CALDWELL, Idaho - Showing that a mid-season hitting slump is a thing of history, the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team, behind a monster day from senior Brian Gaylord, swept an NAIA West doubleheader from the College of Idaho 20-12 and 6-5 on Friday.
With the sweep the Warriors extended their win streak to eight games and improved to 32-13 on the season and 21-8 in league play. During the eight games, LCSC has scored 103 runs, an average of just less than 13 a game.
Gaylord hit home runs in both games and drove in nine runs as the Warriors tied a season record with 20 runs in the opener. Gaylord, who now has a team-high 11 home runs this season, hit his third grand slam, which came in the opener. Gaylord now has hit home runs in four consecutive games and has an 11-game hitting streak, the best on the team this season.
LCSC took control of the opener early, but the contest did become a slugfest. The 32 combined runs are the most runs scored in a game between these two teams, topping the previous highs of 31 when LCSC won 31-0 in 1987 and 16-15 in 1990. LCSC has now won five straight against the Yotes and 16 of the last 17.
Gaylord went 4-for-6 at the plate in the opener with seven RBI and two runs scored. He did most of his damage early when LCSC rolled out to a 14-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning.
Trent Bridges went 2-for-3 with four runs scored and two RBI, while Gino Casini was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
The bottom three hitters in the order also got into the act as Kevin Lovelace went 4-for-6 with four runs scored, Garrett Patterson went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, and Aaron DeGuire went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.
Former Warrior Kyle Douglas led the Yotes with a 3-for-4 effort and five RBI.
Bases-loaded walks to Connor Moore and Bridges forced in two runs to start the LCSC scoring in the second, while Gaylord's RBI single made it 3-0.
The Warriors pushed across seven runs in the third for a 10-1 advantage. DeGuire's two run single starter the inning's scoring, while Bridges added an RBI sacrifice fly. Gaylord then followed with his grand-slam home run to right field.
In the Warrior fourth, an error, a two-run double by Gaylord, and an RBI double by Alfonso Casillas made it 14-1.
College of Idaho cut it to 14-4 in the fifth and then both teams scored five runs in the sixth. Casini started LCSC's scoring in the sixth with a two-run double, while Lovelace added an RBI single. Patterson then tripled in the final two.
LCSC's final run in the ninth came on a sacrifice fly by Casillas.
LCSC starter Tyrell Poggemeyer went five innings and allowed seven hits and four runs to go to 7-1 on the season.
In the second game, LCSC jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third and held on for the win. Gaylord finished 1-for-4 with two RBI, while Casini was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Moore, Bridges, and Patterson also added two hits apiece.
Tyler Barrett tied Poggemeyer for the team lead in wins as he also improved to 7-1. He allowed 10 hits and five runs. He also struck out six and walked one. Zach Arneson pitched the final 1.2 innings and allowed one hit with one strikeout to earn his third save.
The Warriors wasted little time in taking the lead as Bridges hit a one out triple and scored on a ground out by Gaylord.
In the second, Patterson drove in a run with a single, while Casini drove in two in the third with a single to right field.
Gaylord's solo home run in the fifth made it 5-2, and Bridges' RBI sacrifice fly made it 6-3 in the seventh. College of Idaho pushed across two in the bottom of the eighth, but left two runners stranded, and then left another runner stranded in the ninth.
LCSC can claim the NAIA West North Division title with another sweep today when LCSC and College of Idaho square off at 11 a.m., Pacific time. British Columbia has completed league play at 23-9. However, because LCSC does not take part in the conference tournament, UBC will be seeded No. 1 out of the North Division. College of Idaho, 29-17 overall and 19-11 in conference play, will be the No. 2 seed from the North.
Today's doubleheader will be the final league games of the season for LCSC.