Warsaw's Kyle Kuhn comes up short while trying to reach second base as Wawasee's Jairus Boyer tags him out during a run-down in the third inning. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Warsaw's Kyle Kuhn comes up short while trying to reach second base as Wawasee's Jairus Boyer tags him out during a run-down in the third inning. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
SYRACUSE – Wawasee senior Jairus Boyer drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning on Wednesday to lift the Warriors over Warsaw 6-5 in Northern Lakes Conference baseball action.

The Warriors have won both matchups with the Tigers this season, capturing the sweep.

“We’re very happy,” said Wawasee coach Brent Doty. “Any NLC win is big. We don’t put any more pressure on Warsaw since they’re in-county. This is a good, quality NLC win for us.”

The Tigers (3-10, 1-7 NLC) took the lead in the top of the seventh. Senior Kyle Kuhn led off the inning with a single and stole second to get into scoring position. After a passed ball moved him to third, senior Jared Hawley hit him home with a sacrifice fly to take the one-run lead.

Wawasee (7-7, 3-4 NLC) senior Jacob Garcia led off the bottom half by getting to second base after a throwing error to first base allowed him to advance. Senior Jeremiah Bess drove him in with an RBI single to right field and advanced to second on a throwing error.

That’s when Boyer came up and ripped a single to score Bess and win the game.

We had opportunities there in the middle innings, but couldn’t capitalize,” said Doty. “(We) finally were able to capitalize in the seventh to win it.”

Senior Blake Norris pitched a complete game for the Warriors en route to the victory. He allowed eight hits, five runs, three walks and struck out seven.

“He’s been solid all year,” said Doty. “He battled and did a phenomenal job pitching out of jams and getting ahead early.”

For the Tigers, senior Michael Nunez pitched five strong innings of six-hit ball and allowed four runs to cross. Junior Mason Reber took the loss in the last inning.

“(Michael) is a competitor,” said Warsaw coach Mike Hepler. “He was throwing strikes and making quality pitches. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t get the win after having a quality start.”

The Warriors had chances to take the lead in the fifth inning after it was tied 4-4 after some back-and-forth play in the early innings. After two quick outs, Wawasee loaded the bases with two singles and a walk.

Hepler had a short-mound visit with Nunez and his infield to settle them down and let them know the situation. The strategy worked, as Nunez struck out Boyer and ended the scoring threat.

Hepler is aware of how tough it is to win conference games, regardless of who the opponent is.

“Every game is tough,” Hepler said. “It doesn’t matter who you play and what their record is.”

The Tigers were led offensively by their leadoff man, Hawley. Aside from the sacrifice fly in the seventh, he had single and a double that soared over the center fielder’s head in the fifth. He later scored in the inning to tie the game 4-4. Senior Kyle Kuhn added two hits and an RBI.

Bess led the Warriors with three hits, and Boyer added two singles, including his walkoff hit.

The Warriors play three games in three days to end the week. Wawasee travels to Elkhart Memorial for another NLC contest today.

Warsaw hosts Goshen on Friday.



WAWASEE 6, WARSAW 5

War    030    010    1    –    5    8    5

Waw    120    100    2    –    6    9    2

Warsaw – Michael Nunez (5IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 1BB, 6SO), Matt Francis (0.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 3BB, 0SO), Mason Reber (L, 0.1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1SO)

Wawasee – Blake Norris (W, 7IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 7SO)

2B – Jared Hawley (War), Liam Patton (War), Kameron Salazar (Wawa)

Records: Warsaw 3-10 (1-7 NLC), Wawasee 7-7 (3-4 NLC)

JV: Warsaw 17, Wawasee 17