LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team bounced back from a tough night at the plate to pick up a pair of wins and a berth in the championship game of the Guardian Tournament on Saturday at Harris Field.
The Warriors improved to 6-1 on the season by defeating Concordia (Ore.) 13-2 in the afternoon and College of Idaho 5-1 in the nightcap.
LCSC will face Central Washington University in the tournament championship game on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Both teams finished the first two days of the tourney with 2-1 records.
Concordia and College of Idaho will square off at 11 a.m. in the consolation matchup. The Cavaliers and Yotes went 1-2 on the weekend.
Warrior head coach Jeremiah Robbins was pleased with the way his team rebounded after mustering just two hits in a loss to CWU on Saturday.
“I definitely liked our approach a lot better today,” he said. “We came out focused after an early-season wakeup call. We had a plan, and it was good to see our guys respond.”
LCSC capitalized on seven Concordia errors in its victory on Saturday afternoon, registering a pair of big innings to fuel the win.
With the game tied at two entering the fourth inning, the Warriors exploded for four runs on just two hits, as Concordia made errors on consecutive bunt plays to open the floodgates. An RBI single by Tariq Staton and Eric Peterson was hit by a pitch to force in another run.
David Murillo made his first appearance of the season on the mound in relief of starter Carsen Nylund to begin the fifth inning, and put up his first of four straight zeroes out of the bullpen.
The offense continued to take advantage of Concordia miscues, scoring six more times on four hits and two errors in the bottom of the fifth to put the game away.
Murillo worked four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two to earn the victory.
“David came into a tough situation for his first opportunity in a Warrior uniform, and pitched really well,” Robbins said. “We extended innings based on their miscues, but we created opportunities as well.”
Garrett Wilson took control of the second game from the outset, limiting College of Idaho to just four hits and one unearned run over seven strong innings. Wilson struck out six and walked two in improving to 2-0 on the season.
“Garrett threw very well again for us,” Robbins said. “He’s a bulldog out there and has a good tempo. He kept their hitters off balance and trusted his catcher.”
LCSC scored in their first three times at-bat, which was all the offense Wilson and reliever Sal Arena would need.
First baseman Jacob Cano and center fielder Zach Holley each registered three hits for the Warriors against the Yotes.
Due to a rash of early-season injuries, the Warriors had to go to the bench often this weekend, but it also provided an opportunity for guys to step up.
“It’s good to see,” Robbins said. “These guys have been competing together all fall, and they’re going about things the right way.”
Arena worked the eighth and ninth for his second save, and set up a championship matchup with CWU on Sunday. Cordell Greene will start on the mound for the Warriors, with first pitch scheduled for approximately 2 p.m.