Warriors complete series sweep of Corban
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – With 14 hits including two home runs the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team had enough offense to cruise by Corban College 9-3 on Tuesday afternoon. The win completed the sweep of the three-game series, and moved the Warriors, who own the best winning percentage in the NAIA (.916), to 36-3 overall.
Tuesday’s outcome matched the pattern of the first two games of the series in that LCSC received strong pitching and a comfortable—but not excessive—amount of run support. With wins of 6-2 and 8-0 on Monday, the Warriors outscored Corban 23-5 during the series.
Because of weather and the condition of Corban’s field in Salem, Ore., Tuesday’s game was moved to Linfield College’s field in McMinnville.
Held scoreless during the first three innings against Corban starter Jake Balbas, Lewis-Clark State’s offense did the bulk of its damage during the middle innings.
Danny Anguiano got the ball rolling—literally—with a two-run single up the middle in the fourth. This made the score 2-1 as control issues for LCSC starter Kyle Cruikshank had helped Corban plate one run in the second.
The Warriors, which were ranked No. 1 in the NAIA poll released on Tuesday, then added four more runs in the fifth thanks to a couple singles followed by a home run by Kawika Emsley-Pai. The blast to right field was Emsley-Pai’s first long ball of the season.
The NAIA’s top-ranked team then plated one more run in the sixth and two more in the eighth. A double down the left field line by Brian Burke brought the run home in the sixth, and a two-run homer to left field by Jake Eccles scored the runs in the eighth. It was Eccles’ fourth bomb this season.
Cruikshank, in his second start of the year, pitched the first five innings to earn the win for the Warriors as he surrendered just one run while striking out two. LCSC used three pitchers in relief including Kevin Camacho who struck out two batters to keep Corban scoreless in the ninth. Brett Stenger, in his season debut, struck out one and gave up one run in the eighth.
Corban used five pitchers in the game with Balbus surrendering seven runs in five innings to be tabbed with the loss.
Burke, Emsley-Pai, and Anguiano led LCSC with three hits apiece, while Josh Warner led Corban with three hits and two runs batted in. Warner hit a solo home run in the seventh.
Corban is now 11-32 on the season with a 1-38 all-time record against Lewis-Clark State.
After playing nine straight games on the road, the Warriors will now enjoy a 10-game home stand starting with Concordia University this week. LCSC will face Concordia on Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 6 p.m., and then in a doubleheader starting at noon on Saturday. Fans are reminded that Saturday is Jr. Warrior Day and will feature a free baseball clinic for kids 12 and under held by the Warrior baseball team. The event starts at 9:30 a.m. at Harris Field, and kids are asked to bring their own mitts.