LEWISTON, Idaho – Isaiah Thomas and Isaac Haws were the heroes at the plate behind strong performances on the mound by Warrior pitching, and LC State Baseball is now one win away from the 2023 Avista NAIA World Series. The Warriors edged Concordia (Mich.) 5-4 on Tuesday night to stay unbeaten in the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round, presented by Avista.
“Once again, I felt our team competed very hard tonight against a fantastic Concordia team that played well,” Head Coach Jake Taylor said. “Our pitching gave us a great chance and we were able to come up with several key hits that made the difference in the game. We need to be ready to play fast and intense tomorrow.”
Charlie Updegrave came up big in the first inning, but not for the same reason as Monday night. The sophomore made a diving catch over the wall down the first base line in foul territory to start the game and help Drake George to a 1-2-3 inning. George struck out two in the second to keep the game scoreless.
CUAA scored the first run of the game in the top of the fourth before an error plated two more to put LC behind 3-0.
Isaiah Thomas put the Warriors on top in the home half of the inning with one swing. Updegrave drew a leadoff walk and Jakob Marquez doubled to put two in scoring position. An infield single by Dominic Signorelli loaded the bases and Thomas cleared them with a go-ahead grand slam.
The combo of Decker Stedman and Eli Shubert worked the Warriors out of jam in the top of the fifth, but a solo shot by Concordia’s Jarrett Batanian evened the score 4-4 in the sixth.
Updegrave drew his third walk of the game in the seventh and Marquez was hit by a pitch to put two on with two outs. Isaac Haws, who came into the game after an injury to Pu’ukani De Sa, came up with a clutch RBI-single to left center to put LC State in front 5-4.
A runner caught stealing by Olsson erased a walk in the top of the eighth to aide a three-up, three-down frame for Jake Green. The junior struck out the side in the top of the ninth to close out the gave and earn the win.
All three of Green’s strikeouts came in the ninth inning. He earned his fourth win of the season. George went 3.2 frames and struck out three, Stedman through a scoreless frame and Shubert went 1.1 innings of solid relief.
Thomas went 3-for-4 at the plate with four RBI. Updegrave, who hit three home runs on Monday, walked three times in Tuesday’s contest.
The Warriors will take on the winner of the 12:30 p.m. game featuring second-seeded No. 21 Science & Arts (Okla.) and third-seeded Concordia (Mich.). The LC games is slated for 4 p.m. and the Warriors need one win to advance to the Series.