Warriors sweep doubleheader with Menlo
ATHERTON, Calif. – The first game came down to a play at the play while the second game was more of a no-doubter, but either way both games resulted in wins for the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team against Menlo College on Saturday. The Warriors took the first game of the doubleheader 9-8 in 10 innings, and the second game 9-2.
The victories lift LCSC to 12-3 overall and 2-1 in the NAIA West, while Menlo dips to 4-11 and 1-2. The two teams will square off again on Sunday at 11 a.m. (the game has been pushed up one hour from its originally scheduled noon start time).
In game one, sophomore Kyle Knigge (photo) came up with two huge defensive plays in the bottom of the 10th inning to save the Warriors’ one-run lead. The Left fielder first robbed Coleman Cox of a potential game-tying home run to lead off the inning, and a few batters later he followed this up by throwing out Kaima Haina at the plate. Haina was attempting to score the tying run on a two-out base hit threw the hole to left field.
“We played better today,” said LCSC head coach Gary Picone. “The first game we struggled in some areas, but in the end I thought we competed pretty hard. Knigge made a couple great plays.”
The opening game was a story of big innings as Menlo opened with three runs in the third; LCSC answered the three in the fourth, two in the sixth, and three in the seventh; and Menlo replied with four runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 8-7.
In the bottom of the ninth, a leadoff double by Menlo’s Mickey Phelps followed by an RBI double by Collin Forgey tied the game at 8-8.
In the top of the tenth, Eric Peterson got the game-winning rally started for the Warriors with a leadoff walk. He was sent to second with a single by Braxton Miller, and then pushed to third by a single from Billy Silvestri. Then, with bases loaded and one out, Connor Moore lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to bring Peterson home.
It seemed almost fitting that Peterson scored the winning run after the strong day he had at the plate he had. The first baseman went 3-for-4 with a home run, a triple, three runs scored, and four runs batted in. Peterson’s home run, his first of the season, was a two-run shot in the sixth inning.
Silvestri and Miller also had multiple hits in the game as they had three and two, respectively.
Michael Noteware entered the game in the third inning in long relief for the Warriors and didn’t leave the mound until the final out of the game. He went 7.1 innings and surrendered just three earned runs to pick up the win and improve to 2-1. He struck out 11 and walked only one.
Game two went a lot easier for the Warriors thanks to a whole lot of hits and a strong outing for starting pitcher Austin Pentecost.
Pentecost gave up just one run in seven innings of work to get the win and improve to 2-1. He struck out six and surrendered one hit. Terik Gofinch struck out four in holding Menlo to one run in the final two frames.
With six players with multiple hits in the game, LCSC ended up outhitting Menlo 17-3.
Trent Bridges went 4-for-4, Alfonso Casillas was 3-for-5, and Knigge, Miller, Silvestri, and Aaron DeGuire had two hits apiece. Silvestri is now riding a 12-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 14-of-15 games played.
DeGuire’s two hits stole the show though as they were both home runs. The senior catcher clobbered a solo homer in the fifth and then hit a two-run blast in the sixth to make the score 6-1.
“That really kind of put us over the top,” said Picone about DeGuire’s second long ball. “He has struggled some at the plate, so I know that today was really good for his confidence.”