EUGENE, Ore. – There is nothing quite like going home, and Sam Olsson made that very clear on Friday. The Eugene, Ore., native had a monster day at the plate in his hometown where he went 6-for-9 with three home runs and eight RBI to help the No. 16 Warriors split with Bushnell. LC State Baseball fell in the first half of the twin bill by a final of 12-8 but bounced back in a big way for a 16-6 win in seven innings in game two. The Warrior bullpen stepped up to shut down the Beacon offense in the second contest of the day, and the offense combined for six home runs.
“Overall, offensively we sprayed the ball and displayed some power,” Head Coach Jake Taylor said. “We didn’t pitch with great consistency today and Bushnell capitalized on it. Big games tomorrow for both teams, so we need to be ready to compete with energy.”
The Warriors are now 27-14 overall and 12-10 in Cascade Conference play. A win tomorrow will secure a spot for LC State in the conference postseason tournament. A sweep for Bushnell puts the Beacons in the tournament.
GAME ONE: Bushnell def. No. 16 LC State 12-8
Bushnell struck first with a run on three hits in the bottom of the first, but a pair of home runs gave LC State a momentary lead in the next half-inning. Jakob Marquez stayed hot at the plate with a solo shot to spark the offense and Olsson began his day with a double off the wall in left-center. In his second game back since an injury sidelined him during the season-opening road trip, Charlie Updegrave came to the plate next and crushed a two-run shot to make it 3-1 Warriors.
The Beacons added a run in the bottom of the second with a solo shot, but back-to-back strikeouts by Trevin Hope sent LC back to the plate.
A fielder’s choice and hit-by-pitch put Pu’ukani De Sa and Dominic Signorelli on in the top of the third and Marquez drove both in with a single to left. An error on the play helped the Warriors gain a 5-2 advantage.
Bushnell picked up momentum in the home half of the third and tallied nine unanswered runs through the next four innings.
Trailing 11-5 heading into the seventh, the Warriors struck for three two-out runs. Signorelli and Marquez singled to put two on for Olsson who cut the deficit to 11-8 with a three-run blast.
Beacon pitching silenced the LC bats through the next two innings to close out the contest.
Marquez and Olsson each went 3-for-5 and Olsson drove in three runs.
GAME TWO: No. 16 LC State def. Bushnell 16-6 (7 INN)
The first inning of game two featured 10 runs between the two teams as each brought in five.
Carter Booth led off the contest with a home run to left, and Olsson followed shortly after with a solo shot of his own. Marquez and Signorelli tallied back-to-back singles before a groundout by Isaiah Thomas plated a run. Updegrave made it a five-run inning with his second homer of the day, this time a two-run shot to right center.
Bushnell wasted no time erasing the LC lead with a five-run frame of its own. Four hits fueled the rally for the Beacons before Jake Green took over on the mound to end the inning. A Bushnell batter tried to stretch a single to a double in the second, but a throw by Thomas in right field denied the attempt. Green tallied a punchout to end the inning.
The Warriors put together another big inning in the third with six runs. Olsson started things off with a single and took second on an error. A double by Signorelli put runners on second and third, and a walk to Thomas loaded the bases. Updegrave sent a sacrifice fly to right, but the ball was dropped and two runs scored. Joe Canty drew a walk to load the bases once more and Leo Rivera brought in one with a sacrifice fly.
Booth launched his second home run of the game, this time with three RBI, to bust the contest open 11-5. Green worked the Warriors out of a bases-loaded jam with back-to-back strikeouts to end the third inning.
Drake George took over on the mound in the fifth and the Warrior defense turned a double play to help him face the minimum.
Olsson’s homecoming tour manifested in grand fashion in the fifth. Free passes to Rivera, Booth, and Isaac Haws loaded the bases for the senior backstop who crushed his third home run of the day, with this one being a grand slam. Marquez followed with a solo shot, his second of the day, to push the lead to 16-5.
Bushnell manufactured a run in the home half of the frame to bring the difference to 10 runs. Another double play by the LC defense and a strikeout by George kept the Beacons off the board in the sixth.
George worked around a final Bushnell threat in the seventh to end the contest and earn his first save. He struck out two in his four innings of work, and Green was awarded the win after three scoreless frames with four strikeouts.
Olsson led the offense with three hits (3-for-4) and five RBI in game two. Booth and Olsson each homered twice in the game, Booth drove in four runs and Updegrave knocked in three.
The Warriors close out the regular season on Saturday with a doubleheader against Bushnell starting at 11 a.m.
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