Murray's two HRs help LCSC to split and get into title game
LEWISTON, Idaho - Pat Murray (left) hit a pair of two-run home runs to help Lewis-Clark State College defeat College of Idaho 6-0 and earn a split on the day to advance to the championship game of the Regence BlueShield of Idaho Tournament at LCSC's Harris Field on Saturday.
The Warriors began the day with a 7-6 setback to Concordia despite Brian Burke's third home run of the season in two games. LCSC, however, bounced back to defeat the Coyotes behind Murray and pitchers Colby Hawk and Henry Buenrostro.
In the final game of the tournament, Corban defeated College of Idaho 7-3
LCSC and Corban finishes the round-robin portion of the tournament with 2-1 records, while College of Idaho and Concordia went 1-2. That means College of Idaho and Concordia will play for third place at 11 a.m. Sunday, while LCSC and Corban meet for the title at 2 p.m.
All but Corban were opening the season in the tournament. Corban is 4-2 overall
LCSC 6, College of Idaho 0
Murray, a junior first baseman who is coming off a season-ending knee injury early last season, provided the offensive punch for the Warriors. The right-handed hitter from Huntington Beach, Calif., broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning. After Kawika Emsley-Pai singled up the middle with two outs, Murray slugged a two-run home run to left field.
The Warriors added a run in the sixth when Brian Burke singled and Emsley-Pai and Murray walked to load the bases. Connor Moore then grounded into a double play, but that allowed Burke to score.
LCSC then broke the game open in the eighth inning with three more runs for the 6-0 final. Burke started the rally with a single and again with two outs, Murray homered to deep left field. Kevin Lovelace then reached on an error and scored on a double by Jake Eccles.
That was more than enough for Hawk, a senior right-hander from Boise, and Buenrostro, a senior from Santa Ana, Calif. Hawk went seven innings and allowed six hits with no walks. He also struck out three. Of the 69 pitches he threw, 52 were for strikes.
Buenrostro then followed in the final two innings and struck out two. He allowed one hit to pick up his first save of the season.
Both teams played well defensively. College of Idaho turned three double plays, while LCSC had two. Both teams left seven runners on base.
Jason Hague had three of LCSC’s 11 hits, while Murray finished 2-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored. Burke was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Eccles was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The Yotes were paced by Izaac Garsez and Diego Robles, each with two hits.
College of Idaho’s only scoring threat came in the fourth inning when Garsez and Robles opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Jesse Dodd then moved the runners up a base – the only time when the Yotes had a runner reach third in the game – but a line out and a ground out ended the threat.
Concordia 7, Lewis-Clark State 6
The Warriors committed three errors in the game, including one in the top of the ninth inning that allowed Concordia to score the eventual winning run. In all, the Warriors gave up three unearned runs and the pitching staff gave up two bases-loaded walks.
In the ninth, pinch-hitter Calvin Nagy drew a one-out walk off Warrior reliever David Luna. Designated hitter Andrew Reid followed with a single to center, but LCSC center-fielder Connor Moore misplayed the ball, which rolled to the wall. That allowed Nagy to score and Reid to reach third. Zach Clanton then came in to pitch and retired the next two hitters.
Concordia reliever Zac Manor then pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth to pick up the save and help Concordia hand LCSC its first loss of the season for the second straight year. Last year Concordia beat LCSC in the season opener for both teams.
Concordia got off to a great start in the game. After Warrior starter Jorge Sanchez struck out the first two batters he face, but a walk and singles by Sean Myrom and Tim Reavis loaded the bases. Ryan Kolstad and Reid then drew walks to put the Cavaliers up 2-0.
The Warriors picked up a run in the bottom of the first when Moore tripled to right and scored on a double by Trent Bridges.
LCSC tied the contest in the second when Bryan Abrey walked and scored on a double by Vaughan Prow.
Concordia regained the lead at 4-2 in the third. A fielding error, a walk and a single by Reid loaded the bases. Derek Kirkland then brought an end to Sanchez's day with a two-run single.
The Warriors tied the contest in the bottom of the sixth when Kevin Lovelace walked and scored on Burke's third home run of the season, this one to left-center field.
LCSC took its first lead of the game in the fourth with another two-run home run. Brian Gaylord doubled with one out and Moore followed with a blast to straight away center field for a 6-4 lead.
Kolstad's first home run of the season, a solo shot in the fifth, cut the margin to 6-5.
Concordia then tied the game in the top of the seventh, again with the help of the Warrior defense. With the bases loaded and two outs, Luna got Jon Houts to swing at a pitch out of the strike out for strike three, but the ball got away from LCSC catcher Will Thorp, which allowed Tim Reavis to score and Houts to reach first.
The Warriors had their chances to do some damage in the game, but left 12 baserunners stranded. In both the fifth and seventh innings, LCSC failed to score after loading the bases.
Kolstad finished 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored. Reid added three hits, while Kirkland had two RBI.
Moore led LCSC with a 2-for-4 effort with two RBI and two runs scored. Kevin Lovelace and Gaylord both went 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Burke had two RBI.
Steven Taft, the second of three Concordia pitchers, earned the win. He allowed four hits and no runs over four innings, but did walk five.