Pentecost, Warriors blank Corban 2-0
LEWISTON, Idaho – It was a pitchers' duel at Harris Field on Friday night, and the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team came out on top. Austin Pentecost (photo) threw seven shutout innings to help the Warriors overcome league foe Corban University 2-0.
Pentecost, now 3-1, struck out five and surrendered just five hits and one walk in his effort to outlast Corban starter Jake Balbas.
“Austin got better as he went,” said LCSC head coach Gary Picone. “He mixed his pitches well and became more consistent as the game went along.”
It took a strong Warrior outing to match the pace of Balbas who kept the Warriors hitless through the first three innings. LCSC eventually put a few hits on the board and forced Balbas to take the loss with a line of 5.1 innings pitched with four hits, two runs, four walks, and five strikeouts.
“You have to give him credit,” said Picone about Balbas. “The guy pitched a good game.”
In the fourth inning, Warrior shortstop Bobby Tannehill had the team’s first hit on the night, a double down the right field line that took one bounce before landing on the warning track. Then with two outs, catcher Aaron DeGuire hit a clutch line drive just above the glove of a leaping second baseman to score the first run of game.
Two innings later in the sixth, the Warriors again used a double to get a rally going. This time Connor Moore drove a ball down the right field line, in about the same spot as Tannehill’s, and ended up at second base. He moved to third on a while pitch, and then sped home when DeGuire hit a groundball to the shortstop who was playing at normal depth.
The Warriors finished with a season-low seven hits and left a season-high 14 men on base. Neither team had a player with multiple hits.
With just six hits and one walk, Corban didn’t put enough men on base to threaten the Warriors very often. One of Corban’s best chances to score came in the third when it led off the inning with back-to-back bunt singles. But, with two outs and runners on second and third, Pentecost averted the danger with a high fastball to strikeout a swinging hitter and end the inning.
Both teams enjoyed solid relief efforts. Anothony Wirkkala surrendered three hits and struck one in holding LCSC scoreless over the final 2.2 innings, and Zach Clanton and Terik Gofinch shutout Corban in the eighth and ninth, respectively. Gofinch struck out two of the four batters he faced and earned his first save of the season.
“It was nice to see Clanton and Gofinch come in and close it out for us.”
With the win, LCSC improves to 14-3 overall and 4-1 in the NAIA West. Corban falls to 8-3 overall and 0-1 in league play. The four-game series between the two teams will continue with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and will conclude with a single game at 1 p.m. on Sunday.