"You just got to keep yourself locked in the game," he said.
Maicel, who took the loss, committed a critical balk earlier in the inning with Warren on first, allowing him to move into scoring position to set up the finish. Ducks manager George Horton said he was skeptical of the balk call after the game, but he'll take the victory.
"I've been on the other side of that," Horton said. "I don't know exactly what [the umpire] called but I would've liked to win without the balk. Nonetheless we'll take it where we can get it."
In a game reminiscent of scenes from last season, the Ducks sat one strike away from victory in the top of the ninth before reliever Jimmie Sherfy unraveled and gave up a walk and two singles, the last an RBI knock by Dirtbags designated hitter Brennan Fulkerson, that tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the ninth.
The Ducks had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth with runners on the corners and one out, but J.J. Altobelli and Aaron Payne were unable to move Warren home from third base. Warren was also stranded in scoring position in the 11th following his first collegiate hit. He finished 2 for 2 with a walk and earned a post game shaving cream pie to the face.
"Like I said yesterday, I'm always ready," Warren said. "I didn't know how many at-bats I was going to get today, if I was going to get one."
In extra frames, Sherfy regained his composure, racking up strikeouts and keeping his pitch count down. In 5 2/3 innings, Sherfy struck out eight batters, giving up four hits, three walks and a run, earning his second victory of the season.
"It's exciting," Warren said. "Nine in a row. We came into the season, you know, not really any high expectations but, you know, we're proving a lot of people wrong this season."
Jake Reed turned in a fantastic performance on the mound, pitching 7 1/3 innings. He was reliable all night on the hill, only finding trouble in the fourth inning when he surrendered a run on Dirtbags center fielder Brennan Metzger's ground out to cut the Ducks lead to 2-1. Reed was pulled in the eighth for Sherfy, surrendering only five hits and an earned run with six strikeouts, earning a no decision.
The Ducks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by designated hitter Ryon Healy in the first inning that scored second baseman Aaron Payne and an RBI double by catcher Brett Hambright that scored third baseman Scott Heineman.
However, the Ducks were unable to provide any viable scoring threat after that until the ninth inning. They left 13 runners on base for the game. Dirtbags starter Matt Anderson pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits while striking out eight.
The series finale is Sunday at noon.
GAME NOTES –
Attendance at PK Park was 1826.
Nine different Ducks had hits in the ballgame.