Warriors wrap up regular season with 10-1 win
MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – Braxton Miller and Kevin Hawk drove in four runs apiece while four Lewis-Clark State College pitchers combined on a six-hitter to help the Warriors end their regular season with a 10-1 triumph over Pacific Lutheran at Linfield College on Sunday.
The contest was part of the Linfield Tournament that featured three NCAA Division III teams and the Warriors. LCSC went 2-1 in the round-robin tournament to finish 41-12 on the season.
The Warriors, ranked No. 9 in the NAIA, are now off until May 25 when the Avista NAIA World Series kicks off at LCSC’s Harris Field. As the host team, the Warriors receive an automatic berth while 45 teams take part in nine opening round tournaments to determine the other participants for the 10-team double-elimination tournament at Lewiston.
LCSC looked sharp in ending the regular season on Sunday. The Warriors collected 12 hits, including Hawk’s first home run of the season, and made the most of their scoring opportunities as they left only five baserunners stranded.
“Overall, I thought our offense was better,” LCSC coach Gary Picone said. “Today we capitalized on the opportunities we had. We got hits in key situations better than we have been. I thought we played well all weekend.
Junior left-hander Anthony Armanino, who was named first-team All-NAIA West a day earlier, improved to 9-1 on the season with another strong outing. He allowed four hits and one run over six innings. He also struck out three and didn’t issue a walk.
Relievers Terik Gofinch, Garrett Tygerson, and Sal Arena all pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
Hawk, a sophomore catcher, collected a season high four RBI as he went 2-for-4 at the plate with a three-run home run. Miller, who earned first-team all-conference honors as a utility player, went 2-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored.
Miller helped the Warriors roll in the second inning with four runs. Alfonso Casillas walked and singles by Kyle Knigge and Billy Silvestri loaded the bases with no outs. Miller tripled to right to drive in three and later scored on a ground out by Jordan Payne.
Pacific Lutheran used a pair of singles, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly for its only run in the fourth. LCSC responded with three each in the sixth and the eighth to win going away.
In the top of the sixth, Casillas again started the rally with a double to left. Silvestri was hit by a pitch and Hawk, on a 3-1 count, homered to right field.
Casillas again was the rally starter in the eight with his second double of the game. Knigge and Silvestri both singled to load the bases and Miller picked up his fourth RBI with a sacrifice fly. Hawk singled in Knigge, while Connor Moore’s sacrifice fly scored Silvestri.
Casillas and Silvestri both finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored while Knigge was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Picone said the team will take some time off this week for finals and then gear it up next weekend.
“We will do a variety of things to try and maintain our game competitiveness,” Picone said. “And we’ll try to get healthy.”
The Warriors will have to cut their roster to 24 players by the start of the Series.