Coming off a loss and facing one of the best pitchers in the area, the Warriors had to regroup for their South Yosemite League opener against Independence.

“After the last loss to Wasco, we had to stop and look in the mirror,” coach Chase Dominguez said. “We aren't the team of years past. That doesn't mean we can't win though.

“We have to find our own path.”

They found it on Thursday, March 16, at home against Independence and their highly touted pitcher, Kevin Larsen. They shocked the Falcons for eight runs in the first two innings and won their league opener 9-2 behind some fine pitching of their own.

Jalen Wallace pitched 6 1-3 innings for the victory, giving up just two unearned runs on five hits while striking out 11 Falcons and walking three.

“We came into the game knowing we'd see Kevin Larsen, who's committed to Fresno State next year,” Dominguez said. “We had a game plan and executed it flawlessly.”

It didn't hurt that Independence committed seven errors in the game and walked seven Tehachapi batters, and the Warriors took advantage of it despite being held to just four hits.

Marty McIrvin and Yeager Jarrett each drove in a pair of runs. Jarrett had two of Tehachapi's hits, and McIrvin scored three times and had two of the Warriors' four stolen bases.

Left-hander Nathan Boesler pitched a flawless final two-thirds of an inning for Tehachapi with one strikeout.

Wasco built a 6-0 lead and held on to beat Tehachapi in Wasco in their Tuesday game. McIrvin drove in two runs as the Warriors did all their scoring in the sixth inning.

It was a different story at home against Independence, however.

“The team atmosphere was completely different,” Dominguez said. “We just played baseball and had fun, the way the game is supposed to be played.”

The Warriors had another SYL game scheduled for Tuesday, March 21, at home against East Bakersfield, then will travel to Golden Valley for a game on Thursday, March 23.

Sports Writer, Tehachapi News