LCSC shuts down Fresno Pacific 5-0
LEWISTON, Idaho – Matt Allen and Bernard Pena drove in two runs apiece to back the solid pitching of Colby Hawk and Nick Masters to lift three-time defending national champion Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho) to a 5-0 win over Fresno Pacific (Calif.) to complete the first day of the 53rd annual Avista NAIA World Series at Harris Field on Friday.
Allen drove in two runs with a double in the second inning to help stake LCSC to a 3-0 lead. Pena added a two-run home run in the eighth for insurance.
LCSC (40-13) also received solid performances from Hawk and Masters to help the tournament feature back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 1995. In the prior game on Friday, Point Loma Nazarene posted a 10-0 win over Embry-Riddle.
Hawk, a senior right-hander, went 7.1 innings and allowed six hits and three walks. He also struck out six while throwing 113 pitches to improve to 6-0 on the season. Masters, also a senior right-hander, finished up the final 1.2 innings and allowed one hit but struck out three.
Fresno Pacific (39-20) was its own worst enemy at times. The Sunbirds grounded into three double plays and left eight stranded on base. Two players – Anthony Lowell with four and Jared Coleman with three – had all seven of the Sunbird hits. The rest of the team was 0-for-24 in the game.
The Warriors were led by unlikely players to take a 3-0 lead. Because of injuries and academic problems, the Warrior roster has been hit hard this season. Todd Muecklish, who has played in only 17 games because of a hip flexor, had a solid game at shortstop and went 3-for-3, while Allen made the most of his opportunity as the new first baseman by going 1-for-3 and coming up with the big hit.
Sean Halton started the Warrior second by being hit by a pitch. He advanced to third on a single by Kawika Emsley-Pai, who was replaced by courtesy runner Trent Bridges. Muecklish followed with an RBI single to left-center field, and Allen put a double near the same spot to put the Warriors on top.
The well-played game stayed at 3-0 until the eighth when Halton was again hit a pitch and scored on Pena’s fifth home run of the season.
Kelyn Schellenberg took to the loss for Fresno Pacific to fall to 8-2. He gave up 10 hits and five runs in 7.1 innings.
It was the fifth meeting between the two teams this year. The two split a four-game series in Lewiston in early April.
The contest drew a crowd of 5,075, which brought the first day total attendance to 8,947 for the four games. Both attendance figures are first-day records.
Both teams resume play on Saturday. Fresno Pacific takes on Embry-Riddle in a loser-out game at noon, while LCSC will play Oklahoma City at 7:30 p.m.