MONMOUTH, Ore. – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team could not cash in on its offensive opportunities Sunday, losing 2-1 to Western Oregon University at WOU Baseball Field.
The Warriors, ranked fifth in the NAIA, left 10 men on base against the NCAA Division II Wolves, who made two third-inning runs stand up in the win.
Senior right-hander Seth Haehl pitched well enough to win for LCSC (36-11), allowing the two runs on just five hits in eight innings of work. He struck out two and did not walk a batter in suffering his first loss of the season (2-1).
Haehl has made four strong starts in a row since replacing the injured Garrett Wilson in the weekend rotation for LCSC.
A.J. Burke got the victory for Western Oregon (25-17), working six innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts and two walks. Burke allowed one earned run in the sixth inning, but three relievers combined to throw three scoreless frames to close out the Warriors.
The Warriors had runners in scoring position in four innings on Sunday, but only scored once, on a pinch-hit RBI single by Stephan Adams in the sixth inning that cut the Wolves’ lead to 2-1.
Western Oregon scored twice in the third on a two-run single by shortstop Blake Miller, who was 11-for-18 with nine RBI in the four-game series against the Warriors.
The game stayed at 2-0 until the sixth, when the Warriors got on the board. After an out, LCSC right fielder Cody Lavalli extended his hitting streak to 17 games, tying Brady Steiger’s run for the longest by a Warrior this season, with a double off the right field fence.
Kyle Blackwell, who had six hits in his return to WOU after playing for the Wolves last season, moved Lavalli up to third with an infield single. Adams, pinch-hitting for Eric Peterson, shot the first pitch he saw from Burke into left field to score Lavalli.
But Burke retired the next two LCSC batters to maintain the Wolves 2-1 lead.
The Warriors had runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh inning and second and third with two outs in the eighth inning, but couldn’t get a clutch hit on either occasion.
WOU closer Kody Stone got the final three outs for his 11th save of the season.
The Warriors return to Harris Field next weekend to host British Columbia in their final NAIA West series of the 2013 season. The series schedule is slightly different from the usual slate, with a doubleheader on Friday and single games on Saturday and Sunday.