Stars don't shine bright for LCSC in 2-1 loss
The Stars did shine brightly for Oklahoma City University on Saturday night. For Lewis-Clark State, let’s just say the Stars were not aligned in its favor.
Managing to escape a number of jams, second seed Oklahoma City held on to claim a 2-1 win over the seventh seed Warriors in the final game of the second round of the 55th annual Avista NAIA World Series at LCSC’s Harris Field.
It was a frustrating loss for the Warriors, who appeared ready to provide the partial hometown crowd of 3,305 with some late-game heroics. Instead, the Warriors left 14 baserunners stranded in the game, including the bases loaded in the eighth and two on in the ninth. The Warriors also hurt themselves with a couple of baserunning mistakes and couldn’t take advantage of solid relief performance from both Casey Edelbrock and Zach Arneson.
LCSC finished the game 1-for-13 at the plate with runners in scoring position.
Three pitchers combined a six-hitter for Oklahoma City (47-10), which was making its debut in the 10-team double-elimination tournament after a first-round bye. The Stars will play again on Monday against Lubbock Christian at 7 p.m. PDT, while LCSC (38-16) will meet Lee University (Tenn.) in loser-out play on Monday at noon.
OCU senior right-hander Ryan Theriot (11-1) started the game and showed why he has been the workhorse for the Stars this season with an outstanding 7.1-inning performance. He allowed six hits and one run with eight strikeouts and three walks. Junior left-hander Allen Townsend came on in the eighth with runners on first and third with one out and, despite walking the first batter he faced, he retired the next two to preserve OCU’s lead. Dearth Parker, who started the game in center field, got out of a jam in the ninth to preserve the win and earn his second save of the season.
Both teams had chances to so damage in the contest, but both struggled to collect hits. While LCSC had its problems collecting the big hit, so did the Stars, who left eight stranded. OCU did manage to out-hit LCSC 8-6 in the contest.
Oklahoma City gained the upper hand in the contest in the third inning when the Stars struck for a run against LCSC starter Tyler Barrett. Scott Dalrymple, hitting ninth in the Stars’ lineup, ripped a double to right-center field to open the inning and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ruben Sosa. Parker followed with a walk, but was caught leading too far off first and was eventually tagged out during a rundown. However, Dalrymple was able to score during the rundown.
The Warriors threatened in the fourth when they started with a single and a walk, but Alfonso Casillas was picked off second base for the first out. That came back to haunt the Warriors because a hit batter and a single followed, which would have produced a run. Instead it loaded the bases with one out and Theriot came up big with a strikeout and a ground out to escape without allowing a run.
OCU added its second run in the top of the fifth. Chad Carmen was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a single by Sosa. Edelbrock came into pitcher for LCSC and got Parker to ground out to deep shortstop, which allowed Carmen to score.
The Warriors broke on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth when Kevin Lovelace reached on a walk and scored on a double by freshman Kyle Knigge.
LCSC threatened in the eighth when Gino Casini led off with a double and moved to third on a ground out. After Kevin Patterson was hit by a pitch, Townsend replaced Theriot and walked Knigge to load the bases. But Townsend got a short fly out to left and a ground out to end the threat.
The Warriors again threatened in the ninth when Trent Bridges opened with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Gaylord. Parker then replaced Townsend and got Casillas to hit a grounder back to the mound. Parker alertly caught Bridges trying for third and Bridges was eventually tagged out in a rundown while Casillas remained at first. Bryan Abrey then pinch-ran for Casillas and reached second on a wild pitch. Casini followed with a four-pitch walk, but as it had all game, OCU escaped the jam. Parker ran the count to 3-0 on Lovelace before throwing a strike. His next pitch was lined back to the pitcher’s mound, which Parker caught to end the game (click here to watch the final out of the game).
Sosa finished 3-for-4 for the Stars, while Matt Presley was 2-for-4.
Knigge had two hits for LCSC, while Edelbrock and Zach Arneson each threw 2.1 scoreless innings. Both gave up two hits but didn’t walk a batter. Left-hander Tyler Barrett, the starter for LCSC, took the loss to fall to 7-3. He allowed four hits, three walks and two runs in 4.1 innings with one strikeout.
For LCSC to add to its Series-best 16 national titles, it will have to win five straight games Monday-Friday next week.