BOYS JUNIORS: Late rally ends Boys Juniors all-star season
The Warren Boys Juniors All-Star team saw its season come to a heartbreaking end Friday at Old Legion Field, as Saint Marys scored four seventh-inning runs to win the losers bracket semifinals contest by a score of 12-10.
Warren came out of the gate strong, jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead through three innings.
In the first inning, Dominick Funari led off with a walk before Connor Ristau roped a single for Warren’s first hit. Funari would end up scoring on a wild pitch and Nathan Betts followed by bringing in the second run of the inning with a single.
Seth Baldensperger started the bottom of the second with a leadoff double and came home on a base hit from Funari. An errant pickoff throw then allowed Funari to race all the way to third base. Funari eventually scored on another wild pitch.
Baldensperger brought in Warren’s lone run in the third with an RBI groundout.
Funari started on the mound for Warren and shut down the Saint Marys offense for three innings before running into trouble in the fourth. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs and, after a pop out, Gabe Kraus crushed a double to bring in two runs. A third run was scored on a groundout before Matt Leonard came on to relieve Funari, getting Warren out of the inning.
Warren immediately got one run back in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single from Drake Gens, but Saint Marys put together another huge inning, scoring five runs in the fifth inning on four hits, a walk and two wild pitches, to grab an 8-6 lead.
Once again, Warren didn’t waste any time fighting back, scoring three runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth to reclaim a 10-8 lead.
Betts led off the fifth with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and raced home on a sacrifice fly from Adam Irwin. Baldensperger and Braidy Blair each roped a base hit before a pair of Saint Marys errors allowed both runners to score. Baldensperger drove in the lone run in the sixth inning with a base hit.
Irwin pitched a scoreless sixth for Warren, but ran into trouble in the seventh, walking the first two batters before an infield single loaded the bases. After walking in a run to make the score 10-9, Baldensperger replaced Irwin on the mound. A single and two sacrifice flies gave Saint Marys the 12-10 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Funari hit a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh, but Warren was unable to get any closer and its all-star campaign ended with a record of 2-2.