Waldorf starting pitcher Heath Chapman was amazing; then the Warrior’s other starter, Jimmy Quirk, did even better.
Waldorf’s offense helped out, suppling nine runs total for Chapman and Quirk during a non-conference Sunday doubleheader against Hastings, but in actuality, the Warrior duo only one run each.
Chapman set the tone for the day, throwing a six-hit shutout at the Broncos, then Quirk came on and threw a one-hitter for the Warriors, who won 7-0 and 2-0.
“It was a pitchers day today,” Waldorf head coach Joe Tautges said. “Wind was blowing straight in so Heath just challenged their hitters with fastballs and located well.
“Jimmy gave us a quality start, and I don’t think he was at his best, but he battled hard to get through a few of the innings,” Tautges added.
Tautges didn’t even have to use his bullpen as Chapman and Quirk both threw less than 90 pitches each in their complete-game shutouts.
Quirk (1-1) was the biggest story of the afternoon, recording 20 outs without surrendering a hit in the seven-inning nightcap before the Dylan Fitzgerald’s single spoiled the almost no-hitter with one out remaining.
But starting the day off, the Warriors gave Chapman more than enough run support by putting seven across home plate.
The Warriors (5-14 overall) started off their damage in the top of third inning as Alex Gustafson and Jacob Tedesco both reached base on back-to-back errors. Riley MacDonald then walked to load up the bases with nobody out.
Cal Fazzio hit a sacrifice fly to right field to begin the scoring for Waldorf, then Mitchell Keeran and Joey Ponder followed with an RBI single each.
On top 3-0 in the top of the fifth inning, MacDonald, who finished the first game 3-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI, blasted a one-out triple to the left-center gap.
He scored to make it 4-0 on Lance Hansen’s wild pick-off attempt.
Still not done, the Warriors scored three more runs in the top of the sixth inning, putting runners on the corners with nobody out for Tedesco, who brought home Miguel Castro with an RBI double.
Lead-off hitter and catcher Nester Jimenez continued his hot hitting with an RBI single, and a MacDonald RBI single gave Chapman (2-2) a commanding 7-0 lead.
“In the first game we got a few breaks that we haven’t been getting,” Tautges said. “They had a few errors that lead to a couple of runs, but we also had timely hitting.”
Which benefitted the freshman from Phoenix, Ariz., Chapman, who actually only needed one run to pick up the win as he struck out four Bronco batters and scattered six hits.
The transfer from Scottsdale Community College recorded the first complete game and first shutout of the season for a Waldorf starting pitcher, throwing just 79 pitches, 60 of them for strikes.
Waldorf didn’t wait long for its second complete-game shutout.
“Game 2 was more of the same,” Tautges said. “We executed a couple of bunts and manufactured a couple runs.”
The second game was a fantastic pitcher’s duel between Quirk and Hastings’ Austin Vitosh, who allowed just one hit through the first four innings.
Even without a hit, the Warriors found a way to score in the top of the third innings after Gustafson led off with a dreaded lead-off walk.
Gustafson then stole second with nobody out, advanced to third on a Tedesco groundout, and scored on an errant, two-out pick-off attempt.
Meanwhile, Quirk continued to overpower opposing batters in the bottom of the third and fourth innings before the Warriors plated another run for him in the top of the fifth.
Gustafson led off the inning with a single, then Tedesco followed with a walk. Jimenez then singled in Gustafson for the 2-0 advantage, and although the Warriors couldn’t get any more runs, the lead was plenty for Quirk to maintain.
The junior from Woodbury, Minn., got within one out of writing his name in the Waldorf record books with a no-no, striking out three in the win.
In the bottom of the seventh, the junior pitcher successfully got Zack Peterson and Eric Anderson to both fly out, but Fitzgerald rolled a single through the left side of the infield for the Broncos only hit of the game.
“Both were good team wins that were needed before conference starts,” Waldorf’s coach said.
The Warriors get a chance for a few more non-conference wins before opening North Star Athletic Association play next weekend as they look to continue their current win-streak, hosting Clarke in a doubleheader this Wednesday at 2 p.m., the long-awaited home debut for the Warriors.