LCSC can't duplicate ninth-inning rally and settles for split
LEWISTON, Idaho – Sean Halton hit a game-tying three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and Vaughan Prow’s RBI single completed the four-run rally to help the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team defeat Concordia University 5-4 in the first game of a doubleheader at LCSC’s Harris Field on Friday.
The Warriors, however, couldn’t duplicate that comeback magic in the second game and fell to Concordia 1-0.
The second game marked the second time this season Concordia has defeated the Warriors. The first came in the season opener when Concordia claimed a 5-4 win, which was the first time in 42 games Concordia had defeated LCSC. LCSC is now 44-2 all-time against the Cavaliers.
LCSC, ranked sixth in the NAIA, is now 31-10 on the season, while Concordia is 19-30. This is the first time in five seasons the Warriors have lost as many as 10 games.
Except on the mound, the Warriors struggled both with hitting and fielding in Friday’s twinbill. LCSC had six errors on the day and collected only five hits in the second game, including just one for extra bases. Paul Martin also had his 12-game hitting streak snapped in the second game after going 0-for-4 at the plate.
In the opener, the Warriors overcame five errors, including three by shortstop Danny Anguiano, to rally for the win. LCSC pitchers didn’t allow an earned run in the game as both Stephen Foster and Zach Clanton threw well. Foster went 6.2 innings and allowed seven hits and one walk, but struck out five. Clanton went the final 2.1 and allowed one hit and one walk, and struck out three.
Concordia put up two runs in the third for a 2-0 lead. An error allowed the first run to score, while Chris Jaime was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in another run.
LCSC made it 2-1 in the fifth when Josh Ashenbrenner and Brian Ward hit back-to-back singles. Ashenbrenner took third when Kris Miller grounded into a double play, while a balk on starting pitcher Brett Hawley allowed Ashenbrenner to score.
Concordia made it 4-1 in the seventh when an error set up a two-run single by Kyle Schneider.
The Warriors finally put a rally together in the ninth when Martin singled and Ward added a one-out single. After Miller reached on a fielder’s choice for the second out, Halton re-entered the game after being pulled early. Halton promptly hit a three-run home run to left to tie the game. It was Halton’s 12th home run of the season.
Ben Ornelas followed with a single, and after a pitching change, Rene Escobar dew a walk. Prow then pinch-hit for Kyle Melton and delivered a single up the middle to score Ornelas to end the game.
Halton finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI, while Ward added three hits and Ornelas two. Clanton picked up the win to improve to 5-1.
In the second game, Concordia right-hander Ben Rue was outstanding. He threw a complete-game shutout and allowed five hits and seven walks, but struck out five. He also threw 137 pitches in the game.
The Warriors had plenty of base runners but stranded 12 in the game and 25 on the day. LCSC left the bases loaded in the fifth and even had a runner thrown out at the plate in the inning, and then left two runners on in the first, second, and ninth innings.
In the ninth, LCSC appeared ready to pull out another last-inning victory when Travis Georgius walked and Anguiano singled. Martin tried to move the runners over with a bunt, but Concordia executed its bunt defense perfectly and was able to throw out the lead runner, keeping runners on first and second with one out. After a walk to Ashenbrenner loaded the bases, Prow stepped in. This time, however, he hit into a 4-6-3 doubleplay to end the game.
Overshadowed by Rue, LCSC’s three pitchers also turned in solid performances and combined on a three-hitter. Starter Brian Erickson allowed just one hit and four walks though five innings. He also struck out six. Nick Masters pitched three innings and gave up two hits, a walk and the game’s only run, while Henry Buenrostro retired the Cavaliers in order in the ninth.
Prow was the only Warrior with more than one hit in the game as he finished with two.
The Warriors now hit the road for a four-game swing, taking on the University of British Columbia in a three-game series that starts on Sunday, and then playing at the University of Washington on Tuesday night.