WATERLOO - A.J. Puk made a triumphant return for the Cedar Rapids Washington baseball team Friday night after missing four weeks with a hairline fracture in his right thumb.
Puk struck out 12 batters in six innings as the Warriors trimmed Waterloo West, 5-4, in the first game of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader.
The Warriors also won the second game, 13-9.
Puk, a 6-foot-4 lefthander, did not hit for Washington due to the injured thumb on his right hand, but he was able to pitch. He allowed only three hits and one earned run. He survived a one-hour relay delay in the second inning and walked only two batters.
Noah Dostal took the mound for Washington in the bottom of the seventh inning of the opener, but he ran into trouble as Waterloo West loaded the bases with one out. Matt Troendle relieved Dostal and got the final two outs for the save.
Johnny Dobbs, Grant Dostal and Will Rings had RBIs for the Warriors in Game 1.
Noah Dostal had a triple and three RBIs for the Warriors in the 13-9 victory in the nightcap. Robert Hogg had two hits. Troendle and Zach Christensen did the pitching.
Washington raised its records to 7-26 overall and 4-18 in the conference. Waterloo West fell to 6-25 overall and 3-19 in the league. The Warriors escaped the basement in the Mississippi Division and moved into sixth place in the standings, changing spots with Waterloo West.
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