Matt Elliott twirled a no-hitter, Robbie Poet earned his first win ever and Jake Sharp’s bat stayed red hot as the Warriors bounced back for a sweep in the Smith Valley baseball tournament Saturday.
Whittell 14, Coleville 1
The Warriors sprung to life early and staked starter Poet to a five-run, first-inning lead. Sharp and freshman Chris Evans led off the game with infield singles. Elliott was hit by a pitch, and Poet’s scratch hit gave the red and gold their first lead of the season. The rally continued with RBI hits by Armando Godoy and Avery Laub, who lofted a wind-blown double to center.
While Poet kept the Wolves at bay with five strikeouts, the Warriors steadily added to their lead, scoring in every inning.
Elliott walked to start the second, and Poet uncorked a triple to left center. He later scored on an infield out.
In the third, Evans drew a walk and worked his way home on an infield out, a passed ball and a wild pitch.
In the fourth, the Warriors hit around for the second time. Cody Gibson smashed a double and RBI single in the frame as the tournament game time limit expired.
For the game, Poet garnered the win plus two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Elliott scored three times, with Gibson, Sharp and Evans touching home twice each.
Whittell 9, Smith Valley 0
Elliott served up a no-no nightcap as the Warriors broke open a scoreless pitching duel in the fourth.
Elliott was untouchable. The junior star dominated for Whittell. With 72 pitches, he whiffed 13 Bulldogs, striking out the side three times. He fanned the last eight batters and finishing strong.
The only Bulldog threat came in the second. Elliott was battling the setting sun and Smith Valley hitters took advantage to load the bases on walks and a hit batsman. Elliott, however, had just enough to get through the inning.
Under the lights in the third, the Bulldogs tried bunting their way on, but Elliott’s fastball held up the no-hitter. One good bunt almost made it through, but Sharp charged in from third, and freshman Quinn Kixmiller made a saving dig at first for the out.
Meanwhile, Smith Valley hurler Rodrigo Perez matched Elliott for the first three frames. The Warriors went down one-two-three in the first. Poet led off the second with a double to left, but was stranded. Sharp singled in the third, but couldn’t advance.
In the fourth inning, however, Whittell’s offense exploded.
Poet walked, and Gibson plated him with a long triple to the fence in dead center. Laub followed and nearly hit the same spot again for an RBI double. The Warriors didn’t let up and wound up with a nine-spot, highlighted by a two-run RBI single from Sharp and another RBI knock from Elliott.
Sharp is now the only Warrior to hit safely in all 4 games. The scrappy sophomore batted .778 with an .833 OBP for the weekend.
“They’re learning every day,” coach Thomas Hunter said. “Trying, getting better and looking more and more like a team.”
UP NEXT: Whittell (2-2) took a long bus ride to Hawthorne on Tuesday to face the Mineral County Serpents.