L-C stings Concordia again;
Kooken provides game-winning hit in opener;
Warriors then take nightcap, run streak to 14
By MATT BREACH
Copyright The Trib
OF THE TRIBUNE
It was no
home run, but it was just as effective.
A night after Jessie Mier drilled a game-winning homer in the bottom of
the 10th inning to lift Lewis-Clark State to a
win over Concordia, D.J. Kooken came through
with his own version of the clutch hit to
elevate the Warriors past the Cavaliers. With
the bases loaded and the score tied in the
bottom of the ninth, Kooken knocked a single
into right field to give the Warriors a 7-6
triumph in the first game of a doubleheader at
Harris Field on Friday.
In the nightcap, the Warriors made sure there
would be no need for any late-inning heroics,
drilling the Portland club 14-9.
With the back-to-back victories, the Warriors
-- winners of 14 straight -- improve to 25-3.
"I knew their pitcher was trying to get ahead
with a fastball," Kooken said, "so I just tried
to get a good swing and get a line drive. And it
Kooken's hit came off reliever Billy Burbank,
who took the mound after the Warriors knotted
the score at 6-all with a bases-loaded walk in
the bottom of the ninth.
And similar to his first outing against the
Warriors -- when he gave up Mier's homer --
Burbank's relief effort lasted only one pitch.
He tossed a fastball right down the heart of
the plate that Kooken -- who drove in three RBI
-- knew was coming.
"I knew it was the same pitcher as last
night," Kooken said, "so I kind of had it in the
back of my mind."
After the game, Concordia coach Rob Vance
told Burbank to put these last two games out of
"He's a little shell-shocked right now,"
Vance said. "Obviously he made the wrong pitch
at the wrong time, but we always tell him that
as a relief pitcher, you've got to be like a
defensive back (in football). You've got to have
a real short memory because there's going to be
But the Cavaliers didn't get any satisfaction
out of the second game. They outhit the
Warriors, but still dropped their fourth game in
as many outings against L-C this year.
The main reason can be traced to the fact the
Concordia pitching staff walked 10 batters and
plunked eight, providing L-C ample scoring
"The pitching breakdown was probably a lack
of concentration," Vance said. "When you walk
one or two guys and then hit one or two more,
things start to tighten up."
The Warriors and Cavaliers will try to stay
as loose as possible today when they wrap up
their four-game series with a contest at noon.
And given the way the first couple of games
have gone, it might come down to the final
pitch. But L-C coach Ed Cheff feels the close
calls will ensure his team will be ready.
"I think you've got to have those types of
games," Cheff said. "You don't necessarily like
to be in that position. But on the other hand
you do, in terms of having to compete. It's good