Fresno Pacific salvages series split by beating LCSC 12-6
LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team ended a four-game series with Fresno Pacific on a sour note as the Warriors committed five errors and gave up season-highs with 12 runs and 15 hits in suffering a 12-6 loss to the Sunbirds at LCSC’s Harris Field on Friday afternoon.
The loss meant the two teams split their four-game series. LCSC, ranked No.6 in this week’s NAIA poll, falls to 23-8 on the season, while Fresno Pacific, ranked No. 16 in the poll, is 27-12.
Fresno Pacific was in control of this game from the start. The Sunbirds scored five runs in the first and led 7-0 after two innings. Although LCSC battled back to cut the margin to 8-6 going into the eighth, Fresno Pacific responded with four runs and put the game away.
Despite the season-high five errors, all 11 Fresno Pacific runs were earned in the game. And although LCSC collected 11 hits in the game, the Warriors still hit into two double plays and the No. 4-7 hitters were a combined 2-for-14 with no RBI.
The Warrior pitching staff, which has been solid for most of the season, had its woes on Friday. LCSC used five pitchers, but only the final one, Brian Erickson, had much success. He went one inning and allowed one hit. The other four pitchers gave up at least one run and only one lasted longer than two innings.
Sophomore Tyler Knigge, who was outstanding in his last outing by allowing two hits and one earned run in more than six innings against St. Martin’s, was tagged for seven hits and seven runs in 1.2 innings on Friday. Stephen Foster was next and went 4.2 innings and allowed four hits and one run. However, both Knigge and Foster were charged with errors on errant pickoff attempts. Zach Clanton allowed three runs in his two-thirds of an inning, while Henry Buenrostro gave up a run and two hits in his inning.
Paul Martin, Josh Ashenbrenner and Brian Ward, the Warriors’ top three hitters in the lineup, did collected two hits apiece and combined to go 6-for-14 with five RBI and two runs scored. Martin went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and hit a solo home run, this third blast of the season. Ashenbrenner and Ward were both 2-for-5 and two RBI. Matt Allen also had two hits for the Warriors.
Joey Norwood had a solid game for Fresno Pacific. He finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. He also keyed the five-run first inning with a two-run home run. Case Rigby went a perfect 5-for-5 with two runs and two RBI.
The Sunbirds collected five hits and took advantage of two LCSC errors in the first for the 5-0 lead. Rigby started the scoring with an RBI single, while a wild pitch allowed another run to score. Jacob Burns’ added an RBI sacrifice fly, while Norwood finished the scoring with his blast to right-center field.
Fresno Pacific made it 7-0 in the second. A wild pitch brought in the first run, while Burns added an RBI double.
LCSC got on the board in the third with two runs. The first run scored on an error, while Ashenbrenner’s RBI ground out made it 7-2.
After Martin’s solo home run to left in the fifth, Fresno Pacific made it 8-3 in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Burns.
The Warriors made things interesting briefly when they scored three times in their half of the seventh to cut the margin to 8-6. Allen started the rally with a single and took third in a double by Kyle Melton. Martin then walked to load the bases. Ashenbrenner drove the first run in on another RBI ground out, while Ward added a two-run single.
Fresno Pacific got its breathing room back in the top of the eighth when Tyler Pryor drove in a run on a bases-loaded single. An RBI double by Rigby was sandwiched between RBI sacrifice flies from Dwight Nixon and Joe Halderman.
LCSC resumes action on Saturday when it starts a three-game series with Western Oregon. The contest is at 2 p.m., followed by a game on Sunday at noon and Monday at 11 a.m.