Gaylord grand slam helps Warriors split twin bill
PORTLAND, Ore. – A ninth-inning pinch-hit grand slam by Brian Gaylord gave the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team more than enough to win game two and split a doubleheader with Concordia University on Saturday. The Cavaliers stole the first game 5-4, but the Warriors took the second 8-4.
Gaylord’s slam, a no-doubter way over the right field fence, broke up a 4-4 tie which had lingered since the fifth inning. Beyond putting LC on top, Gaylord’s blast also gave the Warriors some revenge for the two-run home run by Sean Myrom that led to the Cavalier victory in game one.
By splitting, the Warriors now stand at 19-7 overall and 9-6 in the NAIA West, while Concordia is at 8-19 and 3-12.
Game one started with the Warriors jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the first two innings. LC plated two of its runs in the second inning with a two-run single by Cody Weiss.
After Concordia played small ball with a single, a sacrifice bunt, and then another single to score one run and make it 3-2 in the fifth, Lewis-Clark State took advantage of a Kevin Lovelace double and a Cavalier error to score an insurance run in the seventh.
However, in the bottom of the seventh LC’s lead proved to be too small. The inning began with a walk by Odie Hollingshed followed by a single down the right field line by Riley Tubbs to move Hollingshed to third. One batter later, Hollingshed came home on a passed ball to make the score 4-3. Then, with Tubbs on third and two outs, Myrom hit a bomb over the fence in left field to take the lead.
Starter Mitch Ludtke earned the win for Concordia as he pitched seven innings, struck out five, and surrender three earned runs and four hits. LCSC tied a season low with just five hits.
The Warriors used five pitchers in the game and notched 12 strikeouts. Alex Murrieta pitched the eighth and recorded all three outs via K’s.
Game two began with Lovelace hitting the very first pitch of the contest over the wall in left field. A couple of singles later by Trent Bridges and Braxton Miller, coupled with a passed ball, the Warriors scored another run to take a 2-0 lead after the first.
Lovelace, a senior from Escondido, Calif., had four hits and four runs on the day.
In the fifth, with the score at 3-1, a leadoff double by Bridges resulted in one more run for the Warriors, but the Cavaliers were quick to answer with three runs to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. Concordia’s rally began with a single by Ben Talbot and a Warrior error to put two men on base, and was followed with an RBI double from Tubbs. The Warriors then intentionally walked Myrom to load the bases, but the plan backfired as the following batter walked to force one run in and then a balk was called to plate the tying run.
After the busy fifth inning the bats when quiet for the next few innings and the game remained tied—that is until Gaylord made some noise and cleared the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth.
It was Gaylord’s second grand slam of the season and fourth for the team this year. Saturday marked the first time a Warrior has hit a pinch-hit grand slam since Tristan Fike did it against Western Oregon in 1996.
The win went to Austin Pentacost who threw four superb innings of relief for the Warriors. He held Concordia to just two hits and no runs over the finals frames and struck out six.
LCSC outhit Concordia 13-6, and stole a season-high four bases in game two. The two teams will wrap up the four-game series with a 12 p.m. title on Sunday.