Offense carries LCSC in finale with Owls
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team rapped a season-high 25 hits to overpower Oregon Tech in the final game of a four game series on Monday afternoon. The No. 9-ranked Warriors withstood the Owls’ late surge to win the game 17-11 and take the series three games to one.
The series finale featured scoring outbursts by both teams in the final two frames. The Warriors scored five runs to take a 13-5 lead in the eighth, but the Owls answered with six runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 13-11. In the ninth, LCSC added four runs to seal the deal.
“We hit the ball well all day,” said LCSC head coach Gary Picone. “We didn’t pitch well or play very good defense, but our offense made up for it.”
Monday’s hit total was just four short of the program record of 29 which was reached in 2002 against Central Washington and in 1987 against the College of Southern Idaho. The Warriors have now had 20 or more hits in three of their last six games.
Nine Warriors had multiple hits in the game including Billy Silvestri who had a team season-high five hits.
“Offensively our approach has been good lately. Today Silvestri, (Braxton) Miller, and (Bobby) Tannehill had a couple of really key hits for us.”
Miller, a senior from Tracy, Calif., drove in a game-high four runs on a 2-for-4 effort. He hit his team-leading ninth home run of the season, a two-run blast, in the eighth inning. Monday capped a very strong series for Miller during which he hit three home runs and had 11 runs batted in.
“He’s capable of being that kind of hitter on a consistent basis,” Picone said about Miller. “We’re missing three guys in the lineup, so we need guys like him to step up and he did.”
Because of injuries, the Warriors are without the regular services of position players Trent Bridges (fractured ring finger), Kyle Knigge (hip flexor), and Alfonso Casillas (quadriceps). Casillas did appear late in Monday’s game as a pinch hitter, however, Picone says that Casillas is still day-to-day. In his one at bat, Casillas lined a single to right field and was then pinch run for.
Jordan Payne, Tannehill, and Zach Holley added three hits apiece on Monday. Payne and Silvestri each had four runs scored.
The victory lifts LCSC to 21-6 in the NAIA West and to 32-10 overall, while Oregon Tech dips to 9-15 and 16-27.
The Owls collected 13 hits in the game, including three apiece from Ryan Hayden and Zack Earle, and made the Warriors a little uneasy with a rally in the eighth.
Thankfully for the Warriors, Seth Haehl entered in relief and was able to dodge out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth with a ground out followed by a groundball double play.
“I thought Haehl came in and did a good job and settled it down.”
The right-hander junior ended up earning the win to improve to 1-0. He pitched two shutout innings and surrendered one hit.
The Warriors will now return to Lewiston but they won’t have much time to rest before their next road trip. On Tuesday, a sized down LCSC roster will head to Spokane to face Whitworth at 2 p.m.
Because of facility limitations at the field in Spokane, KOZE Radio will not be broadcasting Tuesday’s game.