LCSC's season comes to an end with 7-3 loss to Lee
Maxx Catapano threw a six-hitter for eight innings and the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team struggled to collect a key hit when needed as the Warriors saw their season come to an end with a 7-3 loss in a loser-out game at the 55th annual Avista NAIA World Series at LCSC’s Harris Field on Monday.
The Warriors, who went 1-2 in the 10-team double-elimination tournament, finish the season at 38-17, while Lee improves to 49-13.
LCSC, which went 1-for-13 at the plate with runners in scoring position and stranded 14 runners in a 2-1 loss to Oklahoma City on Saturday night, again had trouble at the plate with runners on. The Warriors finished 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine on base.
“We didn’t get the job done,” LCSC coach Gary Picone said. “They (the Flames) played well and deserved to win.”
Catapano threw six strong innings and at one point retired 10 batters in a row. He took a three-hit shutout into the seventh inning before the Warriors scored three times to cut the margin to 6-3. Catapano, 9-4 on the season, allowed two earned runs and four walks, but also struck out four. Joe Fabre pitched the ninth and allowed a walk and a single before shutting the door.
LCSC starter Cody Fassold seemed up to the task of matching Catapano early. Both pitchers allowed only one hit through the first two innings, but while Catapano retired the Warriors in order in the top of the third, Fassold ran into trouble in the bottom half of the inning.
Preston Scoggins started the Flames’ rally with a walk and moved to second on a balk. After a fielding error allowed Justin Marrero to reach first and Scoggins to move to third, Jonathan Clark followed with an RBI double. Joe Ramirez singled in Marrero, which ended the day for Fassold. Cody Garner came on in relief, and although he got Chris Grayson to ground into a fielder’s choice, Clark was able to score to make it 3-0.
Lee followed with another three-run inning in the fourth for a 6-0 advantage. Again it was Scoggins and Marrero, the No. 8 and 9 hitters in the Flames’ lineup that sparked the rally. After a walk and a single by Travis Anderson, a sacrifice bunt by Seth Walker moved the runners to second and third. Scoggins then singled in a run and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Marrero then followed with a two-run single.
Scoggins and Marrero scored three runs and drove in three to account for the first six Lee runs.
Catapano, a senior right-hander, continued to mow down the Warriors until Braxton Miller ended a streak of 10 straight retired with a single in the fifth. LCSC then put two runners on to start the sixth, but left both stranded.
“Their guy pitched well and we didn’t get it done,” Picone said. “I just know we weren’t good enough to get to the end, but the kids busted their butts. I appreciate the effort they gave.”
In the seventh, the Warriors got on the scoreboard with their big inning. Kyle Knigge reached on an error and a single by Miller and a walk to Connor Moore loaded the bases with no outs. Billy Silvestri then hit a grounder that brought in a run, but forced Moore out at second. Kevin Lovelace and Trent Bridges followed with RBI singles, but a pop up and a grounder allowed Catapano to escape further trouble.
Lee answered with a run in the bottom of the seventh for a 7-3 lead. Grayson started the rally with a double and went to third on a single by Michael Brown. Roberto Reyes followed with a sacrifice fly to center to score Grayson.
Things did get a bit hairy for Lee in the ninth, especially considering the Flames gave up four runs in the bottom of the ninth in a 5-4 loss in the opening round to LSU-Shreveport on Friday.
Moore started the LCSC ninth with a single, but was forced out at second when Aaron DeGuire reached on a fielder’s choice. Kevin Lovelace drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Bridges then worked the count to 3-1 before eventually flying out to center, and Gaylord, LCSC’s leader in home runs this season, flew out to left to end the game.
Lovelace led LCSC at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance with an RBI, while Bridges went 2-for-5 with an RBI. The Nos. 3-6 hitters for LCSC, however, were a combined 0-for-15, Miller also had two hits for LCSC, which finished with seven in the game.
Scoggins and Marrero both went 2-for-3 for Lee, which finished with 10 hits. Scoggins scored twice and drove in a run, while Marrero had two RBI and one run scored. Grayson also had two hits and an RBI for Lee.
“We just didn’t get the job done,” Picone said. “For the seniors, I appreciate what they did.”
LCSC had 10 seniors on its postseason roster, including infielders Gaylord and Lovelace; outfielders Bryan Abrey, Gino Casini, and Jake Eccles; and pitchers Zach Arneson, Casey Edelbrock, Fassold, Tyrell Poggemeyer, and Jorge Sanchez.