– Senior first baseman Ikaika
Lester (left) drove in five runs and two
Lewis-Clark State College pitchers
combined on an seven-hitter to lift the
Warriors over Bellevue University 8-1
during the 51st annual Avista
NAIA World Series at LCSC’s Harris Field
on Tuesday night.
missed part of the season with an
injury, has been productive since his
return. In seven postseason games,
Lester now has 20 RBI. He drove in six
in a Super Regional contest against
batted seventh in Tuesday’s ballgame and
came through when needed. He finished
3-for-4 with two runs scored and drove
in the team’s first five runs of the
more than enough for Brad Schwarzenbach
and Brian Parker, who combined to strike
out five without giving up a walk.
Schwarzenbach (7-0) went six innings and
gave up four hits and the one run. He
struck out four, but also hit four
batters. Parker went the final three
innings and allowed three hits with one
put the Warriors (56-5) in the driver’s
seat. LCSC, the No. 3 seed in the
tournament but the defending champion
and the top-ranked team all season in
the NAIA poll, is the only undefeated
team left in the 10-team
double-elimination tournament. LCSC can
finish no worse than third.
(47-14) is seeking its second Series
title, but couldn’t collect the key hits
when needed and also had some defensive
troubles, including a lost fly ball in
the lights that led to three Warrior
runs. The Bruins, the tournament’s No. 5
seed, also committed four errors.
first for a run in the bottom of the
second when Jessie Mier singled and was
replaced by courtesy runner Donnie Ecker.
After Kyle Greene was hit by a pitch,
both Ecker and Greene moved up a base on
a wild pitch. Lester then singed home
picked up its only run in the third when
Carlos Jackson showed off his speed.
Jackson was hit by a pitch, stole second
and then scored when Zach Weidenaar
grounded out to short. Jackson never
stopped running on the play and caught
the LCSC defense by surprise, barely
beating the throw home from first base.
the Warriors out in front for good with
a solo home run to left field in the
sixth, the Warriors scored four times to
break the game open. The key play came
with two outs and the bases loaded and
Lester hit a high fly ball that both the
left fielder and center fielder lost in
the lights. When the ball came down, it
was a good 10 feet from either fielder
and dropped in for a three-run double.
Jessie Roehl, who made a spectacular
over the shoulder catch in the top of
the inning to rob Bellevue, then drove
in Lester with a single.
Warriors added two runs in the seventh
when Brent Wyatt singled and Beau Mills
reached on an error, which moved Wyatt
to third. A double steal allowed Wyatt
to score and another fielding error
allowed Mills to come in.
appeared ready to do some damage in the
top of the sixth when it was still a 2-1
game. The Bruins took advantage of some
mental lapses by LCSC’s defense to load
the bases with no outs, but
Schwarzenbach got a pop up and a strike
out. Nick Rivera then hit a hard line
drive to right that Roehl turned and
sprinted to the wall and extended his
arms to make the catch before running
into the wall.
Mier finished with two hits apiece for
LCSC, which collected 11 hits in the
game. No Bellevue player had more than
one hit and all seven Bruin hits were
starter Shawn Lee, who allowed two runs
and four hits in 4.2 innings, took the
loss in his first decision of the
season. Bellevue used six pitchers in
the game, but the final five all pitched
an inning or less.
resume action on Wednesday. Bellevue
will take on second seed Spring Arbor
(47-4) at 3 p.m., Pacific time, followed
by LCSC and Houston Baptist (43-21) at 7
p.m. The pairings were decided by the
fact that the only team LCSC hadn’t
played thus far is Houston Baptist. The
NAIA redraws the brackets so teams that
already have played once won’t play
again unless necessary.