Going against a flame thrower like Menchville's Deshorn Lake, Warwick had a simple strategy in Tuesday's Peninsula District opener: Make the big guy work, and play station to station. On a brisk afternoon, that was good enough for the upset.
The Raiders pushed Lake's pitch count close to triple digits and used two Menchville errors to their advantage in a 2-1 win. It was Warwick's first victory over the Monarchs since 2007.
"Most of us have never beaten Menchville before," said Brandon Delk, who started at shortstop but pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for the save. "None of us have, really. Even when I was on JV, we always lost by a run or something.
"This puts us way ahead. These guys have been number one for a long time, and they were projected to be number one this year. If we just keep our focus, we'll be fine."
Lake threw 98 pitches, 20 coming in the first inning. He gave up six hits, walked one, and hit two.
Three of Warwick's hit came in the fourth inning. With Delk at first base and Travis Jones at the plate, Raiders coach Todd Barker called for the hit and run. Jones hit a sharp single to right, which Menchville's Casey Healy misplayed.
As Delk kept going to third and came home, Healy threw out Jones at second. But the run put Warwick ahead 1-0.
In the fifth, the Raiders had runners at first and third with one out when Jahleel Sewer hit a grounder to second baseman Tanner Woods. Woods flipped to shortstop Josh Moore covering the bag, but his throw was too high and hard. Moore couldn't handle it, and Travis Lyles scored from third.
"I knew (Lake) would overpower a couple of our guys, and I told them to try to look for something they could hit and go to the opposite field," Barker said. "Our guys were looking to shoot the ball that way, make contact, and make things happen."
The Monarchs got a run back in the fifth on Jeff Gray's RBI triple, but that was the only time someone came through in the clutch. Menchville left nine runners on base, seven in scoring position. Four times a Monarch batter ended the inning by striking out looking with a runner on second and/or third.
"We had too many good batters who stood there and took strike three," Menchville coach Phil Forbes said. "We always work on being aggressive up there."
Warwick starter Brandon Vick and Delk combined for 12 strikeouts, seven of which were looking.
WARWICK 2, MENCHVILLE 1
Warwick;000;110;0—2 6 0
Menchville;000;010;0—1 4 2
WP: Vick (1-0). LP: Lake (0-1). S: Delk (1). Standouts: Warwick, Griffin 2-4, Delk 5 Ks in 2 1/3 IP. Menchville, Gray 2-2 (3B, RBI, 2 BB), Healy 2-4.