HUBER HEIGHTS — The Wayne Warriors opened the baseball season Saturday on a high note with a doubleheader sweep of visiting Sidney.
In the opening game the Warriors cruised to an 8-0 victory. Senior Pitcher James Harness struck out 10 batters, walked one and surrendered two hits, an infield single in the fifth inning and a bloop single over first base in the sixth.
“My goal is to confuse the batters,” said Harness, who recently signed a letter of intent to pitch at Eastern Michigan next season.
Mixing his 88 mph fastball with a curve, he fanned the side in the first inning.
The Warriors wasted no time in taking a 1-0 lead. Nick Chaffman singled to drive home courtesy runner Riley Brown. Chaffman also singled in the third to drive home Tyler Wynkoop for a 4-0 advantage.
The home team had a 3-0 lead in the second after the Yellow Jackets misplayed a bunt by James Gamion. An overthrow to first allowed two Wayne runners to score.
The Warriors broke the game open in the fifth as pitcher Chris Cantrell walked five batters and gave up a solid single to center field by Dylan Warner.
With an 8-0 bulge in the top of the seventh, relief pitcher Nick Chaffman sealed the shutout by fanning two batters and popping up the third out to short center.
“Harness was on a pitch count for the first game of the year, so Nick came in to finish the game,” Wayne Coach Joe Yount said.
In the second game Saturday, the Warriors defeated Sidney 11-2 for the sweep.
Three Wayne pitchers — Patrick Schwartz, Dylan Donchez and Bryce Haney — took the mound for the home team.
“Our three pitchers made the pitches when they needed that got us out of trouble,” Yount said.
Trailing 1-0, the Warrior offense took the lead in the third inning. With runners on first and second, designated hitter James Harness laid down a well-placed bunt toward first for a single, loading the bases.
Layne Riley singled in two runs and Riley Brown knocked in one run, giving the Warriors a 3-1 advantage. Riley, Brown and Dylan Donchez each had two hits and two RBIs.
Harness collected three hits and a stolen base.
“These two wins helped our confidence cause it’s always good to have two victories to start the season,” said Yount.
Reach Gary Gregory via email at email@example.com
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