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County baseball championship at stake Saturday

Times file photo Warren’s Kurt Taylor (2) slides home safely during a high school baseball game against Waterford last season. Warren, Waterford and Marieta will play in a round-robin tournament Saturday at Don and Sue Schaly Field at Pioneer Park. The Washington County league championship is at stake.

The Washington County baseball league’s season will wrap up Saturday with a postseason tournament at Don and Sue Schaly Field at Pioneer Park.

Warren, Marietta and Waterford will compete in a round-robin tourney with each team playing two games. The team that goes 2-0 will walk away with the league championship.

Warren put together an 8-0 record in league play this summer. They will play Waterford at 9 a.m. and then Marietta at 11:30 a.m. Finally, Marietta takes on Waterford at 2 p.m. Originally the tournament was going to take place Saturday and Sunday, but Frontier had to drop out due to a lack of players.

The league was formed earlier this summer after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of high school spring sports across the country. Warren head coach Ryan Lemley is excited the league made it this far.

“Just give everybody a lot of credit for doing what we were supposed to do,” he said. “We had to do the check-in system. We had fans who did a good job as far as spacing out. I think everybody was at that point of we’ll do whatever we have to do to play. Following the rules was critical.”

Lemley’s club goes into the tournament with the most momentum, but the Warriors aren’t taking anybody lightly.

“We’re playing really well,” he said. “I will say this — the last time we played Frontier, we won 9-6. They played pretty well. They’ve improved a bunch during summer which was the whole point of this league from the start.”

On the other hand, Marietta head coach Josh McKitrick is hoping his club can make some noise Saturday. His team dropped a pair of games to Warren in the regular season and admitted the Warriors are likely the team to beat.

“Warren’s rolling and playing well,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. We’ll give it our best shot.”

Waterford head coach Doug Huffman is happy his players have gotten this experience after the spring season was lost.

“We had 21 out for the spring season, and 19 came back for the summer,” Huffman said. “We’ve even got five kids who went ahead and played for a travel team, too. We’ve pretty much practiced every night. We got to play Marietta and Warren six times. That’s two good teams, and some of the young guys got to see that. To get to play teams like that six times, that’s pretty big for us.”

Huffman said that even though his team has a tough challenge ahead of it Saturday, they’re aiming high.

“I’m anxious to see how we do,” said Huffman, whose Wildcats are also playing an extra game with Warren on Sunday. “I think it’s been a good experience. I think the five seniors have enjoyed it. I hated that their season was canceled, but I think they’ll look back and have some good experiences from everything that happened. We’re hoping to be 3-0 this weekend.”

Jordan Holland can be reached at jholland@mariettatimes.com.

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