LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team and Western Oregon University shared the winnings at Saturday afternoon’s doubleheader at Harris Field. The No. 8 Warriors rolled to a 4-1 win in the opening game, and the NCAA Division II Wolves answered with an 11-2 rout in game two.
The split pushes Lewis-Clark State to 9-2 overall, while Western Oregon moves to 4-6. The two teams will wrap up the four-game series with a noon contest on Sunday.
LCSC didn’t tear the cover off the ball in either game but benefited from strong pitching and timely hitting in game one.
Garrett Wilson earned the win (3-0) in the opener after lasting 5 2/3 innings. The junior surrendered eight hits, but struck out three and gave up just one unearned run. Through 18 2/3 innings this season, his ERA remains a perfect 0.00.
Warrior reliever David Murillo dominated the final 3 1/3 innings to pick up the save. He struck out five, walked none, and surrendered just two hits. The junior entered the game in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and escaped the jam with a soft line out to shortstop.
Starter A.J. Burke went the distance for Wolves and kept the Warriors off the scoreboard in all but two innings. Through eight frames, he struck out six, walked three, and surrendered eight hits and four earned runs.
Shortstop Ryan Sells utilized his speed to score LCSC’s first run in the fourth inning. He led off with a single to left field, stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on right fielder Cody Lavalli’s bloop single to right.
The Wolves took advantage of a fielding error to plate a run in the top of the fifth, but the Warriors answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Second baseman Brian Corliss drove in one of the runs with a hit-and-run single through the left side of the infield, and third baseman Brady Steiger plated the other two with a two-out hard-hit ground ball back up the middle.
Steiger (pictured above), who leads the team with a .517 batting average, has now hit safely in all eight games he’s played in this year.
Western Oregon finished with 10 hits in the game, but squandered a couple of opportunities (including two because of picked off runners) and ended up with 10 men left on base.
The Wolves made up for their offensive shortfall though with a downpour of scoring in game two.
With 15 hits, Western Oregon plated three runs in the third, three in the fourth, one in the sixth, and four in the ninth. The team’s first four batters in the lineup went a combined 10-for-19 with seven runs and 10 RBI’s.
Blake Miller (3-for-5), Daniel McNabb (2-for-5), and David Scott (2-for-4) drove in three runs apiece. Chris Bradshaw was 3-for-5 and Josh Solemsaas was 2-for-4. McNabb had Western’s only extra-base hit, a three-run triple in the ninth.
On the mound, Western Oregon starter Gary Steindorf cruised through seven scoreless innings, striking out 10 while giving up five hits. The 6-foot-4 sophomore threw 102 pitches to pick up his first win of the year.
The loss snaps the Warriors’ five-game win streak, but they’ll have a chance to avenge the setback in Sunday’s finale. The Warriors will also travel to Western Oregon for four games (Monmouth, Ore.) in late April.