McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Picking up their 40th win of the season with a 16-hit offensive outburst, the Lewis-Clark State College Warriors, ranked No. 9 in the NAIA, battered the George Fox University Bruins 10-2 on the second day of play in the Linfield College Baseball Tournament Saturday afternoon here at Roy Helser Field.
The Warriors began their assault in the top of the 1st as Trent Bridges and Eric Peterson singled with two out. When Peterson tried to advance to second as Bridges went to third, he was caught in a rundown, allowing Bridges to score. They made it 2-0 in the 3rd when Jordan Payne singled to right, moved up on a passed ball, and scored on a Connor Moore single to right.
The Bruins cut the lead in half in the last of the 3rd without a hit. L-C State starter Austin Pentecost issued consecutive one-out walks to Taylor Hunter, Danny Clifford, and Timothy Williams, then after striking out Nick Benish, walked John Mountz to force in Hunter.
In the 5th, Bridges doubled down the left-field line, made it to third on Peterson's fly to deep center, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Kyle Knigge. The Bruins got that one back in the 6th when Zach Miller walked, moved up on a balk and a sacrifice by Austin Egger, and scored on Todd Nagamine's grounder to second.
The Warriors, after stranding 12 runners through the first seven innings, put the game away in the 8th. George Fox reliever Eric Kittelson walked Payne and Moore to start the inning, bringing in Bobby Orozco. Bridges greeted him with a single to left, but Payne was thrown out at home, Derek Blankenship to Clifford to Egger, as the other runners reached second and third. Peterson delivered Moore and Bridges with a single to left. Knigge and Billy Silvestri singled to load the bases, and Braxton Miller lined a two-run single to right-center.
L-C State closed out the scoring with three in the 9th off Daniel Kephart. Alfonso Casillas lined a two-run double down the left-field line to score Payne and Moore, and Knigge's sacrifice fly plated Peterson.
Mitchell Wilhite (2-1), who relieved Pentecost in the 3rd, picked up the win for the Warriors with 5.1 innings of two-hit relief, striking out five with only one walk. Tom Zarosinski (1-7), the first of seven George Fox pitchers, suffered the setback, allowing three runs in five innings on seven hits, with two strikeouts and two walks.
Lewis-Clark State pounded out 16 hits in all and left 15 runners aboard. Bridges led the assault with four hits, Payne had three, and Peterson, Casillas, and Silvestri had two each. Lthough they had only four hits, the Bruins did draw eight walks, but failed to capitalize on their chances as they left 11 runners stranded.
Linfield and Pacific Lutheran University were to meet in Saturday's second game.
NEXT: Sunday's schedule, which will close the regular season for all four teams, has Lewis-Clark State (40-12) vs. Pacific Lutheran (24-14) at noon and Linfield (23-15) vs. George Fox (20-19) at 3:30 p.m. Linfield will provide live stats for both games on the Wildcats' baseball website at http://www.linfield.edu/sports/sports-stats/baseball-live-stats.html.