Wright delivers gem for Warriors; Starting pitcher goes the distance
in L-C's 8-1 triumph over Alberston
Copyright of The Trib
By BRENNAN GAUSE
Of the Tribune
With the Warriors' schedule reaching the tail end of the season,
Lewis-Clark State coach Ed Cheff is looking to get his starting pitching
geared up for the postseason.
On Wednesday, Kyle Wright made a solid case for his inclusion in the
Wright tossed L-C's second complete game of the season to lead the
Warriors to an 8-1 victory over Albertson at Harris Field.
"We're getting in the stage of the season where we're going to have to
use (Wright) as one of our key starters," said Cheff, whose team climbs to
33-6. "Him and (Carlos) Fisher and (Ben) Newton, (Derrick) Landavazo and
(Brad) Davis -- we'll probably extend all those guys some."
Albertson, 19-13, scored its only run in the first inning when Wright
walked Greg Stalling on four straight pitches to start the game. Stalling
promptly stole second and then moved to third on a fly ball to right field
by Jake McGrady. Stalling crossed the plate moments later on a single up the
middle by Charlie Strandlund.
The Coyotes consistently came up short from there on, despite having
numerous chances. Perhaps as impressive as his final stat line -- one earned
run on seven hits with six strikeouts -- was Wright's ability to work out of
jams. The Coyotes had runners reach base in every inning except the seventh
but came up empty in every frame but the first.
"We wanted to run him as far as we could," Cheff said, "and we were just
hoping we could get him in under 120 pitches and get a complete game. So
yeah, it was what we wanted to see from him."
Wright was helped out defensively by catcher Dan Morrow. Morrow caught
courtesy runner Alex Tiede attempting to steal in the second inning and
stopped numerous balls in the dirt to keep runners from moving up on the
"He blocked more balls tonight than some guys see in a season," Cheff
said. "There's not many catchers who would have blocked as many balls as
well as Morrow did tonight. That made things really easy for Wright."
Other than Wright's performance and the final score, there wasn't much to
brag about from L-C's perspective. The Warriors collected only four hits on
the night, but still flourished on the scoreboard thanks to seven walks, six
hit batters and five Albertson errors.
"They gave us a lot, we didn't earn a lot," Cheff said.
"We didn't make the plays defensively," Albertson coach Shawn Humberger
said. "We got a good starting pitching performance -- didn't make the plays
defensively. We created enough scoring opportunities to win the game, and we
didn't get the clutch hits."
L-C poked its first run across the plate in the third inning. leadoff
batter Matt Vogel was hit by a pitch and then stole second. Antoine McLeod
slapped a single to right field to move him around to third, and Vogel came
in to score soon after on a wild pitch by Coyote starter Matt Bergstrom.
The Warriors took advantage of more Albertson miscues in the fifth
inning. Another hit batter started things of for L-C as Morrow stepped in
front of a Bergstrom offering. McLeod reached on an error one batter later,
and with runner on second and third, Joey Dyche lined a shot right back at
Bergstrom. The ball bounced of Bergstrom's leg, but after fielding the
ricochet cleanly Bergstrom tossed the ball past the first baseman and into
right field, allowing Morrow to score easily.
The situation quickly worsened for Albertson. Right fielder Zach Park
picked up Bergstrom's errant toss and tried to throw out McLeod, who had
rounded third and was streaking for home. But Park's throw went wide of
catcher Nate Freese as McLeod crossed the plate, allowing Dyche to score as
"We gave them some runs just by not playing catch," Humberger said.
The Warriors added four more runs in the eighth inning as Dyche hit an
RBI double, and Brandon Morris came through with a bases-loaded single that
drove in another pair.
L-C faces Albertson again tonight at 6:30 before traveling to Caldwell
for Saturday and Sunday games against the same squad.
NOTES -- L-C pitcher Carlos Fisher may not pitch this week as he is
absent from the team because of an illness in the family, Cheff said. ...
Dyche's double in the seventh inning extended his hitting streak to nine
games and kept him at .500 for the season.