LEWISTON, Idaho – Aaron Headrick’s two-run triple in the top of the sixth inning broke a 1-1 tie and three Western Oregon pitchers combined to allow no earned runs to help the Wolves hand Lewis-Clark State College its first loss of the season with a 5-2 win in the second day of the Guardian Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning college baseball tournament at LCSC’s Harris Field on Saturday.
Behind 1-2 in the count and with two outs, Headrick ripped a triple down the right-field line to bring in two runs and put Western Oregon ahead for good at 3-1. Western Oregon improved to 1-1 in the tournament and 4-6 overall.
The loss was the first for coach Gary Picone, whose Warriors now stand 6-1 overall and 1-1 in the tournament.
The Warriors were their own worst enemy at time as four pitchers combined to walk four and hit three batters. LCSC’s defense had two errors, while the offense couldn’t get the key hit when needed and left eight on base.
“We got beat by a good team and they played better than we did,” Picone said. “We need to play tough games like this and we found out what some of our weaknesses are. I think overall we just made too many mistakes.”
Both teams scored a run in the third inning. Western Oregon did its damage with two out when Steve Ockerman reached on a double, advanced to third on a single by Grant Glover, and scored on a single by Michael Chiarelli.
The Warriors countered with a run in the bottom of the third. Kevin Lovelace singled with one out, but then appeared to be picked off first. During a run down, the Western Oregon second baseman tried to catch a throw and apply a tag to Lovelace, but the ball got away from him and went into center field, which allowed Lovelace to reach third. Gino Casini followed with a single up the middle to score Lovelace, but Casini was later thrown out at home on a double by Brian Gaylord to end the inning.
After LCSC starting pitcher Zach Arneson retired the first two batters he faced to start the sixth, he walked the next two and was replaced by Casey Edelbrock. Edelbrock got ahead of Headrick before he came up with the big hit to make it 3-1.
LCSC cut the margin to 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh when an error and consecutive singles by Connor Moore and Kyle Knigge loaded the bases with no outs. Pinch-hitter Cody Garner lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Bridges, and Lovelace was hit by a pitch to reload the bases. The Wolves escaped the jam when Cody Weiss struck out and Casini lined out to right to end the inning.
Western Oregon put up two runs in the top of the eight when a hit batter and a walk set up an RBI double by Andre Royal. Griffin Boyd followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to make it 5-2.
The Warriors appeared to have something cooking in the eighth inning when Braxton Miller singled and Trent Bridges followed with a hard-hit grounder that the Western Oregon shortstop had bounce off his chest. Fortunately for WOU, the bounce went straight to the second baseman who was standing on second for the force out. A fly out, one of 15 in the game for LCSC, ended the threat.
Grant Glover had two of Western Oregon’s 10 hits, while Headrick finished with two RBI. Lovelace had two hits for LCSC, which collected a season-low seven in the game.
Arneson took the loss to fall to 1-1 on the season. He went 5.2 innings and allowed five hits and three runs. He also walked two and struck out five. Edelbrock went 1.1 innings and allowed three hits and a walk, while Alex Murrieta went one-third of an inning and gave up a hit and a walk, along with two runs. Carsen Nylund went the final 1.2 innings and allowed one hit, but hit two batters.
Cam Nobles, the first of three WOU pitchers, went six innings and picked up the win. He allowed four hits and two walks, and struck out four.
In the first game of the day, St. Martin’s defeated Linfield 5-0, while Central Washington and Western Oregon were playing in the late game.
Sunday’s tournament action has St. Martin’s and Western Oregon at 10 a.m., followed by Linfield and LCSC at 12:30 p.m. In a doubleheader unrelated to the tournament, Dickinson State meets College of Idaho at 3 p.m. at Harris Field. LCSC then plays Dickinson State in single games at 1 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.
Because the five teams participating in this week’s tournament don’t play the same number of games, a tournament champion will not be crowned.