At 19 years old, Ryan Warner may be one of the youngest starting pitchers in the Northwest League.
After throwing six scoreless innings for the Tri-City Dust Devils in a 2-0 Northwest League win over Hillsboro on Sunday afternoon, the 6-foot-7 right-hander has also become one of the most feared.
Warner (3-2) tossed his seventh consecutive quality start — going 3-1 since July 7 — and his team has won six of those seven games. He allowed just two hits to the Hops while walking four to lower his ERA to 2.81.
Tri-City (7-10 second half) also broke a four-game losing streak and gained some ground in the North Division, cutting Everett’s first-place lead to one game after the AquaSox’ 8-0 loss to Salem-Keizer.
Michael Tauchman scored the first Dust Devils’ run with one out in the top of the fourth, coming home after Hops’ starter Austin Platt dropped the ball while covering first on Sean Dwyer’s grounder. It was Tauchman’s 13th run in the last 12 games.
Patrick Valaika doubled off Hillsboro starter Austin Platt to lead off the sixth inning and scored after Platt committed a throwing error on Ashley Graeter’s infield single to make it 2-0 Tri-City.
That was all Warner needed. Marc Magliaro backed him up with two scoreless innings of relief, and Trent Daniel picked up his NWL-leading 13th save of the year in the ninth.
Daniel made things exciting, however, walking two batters in the ninth before getting Randy McCurry to ground to third baseman Michael Benjamin, who started a game-ending double play.
Valaika and Graeter each went 2-for-4 on the day. Valaika added a double and his fifth stolen base of the year.