Whittell nine breezes past Northern 2A competition
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – It was definitely senior day on Saturday as the Whittell High Warriors claimed the Northern 2A zone baseball title over the Mineral County Serpents with a dominant 10-4 win at Incline Middle School.
The score appeared much closer than the game actually was as seniors Thomas Hunter and Chris Hannum paced an offensive explosion by the Warriors.
“The kids came to play and were focused at the plate,” Warrior manager Don Amaral said.
It was the second inning when the Whittell bats came alive. Hunter jimmyjacked a long home run to center field to ignite the fire. Two batters later, Ian “Sunshine” Jacobsen reached base on a fielder’s choice and Tyson Frederick laced a single to set the table for Hannum, who tagged a long, high fly ball that cleared the left-center field fence by a good 10 feet, giving the Warriors a 4-1 lead.
The Warriors scored another run in the third when Brandon “The General” Lee was hit by a pitch, went to second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on a groundout by Hunter.
The Warrior bats came alive again in the fifth.
Matt Olsen sparked the rally with a single before Hunter hammered his second round-tripper of the game.
“The first one I didn’t think would go out,” Hunter said. “And the second, I thought was off the top of the wall.
“The ball just kept carrying.”
Whittell also added two runs in the fourth and one in the sixth.
The Warriors used three hurlers to secure the win with Frederick getting the start, giving up three runs on five hits and striking out four.
The sophomore breezed through the first two innings, allowing a lone run before running into trouble in the third.
Frederick fanned the first two Serpents before Ernie Wood launched a long home run over the scoreboard in left.
Matt Koscinski then lined a single and Kenny Bostic doubled to make the score 4-3.
“I told Tyson that I wanted three innings out of him and that’s what he gave me,” Amaral said.
In the fourth, Joe Piccola came on in relief and went 2 1/3 innings. The senior cruised through the fourth and fifth before Sean Bryan opened the sixth with a double. Piccola got the next batter but Ryan West reached on an error before Matt Chadwell slapped a single to drive in Bryan to close the gap to 6-4.
Amaral then brought in Northern Nevada 2A player of the year Lee, who shut the door on the Serpents and secured the zone title for the Warriors.
“I only wanted Brandon to throw less than 20 pitches today,” Amaral said. “And he only threw 14 to end the game.”
With zone title in hand, the Warriors will travel to Mesquite, Nev., on Thursday for the Nevada 2A state tournament.
Whittell’s first game is slated for a 1 p.m. Thursday start against xxxx on Thursday.
“This is something we’ve been working for four years,” Hunter said. “We’ve stuck with this program for four years.
“Last year, we had a great year, which has only set us up for this season.”
The Warriors swept a pair of games Friday to advance to the championship on Saturday.
In the opening game of the two-day tournament against Tonopah, the Warriors pounded the Muckers 12-0. Hannum threw five innings of two-hit ball and struck out three.
In the second inning, the Warriors scored four runs with the big blast coming from the bat of Olsen, who hit a two-run homer.
Whittell scored six more runs in the third on five consecutive doubles.
Friday’s second game featured stellar performances from both Lee and Hannum at the plate. Hannum went 3 for 4 with five runs batted in, including a walk-off gettysburg address in the fifth.
Lee was 2 for 3 with four RBIs and threw five innings, allowing two hits and striking out eight.
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