Instead, the Warriors opted to take a Sunday drive and made things rather interesting.
After racing out to a 13-0 lead after five innings against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, the Warriors had to deal with some issues and survived UBC having the go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the eighth to claim the title with a 13-10 victory.
The win was the fourth straight for LCSC and gave it a 4-0 record in the tournament. LCSC is 6-2 overall, while UBC went 2-2 in the tournament to open the season. Earlier Sunday, Concordia defeated George Fox 5-4 in 11 innings in the third-place game.
Thanks to a nine-run fifth inning and the pitching by Goodgion, a junior left-hander from Kent, Wash., the Warriors seemed to have this one put away. UBC, however, used four runs in the sixth and five in the seventh to make a game of it.
“We had some really good stretches in the first five or six innings,” LCSC coach Gary Picone said. “Goodgion looked really good and we wanted him to get us into the sixth, but he had a long wait (during the Warriors’ nine-run fifth) and it caught up with him.
“But credit UBC. They were down 13-0 and it would have been easy for them to start thinking about that long 10-hour bus ride home.”
It didn’t help that the Warriors pitching staff is thin right now because of injuries and other issues. Add to that three games over the weekend and the staff was even thinner.
Senior Zach Clanton and junior Terik Gofinch, who is coming off an injury, received the roughest treatment. The two allowed eight hits and eight runs in two innings of work. Sal Arena came in for the second straight day, and like on Saturday, picked up the save with a strong performance. He allowed just one walk in his 1.2 innings.
The Warrior offense was balanced on the day. Cleanup hitter Alfonso Casillas picked up hits in his first four at-bats and finished 4-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored, while Billy Silvestri, Bobby Tannehill, and Kevin Hawk also drove in two runs apiece. Silvestri and Tannehill also had two hits, as did Braxton Miller.
In all, the No. 4-8 hitters for LCSC were a combined 11-of-22 with 10 RBI and eight runs scored.
"I think we have the ability to be a really good offensive team,” Picone said. “We can put back-to-back plate appearances together. I think we can be really good.”
The Warriors wasted little time in taking the lead with a three-run first inning, all with two outs. Trent Bridges started the rally when he was hit by a pitch. Casillas then singled Bridges to third and Miller followed with an RBI single. Silvestri then tripled down the right-field line for two runs.
LCSC made it 4-0 in the third on a bases-loaded wild pitch, and then put up its biggest inning of the season with nine runs in the fifth. Casillas, Miller and Silvestri all singled to load the bases and Tannehill drove in the first two with a double. Kevin Hawk added a two-run single, while Tyler Knigge was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the fifth run of the inning. After Bridges drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, Casillas hit a two-run double to right-center. A bases-loaded walk to Kevin McLeod made it 13-0.
Through five innings, Goodgion (1-0) had allowed only four hits and struck out six. But after recording the first out in the top of the sixth, he gave up a double and a walk, and was replace by Clanton. Blake Carruthers greeted Clanton with an RBI single and later pinch-hitter Jerod Bartnik hit the game’s only home run, a three-run blast to right field to make it 13-4.
In the UBC seventh, Nick Senior drove in the first two runs with a single, while Andrew Firth had an RBI double. Carruthers drove in the final two with a double.
In the eighth, a walk and two singles produced a run to make it 13-10, and with one out, a hit batter loaded the bases for UBC. Arena came in and proceeded to strike out Carruthers and get Cam Firth on a pop up to end the threat.
After giving up a leadoff walk in the ninth, Arena got two foul pop ups and a fly out to end the game.
Starting on Friday, the Warriors will play host to the Inland Cellular Tournament, another four-team round-robin affair at Harris Field. Like in the Guardian Tournament, each team will play the other three once and Sunday’s two games will feature a third place and championship game.
St. Martin’s and Central Washington kick off action Friday at 10 a.m., followed by Western Oregon against St. Martin’s at 1 p.m. and LCSC playing Western Oregon at 4 p.m.
Saturday’s schedule has Western Oregon and Central Washington at 10 a.m., LCSC and Central Washington at 1 p.m., and LCSC and St. Martin’s at 4 p.m.
Sunday’s third-place game will be at 11 a.m., followed by the title game at 2 p.m.