Warriors fall 9-6 in finale with Yotes
While the two middle games of the series were certainly creamy for the Warriors, the first and the last games were dark, crunchy and left the team with a dry mouth and without milk to wash it down.
In examining the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team’s four-game series with the College of Idaho, the Warriors’ performance was sort of like an Oreo cookie.
That was the case again for LC on Sunday as the 11th-ranked Warriors fell to the Coyotes 9-6 to split the Far West Conference series. LCSC is now 20-7 overall and 11-4 in league play, while College of Idaho is 19-8 and 5-3.
The Warriors committed three errors, including two during the Yotes’ big five-run fourth inning. LCSC’s defense allowed five unearned runs and the pitching staff gave up 12 hits.
In the first and last game of the series, LCSC combined to give up seven unearned runs and commit seven errors. In the two middle games, LCSC allowed only one run total and had just one error.
“I thought they (the Yotes) played well and hit the ball well,” LCSC coach Gary Picone said. “They outplayed us today and deserved to win.”
Despite falling behind 8-2, the Warriors did make things interesting, but left the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth. Overall, LCSC left 10 stranded in the game.
Warrior starter Carsen Nylund allowed eight hits and seven runs (only two earned) in his four innings. He took the loss to fall to 2-2 on the season. Seth Haehl allowed four hits and a run in his three innings, while Brock Jessup allowed a run but no hits in the final two frames.
College of Idaho starter Taylor Nicholson scattered 10 hits and five runs (three earned) through seven innings to pick up the win to go to 4-0 on the season. Todd Griffiths, who started the game at second base, closed out the game to earn his second save.
The Warriors started solid enough with a run in the first. Leadoff hitter Jordan Payne singled, stole second, and went to third on a throwing error. Trent Bridges’ sacrifice fly to right brought in Payne.
The Yotes took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-run single by Tanner Hodges with two outs. LCSC, however, tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Kyle Knigge’s RBI groundout.
LCSC’s infield then fell apart in the top of the fourth with two errors. The first error set up an RBI single by Tyler Andazk, while Izaac Garsez added a two-run double. Jarel Lewis added an RBI single, while the second error allowed the fifth run to score for a 7-2 Yotes’ advantage.
Todd Griffiths’ RBI single in the fifth made it 8-2, but LCSC struck for three runs in the seventh to climb back into the contest. Connor Moore singled to start the inning, and two consecutive ground outs moved him to third. Brandon Bufton then singled to center to score Moore and Bridges and Eric Peterson followed with singles, the latter scored Bufton. A throwing error allowed Bridges to score.
The two teams exchanged runs in the eighth. Garsez was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a suicide squeeze bunt, while LCSC loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning on a pair of walks and a single by Aaron DeGuire. A fielding error on a grounder scored a run, but that’s all LCSC could produce.
Payne, Peterson and DeGuire had two hits apiece for LCSC.
The Warriors continue action on Monday in the start of a four-game series with Embry-Riddle, which was ranked fifth in the NAIA preseason poll. The two teams play at 6 p.m. on Monday, then in a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Tuesday, and finish with a 6 p.m. contest on Wednesday.
“We always like the opportunity to find out where we are at by playing tough competition,” Picone said. “Hopefully we will come out and play better than we did today and find out how good we are.”