WARDEN — Warden head coach Dan Caballero wasn’t happy with the result, but he was happy with the effort level his team gave Thursday.
Cascade did just enough on the base paths to beat Warden 5-4.
“We’re young and actually I haven’t seen us compete like that in a while,” Caballero said. “I thought the kids played pretty well today. Our pitching did a good job keeping us in the game. We played pretty clean and coming into this I knew if they got people on base they were going to put pressure on us because they’re pretty fast on the bags.”
Trailing for most of the game, the Kodiaks used their speed to score twice on double steal situations in the fifth inning to tie things 4-4. The go-ahead run came in the sixth inning when Ben Sunitsch scored from third base on a wild pitch.
“They were able to grind some runs in and we weren’t able to get it done,” Caballero said. “We probably left six, seven guys on bags today and it just happens like that. Some days you’re going to hit the ball pretty well and other days you’re going to have a couple guys struggle in the lineup. I thought overall, like I said, they competed and did a pretty good job today.”
Freshman starter Julian Egia ran into some trouble early as Cascade loaded the bases in the first inning and scored twice.
However, Egia was able to settle down and pitch two straight scoreless innings. The still infantile rule on pitch counts and a league doubleheader against Columbia on Saturday kept Egia from chewing up more innings.
“If I would have let him, he could have stayed in there and given us another three or four strong innings and that’s a different ballgame,” Caballero said.
The majority of Warden’s offense came in the bottom of the first inning.
Rodrigo Ozuna singled to right field, knocking in two runs. Bryce Martinez followed with an RBI single to give Warden the lead, 3-2. Ozuna also scored on a balk in the third inning.
“For our kids, like I said, to compete, especially for as young as we are — a freshman pitcher started for us today — I was pretty happy with what we are,” Caballero said. “You’re never happy with losing as the outcome, but when you compete and stay in a game and end up losing 5-4 ... we had opportunities there to win.”
Score by innings
C — 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 5
W — 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 4
Highlights: Rodrigo Ozuna 2 RBI, 1 R; Bryce Martinez 1 RBI; Wade Visker 5 K