Warriors cruise to wins over Central and St. Martin's
LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team rolled to two wins at the Inland Cellular Tournament at Harris Field on Saturday. The Warriors first rode the strong pitching of Austin Pentecost to take down Central Washington University 7-1, and then hit their way to a 12-6 victory against Saint Martin’s University.
With the two wins, LCSC improves to 9-2 overall and extends its winning streak to seven straight. The Warriors, 3-0 so far in tournament play, will face Western Oregon University on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the title game. The Wolves (9-3 overall) have gone 2-1 so far in the tournament after clipping Central Washington 6-3 in Saturday’s morning game.
Squaring off in the 11 a.m. game on Sunday will be Central Washington (1-2 in tournament play) and Saint Martin’s (0-3).
Pentecost (above photo) picked up the win for the Warriors against Central Washington by going six innings while allowing just three hits and one run. The right-hander struck out five and walked two. He is now 1-1 on the year.
Mitchell Wilhite was equally effective on the mound as he threw three scoreless innings in relief to pick up the save. The right-hander, who doubles as a utility infielder, struck out five and gave up one hit and a walk.
“I thought we played pretty well against Central,” said LCSC head coach Gary Picone. “Pentecost and Wilhite both pitched pretty good.”
Pentecost and Wilhite received plenty of run support thanks to the Warrior lineup scoring one run in each of the first three innings and then adding three more runs in the fourth.
The fourth-inning scoring rally was highlighted by a two-run single to left-center field by Kyle Knigge. The Warriors also added an insurance run in the sixth thanks to a single and stolen base by Jordan Payne followed by a double by Trent Bridges to right-center.
LCSC, ranked No. 11 in the NAIA, outhit Central Washington, an NCAA Division-II school, 12-4.
In game No. 2 against Saint Martin’s, Lewis-Clark State’s pitching wasn’t as strong but its bats more than made up for it.
Leading the way were Bridges and Alfonso Casillas. The seniors had three hits apiece in the game and both have now recorded at least one hit in all 11 of the Warriors’ games so far this season. Casillas currently leads the team with a .451 batting average, while Bridges isn’t far behind at .395.
“Bridges and Casillas are both playing the way we want to play,” Picone said. “I liked their approach all day. They’re putting together good at bats, and they’re providing good leadership for this team.”
LCSC attacked Saint Martin’s, also an NCAA Division-II team, with five runs on five hits in the first. Sal Arena delivered one of the big blows of the inning when he knocked a two-run double down the left field line.
The Warriors went on to score at least one run in six of the eight innings they came to bat, including three runs in the fourth.
Bridges finished with five runs scored in the game, and Arena led the team with three runs batted in.
With 12 walks and 10 hits, Saint Martin’s had no shortage of base runners, but they did have a shortage of timely hits. The Saints ended up leaving 17 men on base and left the bases loaded in the third, the eighth, and the ninth.
Josh Grenier led the Saints, which are now 0-11, with three hits and three runs batted in.
Zach Clanton entered the game in the fifth for the Warriors and held the Saints scoreless for the next three innings to pick up his first win of the season.