BASEBALL: Dragons lose opener

After enduring a spell of bad weather, the Warren Dragons were finally able to get their season under way on Friday night.

They’ll have to wait a little longer to notch their first victory.

Warren struggled to get key hits with runners in scoring position, and St. Marys used a four-run sixth inning to grab a 6-2 victory in chilly conditions at Old Legion Field.

It was the first game for new Dragons head coach Rick Eaton, who took over after long-time coach Jeff Passaro stepped down in November. In addition to a new coach, the Dragons also have a vastly different team from last year’s District 10 championship squad. They graduated nine seniors and return only one letterwinner in Collin Fantaskey.

“We’ve got a lot of young kids,” Eaton said. “This was the first varsity game for most of them. I’m confident in our ability and I expect we’ll grow.”

The Dragons jumped on the board first, pushing a run across in the first inning. Fantaskey led off with an infield single and ended up at third on a throwing error, before racing home on a RBI groundout from Tanner Stanz.

Warren had a chance to extend its lead in the second inning when Carter Cerra and Todd Fasenmyer each singled to put runners on the corners with just one out, but Tanner Teconchuk hit into a double play to end the threat.

Fantaskey started on the mound for Warren and pitched well, despite taking the loss, going five innings while allowing three hits, two walks and two runs, to go along with six strikeouts. Teconchuk pitched the final two innings, allowing four runs on six hits.

St. Marys added two runs in the third inning to grab the lead, scoring both runs on fielder’s choice groundouts. The Flying Dutch added four more during a two-out rally in the sixth inning to blow the game open.

The Dragons added their second and final run in the seventh inning, when Jason Stanton hit a single to drive in Fantaskey.

Warren hit several balls hard throughout the game, but were unable to find any holes.

Matt Hultquist’s double was Warren’s only extra-base hit, and no Dragons recorded a multi-hit game.

“Tonight was a perfect example of a baseball game where the breaks just don’t go your way,” Eaton said. “We were hitting balls right at them. The big thing is we had some nice hits, we had baserunners, we just didn’t have clutch hits. This was a good test to begin the season. (St. Marys) is one of the top teams in District 9.”

The Dragons (0-1) will look to rebound on Saturday when they host Bradford at 12 p.m.

ST. MARYS (6): ab-r-h-rbi: Tiger, cf, 4-2-2-1, Bennett, 3b, 3-2-2-2, Cesa, pr, 0-0-0-0 Vollmer, c, 3-0-1-2, Gleixner, 1b-3b, 4-0-1-1, Beimel p-1b, 4-0-1-0, Burdick, lf, 4-0-0-0 Cunningham, 2b, 3-1-1-0, Fedder, 2b, 0-0-0-0, Lovenduski, rf, 4-0-1-0, McClain, ss, 3-1-0-0. Totals 32-6-9-6

WARREN (2): ab-r-h-rbi: Fantaskey, p, 4-1-1-0, Stanz, ss, 4-0-1-1, Stanton, 1b, 4-0-1-1, Hultquist, 3b, 2-0-1-0, Ord, dh, 3-0-0-0, Gustafson, lf, 0-0-0-0, Boger, pr, 0-0-0-0, Cerra, rf, 3-0-1-0, Schwanke, cf, 3-0-0-0, Fasenmyer, c, 3-0-1-0, Teconchuck, 2b-p, 3-1-0-0. Totals 29-2-6-2

St. Marys 002 004 0 – 6 9 2

Warren 100 000 1 – 2 6 1

2b-Hultquist (W), Vollmer (S), Bennett (S) 2. WP-Beimel. LP-Fantaskey.