Neal shines as Warren splits with Park
VINCENT – Warren’s Tanner Neal had a day he’ll always remember.
The Warrior left fielder tallied five hits including a 4-for-5 showing in game 2, a 16-6 romp, as Warren split a doubleheader with Wheeling Park Saturday afternoon. Park (6-9) won the opener, 5-3.
“I was just trying to find some grass for the ball to land,” said Neal, who also had three RBI on the day. “Three of the four hits came with two strikes, so I was just trying to be a good two-strike hitter and get the bat on the ball.”
Warren head coach Ryan Lemley was impressed, but not surprised by the performance.
“That’s his MO,” he said. “He leads us in hitting. He’s athletic and sometimes I get on him a little bit because he understands the game so well.”
Just like the first game, Warren (7-7) fell behind in the first inning when Park scored three runs on one hit off Chase Weihl. The starter got into trouble by walking three and hitting Spencer Rodgers.
The Warriors put the game away, though, in the third and fourth innings when they scored 12 runs – seven in the fourth when 12 batters came to the plate.
“Even though we lost the first game, it seemed liked we had the momentum after the first inning,” Lemley said. “Of course, they had a big first inning again, but we just kept going and had those two big innings.”
In the third, Jake Davis had a towering three-run home run that tied the game at four. Davis went 3-for-5, while Trace Congleton and Trace Schafer also drove home runs in the inning.
Warren continued to rough up reliever Jake Laing in the fourth inning as seven of the first eight batters reached base. Even the lone out was Tanner Proctor’s sacrifice fly that plated Bryce Gandee, who had doubled.
Proctor also came up big in his first outing on the mound this season. He allowed two runs on five hits over the final three innings to go 1-0 on the season.
“After we got the lead, I just told him to fill up the zone and not give them any walks,” Lemley said. “He did a nice job for us today.”
In the opener, Wheeling Park hit three homers – Tyler Cooley, Zane Hummel and Rogers. Jub Delbrugge (3-1) scattered six hits and walked five to pick up the win. Austin Crebs struck out four over the final two innings for the save.
Before Warren hosts Jackson in a key Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game at 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Warriors will play at home at 5:30 p.m. Monday against Shenandoah.