BASEBALL: Red hot Dragons notch seventh straight victory

Warren is cruising into the District 10 playoffs.

The Dragons won for the seventh consecutive time Saturday, defeating the Titusville Rockets, 7-4, at Old Legion Field in North Warren.

Warren is now 11-4 on the season and can clinch at least a share of the Region 7 title with a victory Monday at Fort LeBoeuf.

Both teams hit the ball hard in Saturday’s contest, combining for 19 hits. Even many of the outs were well struck balls that just happened to be hit right at the defense.

The Rockets struck first in the contest, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. That lead would be short lived as the Dragons responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Collin Fantaskey led off the game with an infield single, Austin Schwanke followed with a bunt single and Tanner Stanz recorded an RBI groundout to tie the game at 1-1. Jason Stanton then crushed a triple to deep right field, scoring Schwanke and giving Warren a 2-1 edge. Stanton soon scored on Carter Cerra’s RBI single to make it a two-run game.

On the mound, Cerra settled into a groove and didn’t allow another run until the Titusville half of the fifth inning. In the meantime, the Dragons pushed the lead to 4-1.

Cerra ran into trouble in the fifth as the Rockets loaded the bases with two outs. One run scored on a wild pitch and a two-run single from Titusville had the game tied at 4-4 after four and a half innings.

Again, Warren had an immediate response.

After the first two batters of the inning recorded outs, the Dragons strung together five consecutive singles to reclaim the lead at 7-4. The singles from Stanton, Cerra and Eddie Ord each knocked in a run.

Tanner Teconchuk pitched the final two innings for Warren and didn’t allow a run. The Rockets made things interesting in the seventh when the first two batters reached on singles, but Schwanke made a fantastic catch in deep center during the next at-bat and the Dragons escaped the inning unscathed to preserve the win.

Cerra earned the win for Warren, giving up four runs on five hits while striking out two and walking four. Teconchuk allowed two hits in his two innings and was credited with the save.

“That (fifth inning) was clutch,” said Warren coach Rick Eaton. “(Titusville) scored three runs with two outs and then we came out and did the same. Both teams hit the ball well. We’re playing good ball right now. It’s fun to be a part of.”

Stanton finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Cerra and Schwanke also each went 2-for-3 with Cerra driving in a pair.