Warriors shutout UBC in series opener
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Austin Pentecost threw seven scoreless innings to help the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team blank the University of British Columbia 6-0 in a rainy NAIA West Division game on Friday afternoon.
The No. 15-ranked Warriors improve to 22-8 overall and 12-4 in league play, while UBC dips to 18-10 and 11-6. The four-game series will continue with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and wrap up with an 11 a.m. game on Sunday, both times are Pacific.
With the exception of one inning, it was smooth sailing for Pentecost, a 6-foot-2 senior who is now 5-2 on the year. The right-hander struck out seven and surrendered just one walk and five hits—all of them singles.
"He pitched really well," said LCSC head coach Gary Picone. "He controlled the game with his fastball most of the way. They (the Thunderbirds) only threatened him one time."
The Warriors were able to give Pentecost a lead to work with early in the game thanks to a clutch at bat by Bobby Tannehill in the second. The junior came to the plate with two outs and men on first and second and drove in both runners with a double.
LCSC then added a run in the top of the fifth with a couple of singles and a sac fly by Billy Silvestri. This made the score 3-0.
In the bottom of the inning, however, the Thunderbirds led off with three consecutive singles to load the bases and put LCSC’s lead in jeopardy. Pentecost got the first out of the inning with a groundball to the third baseman and a force out at home. The second out came via strikeout. And the third came on a fly ball to center field.
LCSC held the Thunderbirds hitless for the remainder of the game. Mitchell Wilhite threw the final two frames, striking out two, to earn the save.
Alfonso Casillas, who was 3-for-5, gave the Warriors some extra cushion in the ninth with a three-run home run. It was his team-leading eighth blast of the season.
LCSC ended up with eight hits and no errors.
"I thought it was one of our better games of the year," said Picone. "Pentecost pitched well, we got some timely hits, and we didn't make any mistakes defensively."
The series is being played on the all-turf field of Thunderbird Park. If not for the turf and its ability to hold up to wet weather, Friday's game, which featured a constant drizzle, probably would have been postponed.