Miller lifts LCSC in opener in split with Owls
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - Braxton Miller drove in a season-high six RBI on a pair of three-run home runs in the opening game, but the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team was foiled in its attempt to claim a doubleheader sweep when it committed three errors in the second game and wound up with a split in an NAIA West twinbill against Oregon Tech on Sunday.
Miller's performance helped the Warriors to an 11-6 win in the opener, but Oregon Tech claimed only its third win over the Warriors in 23 games with a 7-6 triumph in the second contest.
LCSC is now 31-10 overall and 20-6 in NAIA West play, while Oregon Tech is 16-26 and 9-14. The two teams complete their four games series with an 11 a.m. contest on Monday. LCSC won Friday's opener between the two 6-1.
Miller, a senior from Tracy, Calif., helped LCSC stretch its win streak to five games in Sunday's opener by collecting a team high in RBI for this season. It's the third time in Miller's career that he has had multi-home run games.
Miller's performance backed a strong outing by senior pitcher Anthony Armanino, who improved to 7-1 on the season, which tied him for the team lead in wins with Michael Noteware. Armanino struck out 10 in his seven innings of work. He allowed just five hits, two runs, and three walks. Zach Clanton pitched the final two innings, but gave up four runs in the ninth inning.
Oregon Tech was then able to carry that ninth inning momentum into the second game and capture the win, albeit with LCSC's help. The Warriors had four errors in the contest, which led to four unearned runs.
In the opener, Miller had help at the plate from Connor Moore, who had his first three-hit game of the season. Bobby Tannehill also had three hits and drove in two runs, while Moore also finished with two RBI.
LCSC jumped on the Owls early for an 8-2 lead after four innings. LCSC grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first when Moore doubled, Eric Peterson drew a one-out walk, and Miller homered to right-center field.
In the second, LCSC made it 5-0 when Moore singled in a run, while an error accounted for another tally.
Oregon Tech picked up its only two runs off of Armanino with three doubles in the bottom of the second, but LCSC answered with three in the top of the fourth when walks to Moore and Peterson set up Miller's second home run, a shot to left-center field.
LCSC made it 9-2 in the fifth on an RBI single by Moore, while Tannehill made it 11-2 in the eighth with a two-run double.
Clanton gave up six hits in the ninth inning when Oregon Tech scored four times.
In the second game, LCSC's defense, which had committed only two errors in its previous four games, had three costly errors that proved to be the Warriors' downfall. The setback marked the first time LCSC lost to Oregon Tech on the road in the series, which LCSC now leads 20-3 overall.
Miller continued his strong showing at the plate with a 2-of-5 performance with an RBI, while Peterson went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Jordan Payne went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
LCSC starter Austin Pentecost gave up five hits and six runs - only three earned - in five innings of work, while Terik Gofinch allowed one hit and one unearned run in his three innings. Gofinch, who struck out three and didn't walk a batter, took the loss to fall to 1-1 on the season.
The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first of the second game when Miller doubled in a run, but Oregon Tech scored three times in the second with the help of an LCSC error.
Both teams picked up a run in the third as Moore had an RBI single for LCSC. The Warriors added a run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Payne, and then scored three times in the fifth for a 6-4 lead. In the fifth, Peterson, Miller and Tannehill singled to load the bases with no outs. After a wild pitch scored the first run, an error on a grounder hit by Billy Silvestri brought in another run. Aaron DeGuire's sacrifice fly scored the final run for the Warriors.
Oregon Tech tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with the help of a walk, a pair of singles, and a sacrifice fly.
Both teams then went scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when a double, a sacrifice bunt and a two-out error by LCSC on a ground ball allowed the eventual game-winning run to score.
Although it receives an automatic berth to the 10-team Avista NAIA World Series and doesn't participate in the West conference tournament, LCSC leads the NAIA West standings by three games over College of Idaho. Oregon Tech is currently in seventh place.