– Preparing for their conference campaign, the Warriors continue to fine-tune their game on the diamond for North Star Athletic Association action.
And while the Waldorf baseball team continues close in on the type of game head coach Joe Tautges wants to see from his club, he’d also like to see the Warriors post the bigger numbers on the scoreboard in their non-conference tune-ups.
The Warriors tried to do that Saturday, battling into extra innings against host Hastings before dropping the nightcap of a twinbill at Duncan Field, 3-2, to the Broncos.
That after Waldorf dropped a well-played, 4-0 setback to host Hastings to start the day.
“I am just waiting for us to put it all together,” Tautges said. “We are not getting breaks right now, and part of the reason is we are not putting ourselves in those positions.”
One big at-bat decided the opener, a bases loaded double for the Broncos which cleared the sacks and gave the hosts a 3-0 edge after three innings.
Waldorf put two aboard in the top of the fourth, trying to rally, but missed its chance to plate any runs.
The Warriors (3-14 overall) continued their efforts to rally, getting runners on bases each of the next three frames, but ended up stranding them all as the game-changing hits eluded the visitors.
“We got a decent start from Nic Ray, it was basically one bad inning,” Tautges said as Ray was the hard-luck loser, striking out five and scattering four hits in five innings on the hill.
Meanwhile, Waldorf mustered just three base hits itself.
Looking to turn the day around in the nightcap, two errors led to a pair of runs for the Broncos (7-10) and an early 2-0 lead.
Waldorf rallied with a clutch two-out rally in the top of the sixth inning, though, as Jimmy Quirk’s single to left chased home a pair of teammates, tying it 2-2.
All even, the Warriors couldn’t plate any more, and an error in the bottom of the eighth helped the Broncos score the walk-off winner for the sweep.
“Tyson (Partridge) gave us a great start,” Tautges said of Waldorf’s game-two starter, who struck out four and didn’t allow an earned run in 5 1-3 innings. “The two runs he gave up shouldn’t have happened as we dropped a fly ball in the outfield.
“He got himself into a few jams and worked out of them, which is good to see.”
But once again, the game-changing hits eluded the Warriors, who played well enough to win but just missed the victory.
“We are so close to getting over the hump, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” Waldorf’s coach said. “We need to find a way to get it done, and that’s it.”
The Warriors get another chance “to get it done” on Sunday when they are back in action against Hastings in the second of back-to-back doubleheaders against the Broncos. First pitch is scheduled for noon.