LEWISTON, Idaho - The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team found its fifth way to win a walk-off game this season when Jake Eccles hit into a fielder's choice to drive in the game-ending run in extra innings to help the Warriors defeat Oregon Tech 8-7 and sweep a doubleheader from the Owls at Harris Field on Sunday.
LCSC won the opener 8-3 behind a six-run fourth inning.
The sweep improves the Warriors to 43-3 on the season, while the Owls fall to 25-28. The two teams wrap up the series on Monday at a new time, 6 p.m. The two were originally scheduled to play an hour later at 7.
The sweep also gave LCSC coach Ed Cheff his 1,700th win. Cheff is now 1,700-428 in 34 seasons with the Warriors.
After having things pretty much its way in the nine-inning opener on Sunday, LCSC found itself in trouble a few times in the scheduled seven-inning second game. Still, the Warriors managed to take a 5-3 lead into the seventh.
OIT, however, put up two runs in the top of the seventh to tie the contest and force extra inning. The Owls then took a 6-5 lead with a run in the top of the eighth and appeared to be closing in on a rare win over LCSC, but some bad hops proved different.
Brian Gaylord opened LCSC's eighth with a shot back up the middle that bounced off pitcher Darryl Swearingen's foot for a single. Danny Anguiano followed with a bunt that Swearingen fielded on the run but threw wildly to first, allowing Gaylord to wind up at third and Anguiano at second. Josh Ashenbrenner, who has his consecutive game hit streak end at 17 in the contest, tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Gaylord and allowed Anguiano to take third. Pinch-hitter Brian Burke, who leads LCSC in RBI this season, was then intentionally walked as was Kawika Emsley-Pai to load the bases with one out and set up the force play. It nearly worked when Eccles hit a grounder to second. OIT tried to turn a double play and forced Pai out at second. The relay throw, however, was wide to first and with Eccles safe, Anguiano scored the game-winning run.
It was LCSC's fifth walk-off win and all have come in different ways. LCSC has won with a hit batter and a walk, both with the bases loaded, along with a two-run single and a suicide-squeeze bunt.
OIT took a 3-0 lead off LCSC starter Jorge Sanchez, who was making his first appearance in over a month when Cory Stainford hit a three-run home run in the second inning.
LCSC tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Bryson Tajiri was hit by a pitch and Gino Casini walked. After both runners moved up on a sacrifice, Michael Bush grounded out to score Tajiri. Gaylord then singled in Casini for LCSC's first hit of the game and Anguiano followed with an RBI double.
The Warriors added two runs in the fifth for 5-3 lead. Burke started the rally with a double, Emsley-Pai walked and Trent Bridges singled to load the bases. Pat Murray singled in a run and Jason Hague grounded into a double play, which allowed the second run to score.
OIT rallied in the top of the seventh when three consecutive singles loaded the bases with no outs. Trent Smith then singled in a run, while a wild pitch allowed the Owls to tie the game.
After LCSC went down in order in the bottom of the seventh, the Owls moved ahead when Staniford hit hi second home run of the game and 13th of the season, but the Warriors rallied for the win.
Staniford finished 4-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored to lead the Owls, while Gaylord and Anguiano both went 2-for-4 with an RBI for LCSC.
In the opener, Henry Buenrostro tied the school's single-season save record with his ninth save. Beunrostro pitched the final three inninga and gave up three hits and a runk, but struck out six.
LCSC starter Tyrell Poggemeyer pitched well despite allowing nine hits in six innings. Both runs he gave up were unearned and he walked just one and struck out two in improving to 4-1 on the season.
Both teams collected 12 hits in the game, but while OIT's hit were spread out and the Owls stranded 13 on base, LCSC bunched its hits together to produce runs and left just five stranded.
The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the first when Brian Gaylord doubled and eventually scored on Pat Murray's sacrifice fly.
OIT tied the contest in the second on two hits and two errors. Zack Earle singled and scored on a throwing error.
The Warriors broke the game open with six runs in the fourth inning. LCSC took advantage of seven hits and an error to produce the big inning. Murray started the rally with a single and Burke followed with a single. Eccles then doubled with one out to score Murray. After Burke scored on a wild pitch, Connor Moore walked and Hague followed with an RBI single. Gaylord singled in a run, while a balnk brough in another run. Bridges brought in the final run with a single.
OIT scored runs in the fifth and seventh, while LCSC picked up its final run in the sixth.
In the OIT fifth, Kory Locken singled and went to third on a double by Colin Stock. Locken, however, tried to score on a wild pitch, but was tagged out at home. However, an error on a failed pick off attempt allowed Stock to score.
A single by Mitch Garcia brought in OIT's run in the seventh.
The Warriors' final run in the sixth came when Gaylord hit a solo home run to right field, his sixth home run of the season. Gaylord finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored. Burke was the only other Warrior with two hits.
Garcia and Connor paced the Owls.