Martin blasts game-winner in the 12th
LEWISTON, Idaho – A walk-off home run in the 12th inning by Paul Martin gave the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team a dramatic 7-6 win over Western Oregon University on Saturday afternoon. LCSC was outhit by the Wolves 12-5, but four of the Warriors’ hits, including Martin’s game-winner, were long balls.
When the game was forced into extra innings by an RBI single in the ninth by Western Oregon’s Justin Speer, momentum seemed to be on the side of the visiting Wolves. In fact, from the beginning of the seventh inning up until two outs in the 12th inning LCSC had gone hitless.
Martin stepped to the plate, just an out away from the 13th inning, to face Jesse Nunley who had retired seven straight Warrior batters and not allowed a hit in his four innings of work. The one-on-one duel ended with Martin slugging an 0-1 pitch over the wall in left field and rounding the bases to find a cheering horde of Warriors waiting to congratulate him at home plate.
The win in its first extra-inning game of the season improves LCSC to 24-8, while the NCAA D-II Wolves fall to 21-8. Both teams will meet again on Sunday and Monday. Sunday’s game begins at noon, while the series finale will be at 11 a.m.
Besides Martin’s fourth homer of the season, LCSC was carried on Saturday by blasts from Ben Ornelas, Sean Halton, and Rene Escobar, and the relief pitching of Colby Hawk who was superb again.
Hawk quieted a powerful Western Oregon lineup by letting just four hits and one run go on the board in the last five innings. He struck out three en route to his third win in his last three relief appearances. With 22 innings so far this season, Hawk leads the team with a 1.23 ERA.
Western Oregon scored a run in the first and a run in the second to grab an early 2-0 lead. The run in the second inning came via a home run to left center by Bill Clontz.
In the bottom of the third, LCSC responded when Escobar hit a 1-2 pitch to left field for his second home run of the year.
In the fourth, a home run by Kyle Boe followed by an RBI double by Thomas McCarthy scored two, but LCSC responded in the bottom of the inning with a sac fly and a two-run round-tripper by Halton to tie the game at 4-4. Halton now has a team-leading nine home runs and 35 RBI.
A lead-off walk to Brian Ward, followed by Ornelas’ fifth homer of the year gave LCSC its first lead in the sixth, but the Wolves used three hits in the seventh to score a run and two hits in the ninth to tie it up.
Tom Peale pitched the first seven innings for the Warriors and struck out nine, but surrendered eight hits and left with a no-decision.
Besides the swings of Clontz, Boe and McCarthy, Western Oregon’s offense was aided by the 3-for-6 day of Travis Fox who scored two runs and drove in one.