warriors' undoing.
Whittell got off to a slow start against Incline's sophomore ace Tommy Dolan, who struck out six in two innings of work before giving way to Tommy Thompson in the third.
Whittell again scratched back to tie the game.
Down 2-0, freshman Chris Evans knocked his first hit ever for the Warriors. Elliott singled him to third, and Laub smacked a RBI double down the line to left.
But once again, the tie evaporated in the next frame. The Warriors surrendered three unearned runs via two infield errors and a Highlander double steal. The game was called for time limit in the fourth.
UP NEXT: The Warriors return to Smith Valley today, looking for their first wins in games against Smith Valley and Coleville.