Hit parade in fourth leads to 12th straight Warrior win
LEWISTON, Idaho – Thanks to one big inning, the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team defeated Central Washington University for its 12th consecutive victory on Saturday. The Warriors scored six runs on eight hits in the fourth to overcome the Wildcats 6-4.
With the score 0-0, the Warriors began the fourth inning rally with six straight hits including a two-run double by Kawika Emsley-Pai. Josh Ashenbrenner had two hits in the inning as he led off with a double to right field and later had an RBI single.
The win improves the Warriors to 13-1, while Central Washington dips to 2-9.
Lewis-Clark State used four pitchers to keep the NCAA D-II Wildcats at bay. Stephen Foster and Tyler Knigge pitched a combined shutout over the first five innings, while Tyler Lichty and Henry Buenrostro gave up a couple runs apiece in the later innings but managed to make the lead last. Foster started and struck out three in his three innings of work, and Knigge struck out four in his two innings on the mound to earn the win.
Take away the fourth inning, and Wildcat starter Bryce Hjellum might have pitched a complete game shutout. Over eight innings, Hjellum was tagged with 10 hits and six earned runs, but outside of the fourth inning he surrendered only 2 hits and struck out four. He threw 97 pitches.
For the first time in the last eight games, the Warriors failed to hit a home run. However, LCSC made up for this deficiency by slapping five doubles.
Ashenbrenner, Brian Gaylord, and Pat Murray led LCSC with two hits apiece. With both of his hits being doubles, Gaylord has now hit at least one double in his last five games and has nine doubles in eight games played so far this season.
Gaylord, a junior from La Mirada, Calif., is now batting .600 with a 1.320 slugging percentage.
Collecting 10 hits overall, the Wildcats plated two runs in the sixth off of a two-run double from Kevin Schneider, and then scored two more in the eighth thanks to a two-run home run to left field by Kevin Walkenhauer.
Schneider, Chance Plutt, and Jake Hammons finished with two hits apiece.
The Warriors and Wildcats will play again at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Fans that bring two cans of food to the game will receive free admission.