Warriors hit trifecta, win 15th straight; Controversial
triple play highlights L-C's 9-2 triumph over Central Washington
By JIM BROWITT
Copyright of The
of the Tribune
The call was debatable, and the impact something less than
decisive. The iffy triple play that evolved from Antoine
McLeod's magnificent catch was by no means the impetus behind
Lewis-Clark State's 15th consecutive victory.
But it eclipsed the more tangible aspects of the Warriors'
9-2 win over Central Washington just the same.
Saturday's game at Harris Field, L-C's first action in six
days, featured another strong pitching performance by Brad Davis
and continued offensive prosperity by Warrior hitters, Joey
Dyche and Brandon Morris in particular.
These commendable efforts left L-C with an 8-1 advantage
after six innings. Then they were upstaged by a moment of
The Warriors made several changes in the Central Washington
seventh, among them replacing Davis with Austin Weilep and
bringing McLeod in to play left field. Weilep opened the inning
by yielding singles to Josh Small and Kevin Knutsen, then walked
Tyler Hunt to load the bases.
The subsequent batter, Ryan Rockhill, drove a 1-0 Weilep
pitch deep into the left-center field gap. McLeod, perhaps the
fastest Warrior, began his angled pursuit on contact and, with a
fully extended lunge, hauled in the sinking liner with the mitt
on his right hand.
"That's a great catch; I can't think of many here that have
been better," Warrior coach Ed Cheff said. "That's one of those
balls where you figure, 'No way anybody's going to get to that.'
Knutsen must have thought accordingly. He had scrambled to
third before figuring out the catch had been made, and was
easily doubled off second by a throw that came directly from
Small, meanwhile, had remained fairly close to third. After
McLeod's catch, he tagged up and scored.
But Warrior infielders, suspecting Small had left too early,
made an appeal to third. Plate umpire Brian Bonds agreed,
calling Small out.
Central Washington coach Desi Storey, who witnessed this all
from the third-base coach's box, was incensed. He argued the
call with Bonds, and was promptly ejected.
So stood L-C's second triple play in two seasons.
Coincidentally, last year's also came at the expense of the
"That was just a great effort on (McLeod's) part," Cheff
said. "That's the kind of play that can change a game."
Again, that probably wasn't the case Saturday. The Warriors,
23-4, had scored six times on as many hits -- among them Dyche's
three-run homer -- in the third inning and picked up two more in
the fourth. Brandon Morris had three hits, including RBI singles
in those two frames.
That was ample support for Davis, who was both effective and
efficient for his third straight start. After surrendering a
pair of hits and an unearned run in the first inning, the senior
left-hander retired the Wildcats in order in the second through
fifth innings. Davis (2-1) has allowed just one earned run in
those three starts, which encompass 19 innings.
Davis "is the best guy we've seen this year," said Storey,
whose NCAA Division II ballclub had a seven game winning streak
snapped as it fell to 15-11. "You've got to come up with big
hits when you only have one or two chances to get something
Weilep, who threw the final three innings and gave up a run
in the ninth, earned the save, his second.
The Warriors head to Vancouver for a two-game series with
British Columbia beginning Tuesday.