LEWISTON, Idaho – Gino Casini drew a bases-loaded walk with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to help the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team overcome a four-run deficit in the final two innings and claim a 7-6 win over the College of Idaho at LCSC’s Harris Field on Tuesday afternoon.
The win was the 11th straight for LCSC, now 12-1 overall, while College of Idaho falls to 10-4 with three of the losses coming to the Warriors.
College of Idaho led 6-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning when the Coyotes’ pitching and defense ran out of steam. LCSC picked up five of its 10 hits during the final two innings and was aided by two walks and a hit batter with the bases loaded. In all, three College of Idaho pitchers walked four and hit one in the final two innings.
Izaac Garsez, who took the loss to fall to 0-2 on the season, gave up a double to Brian Gaylord to start the bottom of the ninth and Jake Eccles followed with a single. Kawika Emsley-Pai then worked the count to 3-0 before he was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Garsez then threw one ball to Casini before Yotes’ coach Shawn Humberger saw that Garsez appeared to have injured his arm. Humberger went to the bullpen and brought in Ben Rodwell. The right-hander, however, threw three consecutive pitches low and outside and the walk to Casini forced in Gaylord with the game-ending run.
Earlier in the game, it would appear the Warriors would have their win streak undone by defense and pitching as well. The Warriors committed four errors in the contest and both starter Jorge Sanches and reliever Tyrell Poggemeyer struggled at times. Only three of the Yotes’ runs were earned.
Henry Buenrostro, the third and final LC pitcher, picked up with the win to go to 1-0. The right-hander allowed two hits and struck out three. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, which was only the second time LCSC was able to retire College of Idaho in order in the game.
College of Idaho broke on the board first when Brett Ward opened the game with a single and eventually scored on Ray Santiago’s single to right.
LCSC used the long ball to take a 2-1 lead in the third. Senior Travis Georgius hit the first of three LCSC home runs on the day to start the third, and one out later, Todd Muecklisch also hit a solo shot to left field. It was the third of the season for Muecklisch and first for Georgius.
College of Idaho answered with three runs in the top of the fourth. Kyle Douglas started the rally with a single and advanced to third on a double by Jye Lanphere. Tyler Andazola singled both in and later scored on a throwing error.
College of Idaho added two more in the seventh to make it 6-2 with the help of three hits and two errors. Both were throwing errors on the left side of the infield that allowed both runs to score.
The Warriors started their comeback in the bottom of the eighth when Brian Burke crushed his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot to left field. Gaylord followed with a double and Eccles drew a walk, which ended the day for the fourth of six Yotes’ pitchers, Levi Mitchum. Garsez was greeted by a single from Pai, which loaded the bases. After a fly out, Georgius reached on a fielding error, which allowed a run to score. Then with two outs and the bases still loaded, Kevin Lovelace was hit by a pitch and Trent Bridges walked to tie the game at 6. Garsez got out of the inning when he struck out Burke.
Georgius, who entered the game hitting .167, finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Gaylord went 2-for-5 with two runs scored, while Muecklisch was 2-for-4. The three had seven of LCSC’s 10 hits.
Jarel Lewis went 4-for-5 for the Yotes, while Santiago and Douglas had two hits apiece. Andazola drove in two runs.
LCSC resumes play on Saturday and Sunday at Harris Field in a two-game series against Central Washington. Both games begin at 1 p.m. Anyone bringing two cans of food to either game will be admitted free to that game.