LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team opened its four-game series with Western Oregon University with an 8-2 win at Harris Field on Friday afternoon. Starter Anthony Armanino steered the No. 8 Warriors with seven solid innings on the mound.
The victory, which comes against new Warrior head coach Jeremiah Robbins’ former team, lifts Lewis-Clark State to 8-1 and extends the team’s winning streak to four games.
Armanino, a senior who went 10-1 last season, surrendered just three hits and one run (unearned). The left-hander, who is now 2-1, threw 91 pitches and recorded three strikeouts and one walk. Carsen Nylund pitched the final two frames and gave up one run while striking out three.
LCSC’s bats, which are producing an average of 10 runs per game, were quiet early on but made some noise in the later innings thanks, in part, to a couple of breaks. The Warriors surrendered a run because of a throwing error in the first inning, but Western Oregon returned the favor with defensive woes in the fifth.
A four-run fifth-inning rally started when Sako Chapjian lifted a high-fly ball to left field. Perhaps due to the combination of how deep it was and the wind, the ball was misjudged by the left fielder and Chapjian ended up at second base with a double. The next batter, Kyle Blackwell, reached base via a groundball toward the middle that the shortstop had to rush the throw on. The throw pulled the first baseman off the bag and this put runners at first and third. Zach Holley then loaded the bases when his bunt was mishandled by the first baseman.
A walk and a sacrifice fly later and the Warriors had two runs in, and then Ryan Sells rapped a double to make the score 4-1.
In the sixth, a Blackwell double off the wall near the foul pole in left followed by a single to center field by Holley pushed the lead to 5-1. And in the seventh, LCSC scored two more with a sac fly and a double by Eric Peterson.
Starter Spenser Watkins was tagged with the loss. The right-handed junior went five innings, surrendering just one earned run (four total) and striking out nine.
The Warriors’ final run came in the eighth as a result of three singles, including an RBI drive to center by Brady Steiger.
Western Oregon (3-5), an NCAA Division II school, was outhit by LCSC 12-6. Sells and Blackwell led the game with three hits apiece. Steiger, Holley, and Western Oregon’s Josh Wong had two hits each.
The series will continue with a doubleheader starting at noon on Saturday and wrap up with a noon game on Sunday.