FRONT ROYAL - For most of the game Warren County hung with undefeated Brentsville, but a few errors in the last two innings proved costly.
The Tigers scored two runs in each of the last two innings to beat the Wildcats 5-1 in Class 3 Northwestern District action.
“It got away from us a little bit towards the end,” Warren County junior Jackson Arnold said. “We had ’em, we had ’em. We were right there with Sherando (earlier in the season) when we lost it. It got away from us and we were right there with them. With good teams, you got to be consistent every inning. You can't let those bad plays get ahead of you. You can’t get in your head or anything like that. You got to keep playing.”
Arnold pitched six solid innings for the Wildcats, but the Tigers scored two runs in the sixth aided by two errors.
With the game tied 1-1, Brentsville’s Braeden DeSlippe reached on an error to start the top of the sixth. With one out, Jake DeLisi hit a ball to deep left field for a triple. A throwing error on the play allowed him to score for a 3-1 lead.
The Tigers added two more runs in the top of the seventh against Warren County relief pitcher Jacob Heflin. Brentsville’s Austin Fitzgerald reached on an error to start the inning. Michael Haynes drew a walk and both would eventually score on a two-run single by Luke Binsted for a 5-1 advantage.
Brentsville scored in the top of the first. Billy Hoad led off with a single against Arnold. Hoad stole second and went to third on a groundout by DeSlippe.
Binsted’s single scored Hoad to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Bryce Post was hit by a pitch from Brentsville starting pitcher DeLisi. Post stole second and moved to third on a groundout by Jordan Kenyon.
Jake DiPatre’s sacrifice fly scored Post to tie the game at 1-1.
The Wildcats (6-2, 0-1 Class 3 Northwestern) had three hits in the game but also reached base on two errors, one walk, and a hit batsman. The Wildcats stranded five in the game. DiLisi, who had a lot of movement on his pitches, struck out seven.
“(DeLisi) kept us off balance,” Warren County coach John Tierney said. “We kept our heads down. We got pieces, we fought off some pitches and did a good job. ...We needed to hit a little bit better. We did hit the ball. We just couldn’t get the hit when we needed it.”
Arnold pitched six innings, allowing just four hits and striking out five with one walk.
“I was just locating my fastball,” Arnold said. “My changeup wasn’t really on. My curveball wasn’t on. But I was getting good movement on my fastballs, getting them to tail, getting them to swing and miss a lot. I was getting them jammed and trying to give my defense good plays.”
Tierney said Arnold did a good job getting ahead in the count, which really helped him out.
Binsted led the Tigers (6-0, 1-0 Class 3 Northwestern) with three hits and three RBIs. The Wildcats were led by Arnold, Ronnie Dodson, and Post with a hit each.
Warren County hosts Culpeper County on Thursday. The game was moved up from Friday due to forecasted rain.
Arnold said he’s happy with how the Wildcats have played so far this season.
“We lost a lot of players, we lost a lot of starters (from last year to graduation),” Arnold said. “Our pitching has done well, even up to this point. We’ve been great. Guys have been going deep into the games. We’ve gotten out of big situations. Maybe only one game was out of hand - that was the Sherando game. Our bats are heating up every once in a while. Guys have been hitting the ball when we need them to hit the ball. Defense has been absolutely amazing, maybe 11 errors all season. We just have guys filling in their spots well and playing baseball. That’s all we’re doing is playing our style of baseball.”