LCSC cruises to doubleheader sweep of Simpson
REDDING, Calif. – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team added two more notches to its win column with a doubleheader sweep of Simpson University on Saturday. The Warriors used 16 hits to take the opening game 18-2, and relied on the strong pitching of Michael Noteware to win the second 6-2.
“In the first game we were consistent up and down the order, and consistent inning by inning. Offensively, it was probably one of our best games,” said LCSC head coach Gary Picone. “In the second game, Noteware was just dominant.”
The Warriors jump to 18-5 overall and 9-2 in the NAIA West with the victories. Simpson falls to 10-13 overall and 1-6 in league play. The four-game series wraps up on Sunday with a single game at noon.
Senior utility player Billy Silvestri ended up with seven hits on the day, including a 4-for-5 effort in game one.
“He stays in the middle of the field,” said Picone about Silvestri. “He’s been one of our best hitters this year, and he hit a lot of balls hard today.”
Lewis-Clark State reached a season-high run total in the first game by scoring at least one run in eight different innings—including multiple runs in seven.
Silvestri scored four runs including one on a solo homer in the seventh, his first long ball of the year. Kyle Knigge was 2-for-2 with a two-run double and a game-high five runs batted in, Braxton Miller had two hits including his fourth home run of the season in the seventh, Trent Bridges had two doubles and two runs batted in, and Alfonso Casillas hit a three-run blast in the first. It was Casillas’ team-leading six home run of the year.
LCSC’s Jordan Payne had three hits to tie Simpson’s Angel Marti for second-most hits in the game. Marti hit a two-run home run in the first to score Simpson’s only two runs in the contest.
Zach Clanton entered the game in the fourth and pitched 3.1 shutout innings to pick up the win for the Warriors and improve his record to 2-0. Sal Arena held the Red Hawks scoreless in the final two frames, striking out three.
Simpson used five pitchers and ended up surrendering 13 walks.
Noteware (above photo), a 6-foot junior from Tujunga, Calif., was the story in game two as he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. The right-hander went eight innings and recorded 12 strikeouts, both team season-highs. In improving to 4-1 he threw 106 pitches, and gave up just four hits and one earned run.
“Noteware was dominating,” Picone said. “His stuff was good. He had good command of his fastball, and the command of his slider is always real good.”
A leadoff double by Payne helped the Warriors score one run in the top of the first, but the team’s bats went silent from there.
Finally in the seventh, LCSC added to its narrow 1-0 lead thanks to a clutch RBI double by Connor Moore followed by a two-run home run by Eric Peterson to left-center. It was Peterson’s second long ball of the season.
“Connor Moore’s hit with two outs I think was the big hit of the game,” said Picone. “And then Peterson followed with the home run. I thought those two at bats really changed the game.”
The Red Hawks broke up Noteware’s no-hit bid and scored a run in the bottom of the inning, but it proved to be too little too late. The Warriors scored an insurance run in the eighth with an RBI triple by Bridges, and added another in the ninth via a leadoff triple by Payne.
The win marks the ninth straight game that Warrior pitchers have allowed two earned runs or less. The team’s ERA is now at a season-low 3.12.
“Coming into this weekend I thought our pitching was getting better. If we can finish this series off, it’ll be another sign that our pitching is going in the right direction.”