LEWISTON, Idaho – After averaging nearly 13 runs per game so far this season, the No. 8-ranked Lewis-Clark State College baseball team hit a brick wall on Friday at Harris Field on day one of the Guardian Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Tournament. The wall came in the form of 6-foot left-hander Skye Adams who pitched a complete-game two-hitter to lead Central Washington over the Warriors 2-1.
Adams, a junior from Vancouver, Wash., wasn’t overpowering but was able to keep the Warriors off balance with effective off-speed pitches and good location.
“I thought he mixed and matched very well with a couple different pitches,” said LCSC head coach Jeremiah Robbins who has the Warriors off to a 4-1 start. “He had a decent little changeup and could spot his fastball, and he produced a lot of weak fly balls.”
Adams, now 2-0 this season, struck out six and induced 13 fly outs.
“We kind of went away from the approach we had last weekend and we tried to pull the ball a lot,” Robbins said. “Those lefties will do that to you. A good hitting team’s nemesis is a left-handed pitcher that has a couple good pitches to go with his fastball.”
Warrior center fielder Jake Shirley led the game off with a walk and a stolen base, and first baseman Brady Steiger followed with a two-out single through the right side, however, this was the only offense the team would muster.
“It’s an early season wakeup call. Teams are going to come after you. Pitchers are going to compete their best against you. You got to answer the bell. When you don’t answer the bell you’re going to get two hits and lose 2-1.”
The Warriors opposed Adams with a lefty of their own in Anthony Armanino. The senior went seven innings, struck out six, and surrendered eight hits in the losing effort. Steven Thompson pitched two hitless innings in relief, striking out three.
The Wildcats plated their first run with three singles, including a two-out RBI single by Justin Peterson, in the fourth, and added the go-ahead run via three more singles in the seventh. Marc Garza drove in the final run with a two-out drive to center field.
Of Central Washington’s eight hits, none of them were for extra bases.
“They both competed really well,” Robbins said about Armanino and Thompson. “They kept us in the game the whole time, and offensively we just sat back and hit fly balls. Championship teams don’t do that.”
The Warriors will have a chance to return to their high-scoring ways on Saturday when the tournament continues with three more games. Concordia (Ore.) will face Central Washington at 10 a.m., and the Warriors will face Concordia (2-5) at 1 p.m. and College of Idaho (2-4) at 4 p.m.
“Tomorrow we get 18 innings of baseball. Hopefully our guys will be excited about that and come out a different team... Sometimes when you open up your season and cruise to four wins you kind of get a misleading read on the way the game is going to be played. Our guys need to learn from this, and be the team they know they can be.”
In the two other tournament games on Friday, College of Idaho defeated Concordia 3-2 before falling to Central Washington 8-7.