Linfield hangs on to clip Warriors 4-3
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Freshman Aaron Thomassen went 7.1 innings and struck out seven to help Linfield College defeat Lewis-Clark State College 4-3 on Friday afternoon. The No. 9-ranked Warriors rallied late to score in the eighth and ninth, but ended up leaving the tying run stranded at first.
“He (Thomassen) was good, but I don’t think we competed real well today,” said LCSC head coach Gary Picone. “We just weren’t as competitive at the plate as we needed to be. He out competed us.”
The nonleague loss brings LCSC to 39-12, while the NCAA Division-III Wildcats improve to 23-15. Friday’s game was part of a four-team round-robin tournament hosted by Linfield. The Warriors will face George Fox University on Saturday at noon.
Thomassen, a 6-foot-1 right-hander, kept the Warriors scoreless and hitless for the first four frames. He surrendered a solo home run to Mitchell Wilhite (pictured above) in the fifth, but quickly rebounded and put up zeros in the sixth and seventh.
Wilhite’s homer, his first of the season, foiled Thomassen’s no-hitter and shutout and put a dent in the three-run lead that Linfield produced with a little luck and a couple big hits in the second.
The Wildcats’ second-inning rally began with a pop-up single that somehow found its way to the grass in shallow left field, and was followed by a similar flare to shallow right field that just barely fell in. The bloops were followed by blasts as next came a two-run double by Zach Boskovich and a one-run double by Kevin Allan.
Linfield then added another in the fifth via an RBI double by Jordan Harlow to bring it back to a three-run game at 4-1.
In the eighth, Thomassen showed signs of tiring and the Warriors took advantage. Trent Bridges, who was playing in his first game since April 7 because of a broken finger, started the effort with a one-out single up the middle. Thomassen walked the next batter, and was taken out of the game. Alfonso Casillas then welcomed relief pitcher Casey Cameron with a line drive up the middle to score bridges and make it 4-2.
In the ninth, Connor Moore drove a two-out single into left field to plate Jordan Payne and make it 4-3, but the following batter popped up to end the game.
Thomassen improves to 2-0 with the win. He surrendered four hits and two walks. Cameron pitched 1.2 innings and gave up three hits and a run in earning his first save.
Noteware, who pitched a complete game shutout against Linfield last week, was tabbed with just his second loss of the season. The right-hander struck out five and surrendered four runs (all earned), seven hits, and one walk. He is now 9-2 overall.
“I thought he pitched well,” Picone said about Noteware. “He wasn’t as sharp early as he’d like to be, but he was fine.”
Both teams had seven hits apiece. The Warriors did not commit an error, while Linfield had one.
“We had some offense towards the end, but it wasn’t enough. We didn’t have enough good at bats to win the game.”