Concordia outlasts LCSC 9-8 in 10 innings
Tommy Whalen was hit by a pitch in the top of the 10th inning to force in the eventual winning run and help Concordia University beat No. 4-ranked Lewis-Clark State College for the second time in their four-game NAIA West series as the Cavaliers rallied to beat the Warriors 9-8 at LCSC’s Harris Field on Sunday.
Going into the series, LCSC was 55-3 all-time against the Cavaliers, who beat LCSC 13-7 on Friday and then lost 6-5 in 12 innings on Saturday. The Cavaliers also lost the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader 5-1.
The series split left LCSC 11-3 on the season and 3-2 in NAIA West play, while Concordia is 6-9 and 2-2.
Sunday’s game followed a similar theme to the weekend with defensive miscues and inconsistent pitching hurting the Warriors. LCSC made 10 errors in the four game series and after allowing just 23 runs in 10 games to begin the season, the Warriors gave up 28 runs in the four games.
What made Sunday’s setback extra rough was Concordia spotted the Warriors a 4-0 lead in the first inning. After Concordia scored four times in the top of the fourth for a 7-5 lead, the Warriors picked up three runs in the seventh for an 8-7 lead.
The Warriors also had two outs in the top of the ninth when a single put runners on first and second for Concordia. Two wild pitches by Cody Garner, however, allowed Concordia to tie the game.
Concordia scored the winning run in the 10th when Alex Murrieta came on to the pitch for LCSC. Murrieta got a fly out, hit a batter, and then a strikeout. But a single by Riley Tubbs and a second hit batter loaded the bases. Murrieta then hit Whalen with a pitch to force in a run. Paul Anaya came in to pitch and ended the rally with a ground out.
Four LCSC pitchers combined to hit four batters and walk another four. Concordia also had 12 hits in the contest, all of which were singles.
The Warriors collected 14 hits in the game, including four doubles. Connor Moore had three hits, while Trent Bridges, Brian Gaylord, Kyle Knigge and Kevin Lovelace had two each.
The game certainly appeared as if LCSC would roll big early because of the shaky beginning by Concordia starter Steven Taft. In the first inning, Moore singled, Cody Weiss walked, and Trent Bridges was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Gaylord smacked a three-run double to left-center field and scored on a double down the left-field line by Knigge.
Concordia cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the fourth with the help of two singles off of LCSC starter Tyler Barrett and three defensive errors. After a walk and a bunt single put runners on first and second, the Warriors made errors on a failed pickoff attempt and on a stolen base that allowed Concordia to push its first run across. Another fielding error allowed the second run to score, while Whalen made it 4-3 with an RBI single.
The Warriors made it 5-3 in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Jake Eccles.
Concordia used five hits in the fourth inning to take a 7-5 lead. After a pair of singles, LCSC’s Zach Clanton came in to pitch, but hit a batter to load the bases and then gave up a two-run single to Curt Cosby and an RBI single to Riley Tubbs. Clanton was replaced by Cody Garner, who allowed an RBI single to Sean Myrom.
Garner, however, found his groove and retired nine of 10 batters at one point. He was in control until the ninth when Concordia scored the tying run.
LCSC took an 8-7 lead with three runs in the sixth inning. Moore started the one-out rally with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. A double by Weiss scored Moore and a single by Bridges tied the game. Gaylord then hit his second double and picked up his fourth RBI to give the Warriors the lead.
Concordia tied it in the ninth with a walk, and then a two-out single by Jon Houts. Tim Reavis then stepped in and Garner threw two wild pitches while facing the next batter, which allowed the tying run to score and force extra innings.
LCSC went down in order in both the ninth and 10th innings. Larsen Kohler, who picked up the win to go to 1-2 on the season, retired the last eight batters he faced and allowed just one hit and a walk in his four innings of work.
The series was originally scheduled to be held in Portland, but facing field and weather issues, the coaches agreed to move the games to Lewiston. The series that was originally going to be held in Lewiston on April 1-3 will now be held in Portland.
The Warriors hit the road for their next five games, starting Friday with a four-game NAIA West series with the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The series features a single game Friday and 6 p.m., a doubleheader at noon on Saturday, and a single game at 11 a.m. on Sunday. LCSC will then play St. Martin’s in Lacey on March 15 at 3 p.m. and then entertain Whitworth a day later at 6 p.m. at Harris Field.