Warriors compete with the big boppers
A high school with 3,000 more students than Whittell High found out on Thursday that the Warriors play a higher level of baseball than their Nevada 2A classification.
The Warriors jumped out to a 4-1 lead on Clearfield, Utah, after three innings before the Salt Lake City area Class 5A school rallied for a 12-4 win at the Bishop Gorman Easton Easter Classic at Ridge Mountain Complex in Summerlin.
“I think this team could play with Douglas, Reno or Galena heads up and we hung with them,” said Whittell skipper Don Amaral. “If we field some grounders, we maybe lose by one or two.”
Whittell’s inability to field groundballs led to seven errors and allowed Clearfield to overhaul the Warriors in the fifth inning.
The shoddy fielding wasted a superb effort by starting pitcher Marcus Mellberg, who allowed only five hits and fanned five in five innings.
“Marcus pitched a great game for us and could have beaten anybody in our league today,” Amaral said.
Whittell’s defense didn’t perform any differently with reliever Sho Kashima on the mound. Kashima only gave up two hits in two innings, but Clearfield scored five runs.
The Warriors scored three runs in the first inning by being aggressive on the basepaths. Ryan Gosh, Mellberg and Chris Shapiro all stole bases in the first frame. Mellberg, Shapiro and Tommy Esquivel delivered key singles. But Whittell collected three more hits.
Whittell (9-7) plays Little Rock, Calif., and Jordan, Ga., today and Clearwater, Fla., on Saturday.
“Line them up, let’s go,” Amaral said of the remaining tough tournament games left for his Warriors.