Warriors defeat Saints; extend streak to nine
LACEY, Wash. – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team won its ninth straight game on Saturday afternoon with a 9-4 victory over St. Martin’s. LCSC broke a 4-4 tie with two runs in the seventh inning and then added three more in the eighth to ensure a victory in the middle game of a three-game series with the Saints.
The win improves LCSC’s record to 20-6 as the Warriors continue to play well on the road. Lewis-Clark State is now 9-1 away from home, and has taken the last 16-of-17 games played against St. Martin’s (13-15 overall).
The seventh-inning game-winning rally was started with a lead-off single up the middle by Kyle Melton. One out later, Josh Ashenbrenner lined a single to center, which was followed by Brian Ward being hit by the pitch to load the bases. Sean Halton, the Warriors’ leader in home runs (8) and RBI (32), plated one run with a groundball fielder’s choice, before Paul Martin drove a double to right center to bring Ashenbrenner in for the second run of the inning.
Lewis-Clark State once again enjoyed quality performances from its pitchers. Matt Stabelfeld allowed only one hit and one unearned run while striking out seven in his first five innings. Finally in the sixth, Stabelfeld ran into trouble when a walk and a single, followed by a fielding error in the outfield brought one run in and put runners on second and third. Saints catcher Andrew Braegelmann then step to the plate with one out and drove a two run double to right center to end Stabelfeld’s outing. Fortunately for the Warriors, Colby Hawk proved his 1.59 ERA is no fluke by whiffing two batters to end the inning and leave Braegelmann in scoring position.
With five strikeouts and no hits allowed in 3 2/3 innings of relief work, Hawk earned his first win of the season. In five games and 11 1/3 innings this year, all in relief, Hawk has notched 13 strikeouts and walked only two to highlight a Warrior pitching staff that holds a 1.94 ERA over the last nine games.
LCSC outhits the Saints 12-4, and the Saints committed three errors which resulted in five of LCSC’s runs being unearned.
Ashenbrenner paced the Warrior offense with three hits and three runs scored, while Halton extended his team-leading hitting streak to nine games with an RBI single in the third. Halton had three RBI in the game, and has driven in eight runs in the last three games.
Melton, Martin, and Todd Muecklisch also played key roles in the Warriors offense on Saturday as they had two hits apiece.
The Saints did not have a player with multiple hits and had two players strikeout three times in the game. With 12 strikeouts on Saturday, LCSC pitchers have now struck out 10 or more in three straight games.
The two teams square off again on Sunday in the series finale. The first pitch is scheduled for noon.