LEWISTON, Idaho – The seventh-ranked Lewis-Clark State College baseball team bounced back from a demoralizing opening-game loss to thump the University of British Columbia in the second game of a Friday doubleheader at Harris Field.
After the Thunderbirds jumped all over LCSC starting pitcher Anthony Armanino and the Warriors in a 16-1 rout in the first game, the Warriors pounded out 16 hits off three UBC pitchers to earn a 12-2 victory in the nightcap.
Lewis-Clark State (37-12, 21-5 NAIA West) will be in position to not only win the series with UBC over the weekend, but to also wrap up the NAIA West region championship.
The Warriors sit comfortably in front of 19-9 Menlo for the top spot in the conference. UBC moves to 30-17 overall and 18-9 in the conference with Friday’s split.
After being outplayed in every phase of the first game on Friday, Warrior coach Jeremiah Robbins didn’t have much in the way of galvanizing speeches before the second game began.
“We got embarrassed, and there’s one of two ways to respond to that. You continue getting embarrassed, or you start to embarrass somebody else,” Robbins said. “The way we responded in the second game was a good sign.”
The Warriors came out right away against Thunderbirds starter Alex Graham in the nightcap, scoring a pair of first-inning runs and taking advantage of a defensive miscue by UBC.
The Thunderbirds came back with two in the bottom of the first against LCSC starter Carsen Nylund, but the Warriors put up six runs in the bottom of the third inning to blow the game open.
Nylund, Sal Arena and Colton Wright combined to shut out the Thunderbirds over the final seven innings.
Kyle Blackwell had a two-run single in the big third inning for the Warriors, and LCSC again capitalized on an error by UBC.
When Nylund had to leave the game with two outs in the fifth with a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand, Arena came in to toss 2.1 innings of 2-hit relief to earn his first victory of the season.
Bobby Joe Tannehill went 4-for-6 in the game with a double and three singles. He also scored twice and drove in a run.
“He’s done a great job of getting on base for us even when he doesn’t get hits,” Robbins said. “His body is pretty banged up too, but he still finds ways to get it done for us. It’s demanding to be playing shortstop every single day, but he’s done a really good job.”
Tannehill was also 3-for-4 in the first game, but it wasn’t nearly enough to offset the 23 hits the Thunderbirds rapped out against the Warriors.
Jerod Bartnik hit two home runs in the game for UBC, and Brody Hawkins went 5-for-6 with two doubles and three RBI.
The Warriors will return to action Saturday at noon against UBC, with Steve Thompson taking the hill for Lewis-Clark State.