LCSC handles Western Oregon 7-4 on Easter
LEWISTON, Idaho – Paul Martin, Sean Halton and Ben Ornelas provided the offensive punch while catcher Brian Ward turned in another outstanding defensive game to help the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team defeat Western Oregon 7-4 on Easter Sunday at LCSC’s Harris Field.
It was the second straight win for the NAIA’s sixth-ranked team over the Wolves, who are ranked No. 19 in the NCAA Division II poll. The Warriors will try to sweep the three-game series when the two teams square off again on Monday at 11 a.m.
LCSC, 25-8 overall, was out-hit for the second straight game, but made the most of its scoring opportunities, while the Wolves, 21-9, had two runners thrown out at the plate and another one picked off.
While they weren’t spectacular, the Warriors also got the job done on the mound. Sophomore Tyler Knigge, who was roughed up in Friday’s 12-6 loss to Fresno Pacific, took the mound again on just one day’s rest for LCSC. Knigge threw 40 pitches on Friday and allowed seven hits and seven runs in 1.2 innings.
In Sunday’s contest, Knigge threw 86 pitches and gave up four runs and nine hits in 5.2 innings. He also walked one and struck out three.
Relief pitcher Dustin Willis picked up the win by throwing 3.1 scoreless innings. However, he needed help from Ward and others.
Twice Ward successfully blocked home plate on throws home. The first came in the seventh inning when LCSC was ahead 5-4 and right-fielder Kawika Emsley-Pai threw out the potential tying run. In the eighth, Western Oregon had runners on first and third with nobody out when Ornelas, the Warrior first baseman, fielded a grounder and fired to home in time to get the runner. The Warriors eventually got out of the inning without giving up a run.
Finally in the ninth inning, Western Oregon’s Drew Humphrey singled, but was picked off first base after a pitch by Ward.
Martin, Halton and Ornelas combined for six of the Warriors’ eight hits in the game and also combined to drive in five of the seven runs.
The Warriors broke on the board in the first when Martin singled and went to second on Josh Ashenbrenner’s sacrifice bunt. Halton followed with a run-scoring double to left-center field.
Western Oregon, which out-hit LCSC 13-8, picked up solo runs in the second and third for a 2-1 lead. In the second, Garrett Breda doubled in a run, while Trevor Coursey added a run-scoring double in the third.
LCSC answered with two runs in the bottom of the third. Martin was hit by a pitch and Ashenbrenner followed with a walk. Ward then doubled to score Martin, while a ground out by Halton scored Ashenbrenner.
Both teams scored twice in the sixth inning. Breda hit a two-run home run for Western Oregon, his second of the season, while LCSC scored its two runs when Danny Anguiano was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Martin later added a sacrifice fly RBI to left field.
Ornelas hit his fifth home run of the season in the seventh inning, a solo shot to center field, while Martin added an RBI single in the eighth to complete the scoring.
Martin finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Halton also drove in two runs. Ornelas finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Breda had three hits and three RBI to pace Western Oregon.