L-C holds off Pirates; Warriors take a pair from Whitworth, 5-0
By JIM BROWITT
of the Tribune
Offensive outbursts were conspicuously rare
Saturday at Harris Field, for one game let alone two. When it came
to multi-run innings over the afternoon-evening doubleheader,
Lewis-Clark State mustered only a pair.
But Whitworth was even less animated at the plate.
Aside from a for-naught rally at the tail end of the day, L-C
pitchers kept the Pirates entirely under wraps. The Warriors carved
out 5-0 and 4-3 decisions that upped their winning streak to 13
games and pushed them past the 40-victory plateau for the 26th
L-C, 41-6 and the NAIA's top-ranked team, managed just 17 hits on
the day, none of which came from Joey Dyche. After going 0-for-3 in
the opener to end a hitting streak at 15 games, the marvelous center
fielder sat out the ensuing contest, leaving him at an even .500,
still ahead of the school's 22-year-old record for season batting
Not that these lulls mattered much. Four Warriors, the hub being
Chris Kissock (four shutout relief innings, three hits, two
strikeouts), combined on a seven-hitter in the opener, L-C's eighth
shutout this spring.
And a similar pitching configuration in the second game --
Derrick Landavazo (four perfect innings, six strikeouts) was the
featured individual here -- produced a four-hitter.
"By and large, we pitched very well," said Warrior coach Ed
Cheff, whose team's earned run average stands at 2.18, another
threat to a longtime program record. "Things got a little sloppy (in
the ninth inning of the nightcap), but that really hasn't happened
Nate Kuhns, who relieved Landavazo to start the sixth and worked
three sharp innings, stammered in the ninth. He walked leadoff
hitter Dan Gebbers and, after a Nick Froman single, walked Danny
Pecka to load the bases.
At that point Jason Garcia was summoned from the bullpen. After
Kyle Henderson greeted him with an RBI single through the right
side, Garcia got the inning's first out by inducing Joel Evans into
a sacrifice fly.
With the potential tying run at second base, Garcia got Riley
Hunter to fly out to center then struck out pinch hitter Jason
Martin on three straight pitches to pocket the save, his second.
After Whitworth got on the board with one run in the first off
starter Brad Davis, L-C scored twice in the bottom of the inning by
way of a two-base throwing error following Justin Fuller's infield
single and Allen Balmer's sacrifice fly.
Jose Castenon had an RBI single in the fourth and Balmer an RBI
infield single in the seventh.
Balmer belted his fourth home run -- first from the right side of
the plate -- in the opener, a solo shot in the ninth inning. But
Matt Vogel delivered that game's most consequential hit, smacking
his first home run, a three-run drive in the sixth.
Whitworth, 19-17, an NCAA Division III team that will close out
its season today in a game against the Warriors beginning at noon,
got complete-game pitching efforts from Dan Lundeberg and Cody
NOTES -- Both L-C starters, Carlos Fisher and Davis, threw just
one inning apiece. Cheff intends to start the two in the Warriors'
games Tuesday and Wednesday at Gonzaga and Washington State,
respectively. ... Kissock (5-1) and Landavazo (6-1) were awarded the
victories. ... Senior designated hitter-first baseman Brandon Morris
sat out both games with back spasms. ... Junior outfielder Antoine
McLeod rejoined the team, seeing action in both games. McLeod was
suspended two weeks ago for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Cheff said Nic Benton, a sophomore outfielder who was suspended
along with McLeod, will not rejoin the team this spring.