SALEM, Ore. - Josh Ashenbrenner drove in three runs and hit his seventh home run of the season and five Warrior pitchers combined on a six-hitter to help the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team stretch its win streak to 14 games with a 10-3 win over Willamette on Sunday.
The Warriors, off to their best start in school history at 31-2, rolled early and often in the contest, which was the final of a three-game series between the two teams. LCSC has won the last 21 meetings against Willamette and is 30-2 all-time against the Bearcats.
LCSC outscored Willamette 30-5, hit seven home runs and struck out 29 Bearcat batters in the three-game series. The pitching staff also lowered its earned run average for the season to 2.47, the third lowest mark in a season since 1977.
Senior right-hander Colby Hawk picked up the win to improve to 5-0 on the season. He pitched the first two innings and allowed three hits and a run, but struck out two. Kyle Cruikshank and Stephen Foster also allowed a run in their two innings, while Zach Hull pitched two scoreless innings. Kevin Camacho pitched one inning.
At the plate, Trent Bridges and Ashenbrenner, hitting 1-2 on Sunday, went a combined 5-for-9 with four RBI and four runs scored. Ashenbrenner went 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Bridges was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Brian Burke added his team-leading 14th home run to LCSC's attack, while Gino Casini stretched his consecutive game hit streak to 11.
Bridges and Ashenbrenner helped LCSC get rolling right away. Bridges was hit by the second pitch of the game while Ashenbrenner took the fourth pitch over the right-field fence for a two-run home run. Two outs later Burke hit his solo home run, also to right field.
Willamette used a double, a sacrifice bunt, and a ground out to manufacture a run in the bottom of the first, but LCSC made it 5-1 in the top of the fourth with a pair of runs. Casini started the rally with a single, stole second, took third on a ground out, and then scored on a wild pitch. Wil Thorp followed with a single and went to second on another wild pitch. Bridges then singled through the left side to score Thorp.
The Bearcats picked up a run in the bottom of the fourth, but LCSC broke the game open with a four-run seventh for a 9-2 lead.
Andy Matthews opened the seventh with a walk, and Bridges and Ashenbrenner followed with consecutive singles to push across the first run. Kawika Emsley-Pai added an RBI single and a walk to Danny Anguiano loaded the bases. Kevin Lovelace then greeted the Bearcats' fourth pitcher of the game with a two-run single to left-center field.
Both teams added a run in the eighth inning for the final score. LCSC's run came when Thorp was hit by a pitch, Bridges singled, and Emsley-Pai walked to load the bases with two outs. Anguiano then singled up the middle to score Thorp.
The Warriors will be on the road for their next six games as well, starting on Friday with a three-game series against the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. The two play single games at 4 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The Warriors will then bus to Salem, Ore., following Sunday's contest to meet Corban College next Monday at 4 p.m. and then in an 11 a.m. doubleheader the following day.