LEWISTON, Idaho – Never count the Warriors out, especially with Charlie Updegrave at the plate. After falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, (RV) LC State battled with top-seeded No. 10 Hope International in an offense show that ended in a 15-14 victory for LC State. Updegrave knocked in eighth runs on his own with the help of three home runs to catapult the Warriors into the winner’s half of the Lewiston bracket of the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round, presented by Avista.
“Proud of the way we competed tonight,” Head Coach Jake Taylor said. “We played 27 outs against an excellent opponent and found a way to win. We will enjoy this tonight, but have to be ready to compete once again tomorrow.”
HIU struck first with a three-run bottom of the first to take an early lead before Trevin Hope settled in for a scoreless second and third frames.
Updegrave put LC State on the board in the top of the fourth after Sam Olsson started the inning with a single. Isaac Haws took over on the bases for the Warrior catcher and Updegrave brought LC within one on a two-run blast.
The Royals answered back loudly in the bottom of the inning with four runs to pull ahead 7-2. Hope and Greg Blackman surrendered four runs on four hits and an error to give HIU a big inning.
Updegrave went deep once again to make it a one-run game in the top of the fifth. The Warriors rallied with two outs after Carter Booth reached on a fielder’s choice. Nick Seamons and Olsson tallied back-to-back singles before Updegrave blasted his second homer of the game.
Blackman worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the frame and LC State took its first lead of the game in the next half inning. Jakob Marquez singled to start things off and Dominic Signorelli tripled to tie the game. A base hit by Pu’ukani De Sa knocked in Signorelli to make it 8-7 in favor of the Warriors.
The Royals regained the lead in the home half of the sixth without recording a hit. A hit-by-pitch, three walks, an error and a fielder’s choice had HIU up 9-8 through six.
Olsson knotted the game 9-9 with a solo shot to lead off the seventh, and Bryson Spagnuolo worked the Warriors out of jam in the seventh to keep the game tied.
HIU rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth to surge ahead 12-9, but the Warriors exploded for six in the top of the ninth.
Booth led the inning off with a single and Seamons reached on an error. A base hit by Olsson cut the deficit to 12-10 before Updegrave delivered with his third home run of the game, this time over the batting cages in right, to make it a 13-12 LC State lead. With two outs in the inning, Signorelli doubled to keep the Warriors alive. De Sa stepped to the plate and crushed a ball over the wall in right to give LC State a 15-12 advantage.
Cameron Smith came out of the bullpen and surrendered a leadoff walk. Signorelli made a diving stop at third to get a force out at second. The Royals notched back-to-back hits to bring the score within one before a strikeout by Smith and incredible diving play in left field by Seamons ended the upset for LC.
Olsson went 4-for-5 with three RBI while Updegrave and De Sa both went 3-for-5. All three had home runs in the contest.
Jake Green, who threw two-thirds of an inning in the eighth, earned the win. Smith earned the save despite giving up two runs in the ninth.