Warrenton rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Brookings-Harbor 6-5 in the 3A baseball final Saturday at PK Park.
Warrenton rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Brookings-Harbor 6-5 in the 3A baseball final Saturday at PK Park.

EUGENE -- Warrenton's run to a state title really started last spring after the Warriors "blew up" in the seventh inning of a quarterfinal loss to South Umpqua.

"Being there for their teammates became more important than what they were going to get out of it. And that made all the difference," 33-year head coach Lennie Wolfe said.

Saturday, the Warriors found themselves trailing, a spot they had been many times before this season. They discovered their resiliency and clutch genes to carry them through to the finish. Odin Wilson's RBI single to left field pushed Warrenton to a 6-5 win against Brookings-Harbor in the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union 3A baseball championship game at PK Park.

Wilson, a junior outfielder and pitcher, had a hot bat late in the postseason. Wolfe said he and his coaching staff had confidence in the entire lineup to get the team to where it needed to be, but Wilson wasn't a bad choice to have at the plate.

"It's surreal," Wilson said of the opportunity to be batting with a chance to win a game with such high stakes. "We've been doing it a long time, seven of us since we were really little. It was a group effort."

Third-seeded Warrenton (25-5) rallied from an early 3-0 deficit against No. 9 Brookings-Harbor (20-8) to tie the game after three innings. The teams then alternated runs over the next three-plus innings before Warrenton came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh with the score knotted at 5 apiece.

Ty McGorty led off with a walk and Talon McGorty singled to center field to put two runners on. After Brayden Greenawald flied out to center to move Ty McGorty to third, Kaison Smith took several Austin Dietrich pitches before being intentionally walked. 

With a 0-1 count, Wilson got a ball he could do something with and sent it to left to begin the celebration and give Warrenton its second baseball title in state history.

"We have played from behind regularly and gosh we played a lot of one- and two-run games," said Wolfe, who was in his third year as the Warriors' head coach in 1994 when Warrenton won its first championship. "That was the benefit of playing that competitive schedule. We got used to it and it didn't really faze us. We learned from last year. We made changes and it's pretty exciting, isn't it?"

Brookings-Harbor's four-game playoff run started with a 1,340-mile round trip to Joseph in northeastern Oregon and back from the state's south coast. It also included a bus ride to Pleasant Hill, near Eugene, earlier this week. The Bruins, who tied for third in the Far West League, had won 10 straight games heading into Saturday's contest.

"Played until the seventh inning in the state championship game," Brookings coach Keith Wallin said. "It's not about one hit, one pitch, one out. It's about the body of work and these guys sure put together one hell of a season."

And of what made his group special, Wallin added: "They just wanted it. They never gave up. They didn't listen to the noise. They just kept fighting every single day and understanding the season is long, it's a grind, and staying mentally tough is how you get to this point."

Brookings-Harbor opened the game with two runs in the top of the first inning. A walk, Ethan Orman double and a throwing error in the outfield on the double brought home the first run. Two batters later, a Camron Hendrix RBI single made it 2-0.

The Bruins added a run in the top of the third on a Spencer Rosenberg single, hit batter and a passed ball. 

Warrenton pulled even in the bottom half. Cam'Ron Daniels struck out in the leadoff spot but reached safely on a catcher's error. Ryder Sturgell's double two batters later got the Warriors their first run. With two outs, Greenawald's single to right scored two to tie the game.

Warrenton went ahead with a run in the fourth on Wilson's single, Zephan Pierce's sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch and Wilson's steal of home. 

"Down a little bit, that's when we start to get things moving," Wilson said. "We battle back all the time. It's just something we do."

Brookings came right back a half-inning later. Hendrix singled with one out then scored on Evan Orman's double to left to tie game.

It looked like Warrenton might have the game in hand after its go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth to lead 5-4. Pierce's one-out double landed just inside the right field line, and a Daniels sacrifice bunt moved him to third. In the next at-bat, 9-hole hitter Ryan Palmer sent a bloop that landed just in front of the right fielder to put the Warriors ahead.

But Brookings-Harbor didn't blink. Following a walk and a ground out, the Bruins had a runner on second with two outs in the seventh when Evan Orman found open grass in right-center for a RBI single to tie the game.

Brookings' Dietrich, Hendrix and Evan Orman all collected two hits along with Warrenton's Sturgell and Wilson. Sturgell and Evan Orman were name the Moda Health players of the game.