No. 4 Thunderbirds end Warriors' win streak
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – With outstanding efforts from hurlers Eric Brown and Sheldon McDonald, the University of British Columbia pitched its way past the No. 1-ranked team in the NAIA on Friday. The fourth-ranked Thunderbirds took down the Warriors 4-1, snapping LCSC’s 14-game win streak.
British Columbia has now won 11 consecutive games with its last loss coming in Lewiston against the Warriors on March 28. The Thunderbirds improve to 31-6 overall and hold a 1-3 mark against LCSC this season. The Warriors are now 31-3.
It was all about pitching for the Thunderbirds on Friday. After falling by scores of 8-7, 8-1, and 7-6 earlier in the season, UBC was able to keep the Warriors off the bases and hold them to their lowest run total of the year.
Brown started the game and gave up just one hit in four innings of work. The right-hander struck out three and improved his record to 7-0.
If the Warriors’ hoped for a silver lining once Brown left the game, their hopes were sorely disappointed by the strong relief performance of McDonald. The left-handed reliever tossed five innings, struck out five, and surrendered just one run to earn his first save of the 2010 campaign.
The only run the Warriors scored came from a pinch-hit home run by Bryson Tajiri in the top of the ninth. The senior, playing in only his seventh game of the season, stepped to the plate and clubbed his first long ball of the year and the Warriors’ one run on the day.
The Warriors did have chances, albeit few, to plate runs earlier in the game but were unable to do so. A base runner rounded third base too far and was thrown out to kill an opportunity in the second inning. In the sixth, Josh Ashenbrenner led off with a double down the left field line only to see the next two batters strikeout and the third pop up to end the inning. Then in the sixth, a leadoff single was thwarted by a groundball double play a batter later.
Brown and McDonald were able to outshine the performance of LCSC started Tyrell Poggemeyer who has been exceptional this season. Poggemeyer entered the game with a 3-0 record and an ERA of 0.84; however, control issues in the fourth inning cut his day short and carved a notch in his loss column.
Poggemeyer breezed through the first inning and the third, but was plagued by free passes in the second and fourth. The Thunderbirds scored their first run in the second thanks to a lead-off single followed by a walk, a hit batsmen, and another single. Then in the fourth, back-to-back walks to start the inning led to a two-run double to the gap in left-center by Mike Elias.
The T-Birds added their fourth run off of a Warrior error in the sixth inning. LCSC had six hits and three errors in the game, while UBC had seven hits and no errors.
Friday’s game was only the third time in 78 meetings between the two teams that the Warriors failed to score two runs or more. Lewis-Clark State is now 66-12 against UBC overall.
Game two of the three-game series starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and the final game goes on Sunday at 2 p.m.