Early blast helps Warriors knock off Coyotes in elimination game
LEWISTON, Idaho – A three-run bomb by Braxton Miller and a complete-game effort by Anthony Armanino lifted the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team past the College of Idaho in a loser-out game at the Avista NAIA World Series on Saturday. The Warriors topped the Coyotes by a final score of 5-1.
“I thought Armanino dominated the game,” said LCSC head coach Gary Picone. “Obviously we got off to a pretty good start, and this game him room to breathe just to know that the game wouldn’t be over with just one pitch.”
Miller’s long ball came with two outs and on a 1-2 split-finger fastball. He drove it on a line well over the left-field fence and into the general admission section of Harris Field. It was the senior’s 10th home run of the season. To watch it click here.
“Braxton’s homer gave us a positive lift—a positive lift coming off of last night.”
The three-run shot was all Armanino needed as he turned in a gutsy 133-pitch performance. The right-handed junior struck out eight while surrendering just one earned run, eight hits, and two walks. He improves to 10-1 with the win.
“I thought he was real good for nine innings. It was a pretty special performance,” said Picone. “He mixed his three pitches well and threw them all for strikes, and when he does that he’s difficult to deal with.”
With eight hits in the game, College of Idaho had opportunities to score but was unable to cash in. The Coyotes left 10 men on base including three in the ninth. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out in the final frame, and this brought Picone out to the mound for a visit with his starter.
“When I went to the mound, I had doubt,” said Picone. “He (Armanino) said, ‘I’m gonna finish the game’ and I turned around and went back to the dugout.”
Armanino then induced former Warrior Zachary Fabricius to pop up to the shortstop and the following batter, Coyotes’ top hitter Izaac Garsez, flew out to left to end the game.
The win lifts the Warriors to 42-13 overall, while the Coyotes’ season comes to an end with a record of 41-21. LCSC, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, will play next on Monday at noon against the loser of Saturday’s contest between No. 1 seed LSU Shreveport and No. 9 seed Rogers State University.
The Warriors had 11 hits in the game including three in the first inning to set the table for Miller and two in the third when they pushed the score to 5-0. Alfonso Casillas hit an RBI single to left to plate the run in the third. LCSC left only three runners stranded on base against the Coyotes after leaving nine men on base in its loss to Oklahoma City on Friday.
LCSC’s 1-2-3 batters; Jordan Payne, Kyle Knigge, and Trent Bridges; had two hits apiece. Jarel Lewis and pitcher Todd Griffiths had two hits each for C of I.
Griffiths threw all nine innings for the Coyotes. He struck out five, and gave up 11 hits, five runs (one earned), and no walks.