LEWISTON, Idaho – The seventh-ranked Lewis-Clark State College baseball team ended Hall of Fame Weekend with a bang, rallying from a five-run deficit to defeat the University of British Columbia 12-9 on Sunday afternoon at Harris Field.
Shortstop Bobby Joe Tannehill homered from both sides of the plate against the Thunderbirds, becoming the first Warrior since at least 2005 to accomplish that feat, and the LCSC bullpen picked up starter Seth Haehl to allow the team to save a split of the four-game series.
With the victory, Lewis-Clark State improves to 38-13 overall and 22-6 in the NAIA West. UBC falls to 25-16 overall and 19-9 in the region with the loss.
Down 7-2 entering the top of the sixth inning on Sunday, LCSC exploded for 10 unanswered runs over the next two frames before holding on for the win in the ninth.
Cody Lavalli and pinch-hitter Brian Corliss delivered RBI singles in the sixth inning to start the comeback, but LCSC put up seven runs in the seventh inning against UBC -- keyed by Tannehill’s three-run home run -- to take their first lead of the game.
Tannehill put LCSC on the board in the bottom of the first, homering from the left side of the plate against UBC starter Jeremy Newton. He then connected as a righty off Miles Verweel in the seventh, giving the Warriors a five-run cushion.
He went 2-for-5 in the game with five RBI and now has six homers on the season.
“It’s been good to see Bobby come out of his shell to do those things,” Warrior assistant coach Allen Balmer said. “He’s a special player.”
The tying and go-ahead runs came across earlier in the frame on a two-run double off the bat of Eric Peterson.
“It’s a good feeling to see the guys keep fighting and do what they did,” Balmer said. “We have to get them to be more consistent, but this is what they can do. It comes out of the middle of nowhere sometimes.”
Haehl got roughed up on the mound on Sunday, allowing eight hits and seven runs (four earned) in four innings of work, but the Warrior bullpen was superb in his stead.
Sal Arena worked two innings of scoreless relief, and Colton Wright earned his second victory out the bullpen – and first since March 16 -- with 2.1 innings out of the bullpen. Wright allowed two runs in the top of the ninth, but David Murillo struck out the final two batters of the game for his fourth save.
Lavalli, Kyle Blackwell and Peterson had three hits apiece for the Warriors, who banged out 17 total on Sunday.
LCSC will host the Inland Cellular Tournament at Harris Field next Saturday and Sunday, with NCAA Division III programs Linfield, Whitworth and Pacific Lutheran on hand. Linfield is the top-ranked team in Division III.
“You won’t see too many things change,” Balmer said of the Warriors’ approach to their final regular-season games of 2013 before the Avista-NAIA World Series begins on May 24. “We’re going to try and play hard against tough competition, and get ready for the World Series.”