LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team scored three runs and put the tying run on first base in the ninth inning, but five errors made the deficit too big and the No. 8 Warriors fell to Western Oregon 10-8 on Saturday afternoon at Harris Field. The four-game series between the two teams ends in a split, 2-2.
“When you have as many errors as you have hits you’re not going to win very many baseball games,” LCSC head coach Jeremiah Robbins said, referencing his team’s final line score of eight runs, five hits, and five errors. “We didn’t do the job defensively. We had shutdown-inning opportunities and we kicked the ball.”
One of the biggest missed opportunities came in the seventh inning when a fielding error on a groundball to shortstop foiled what could have been an inning-ending double play. Instead, Western Oregon (5-6) loaded the bases and Daniel McNabb cleared them with a three-run triple to break a 5-5 tie.
In the ninth, the Warriors (9-3) gave themselves a chance to win, but fell just short. LCSC scored two runs and loaded the bases with just one out, but a sacrifice fly and a strikeout ended the threat.
Western’s Kody Stone took the mound with the bases loaded in the ninth and escaped the jam to earn the save. Jesse Pratt came on in relief for the Wolves and pitched fiving innings to pick up the win. LCSC’s Steve Thompson surrendered four hits and three unearned runs in relief and was tabbed with the loss.
“We competed. We fought hard. But we made it tougher with all the errors.”
Only four of the Wolves' runs were earned as LCSC also surrendered two runs in the first inning thanks to an infielder error.
“We need to really start focusing on a better practice session, and No. 1 we need to start getting guys healthy,” Robbins said. “We’re playing some guys out of position that shouldn’t be out there.”
Those among the sidelined players include infielders Cody Weiss and Bobby Joe Tannehill, outfielder Kyle Knigge, and starting pitchers Mike Noteware and Cordell Greene.
Lewis-Clark State took the first two games of the series, 8-2 and 4-1, but committed seven errors and was outscored 21-10 in the final two contests.
“The last two games are not a sign of what this team is or what we’re going to be.”
Western Oregon finished with 13 hits in the final game. McNabb, a junior outfielder, finished 4-for-4 with four RBI’s and three runs scored.
Brady Steiger continues to be the hottest bat in the Warrior lineup. The junior from Port Orchard, Wash., pounded a three-run double down the right-field line to give LCSC a short-lived 5-3 lead after three innings of play. He finished with two runs scored and four RBI’s and has had at least one hit in all nine games he’s played in this year.
The Warriors will take their first road trip of the season this week. They’ll travel to Saint Martin’s University (Lacey, Wash.) for a doubleheader on Thursday, and then face Corban University (Salem, Ore.) in a four-game series on Friday and Saturday.
“It’s been an odd early season so far,” said Robbins, “with the injuries popping up—about a new one every other day. But we’ll be fine. We’re learning some lessons. We’re learning the Warrior way.”