LEWISTON –The No. 2 Lewis-Clark State Warriors and UBC Thunderbirds, who received votes in the preseason poll, split a doubleheader on Saturday at Harris Field.
GAME ONE: No. 2 LC State def. (RV) UBC 15-5 (7 INN)
The Warriors got the bats going in the first half of the twin bill in a 15-5 victory in a game that was shortened in the seventh inning due to the run rule.
LC collected 19 hits in the contest, 10 of which came from the top three in the order.
Nick Seamons, Isaiah Thomas and Pu’ukani De Sa combined for a 10-for-14 game with eight RBI and seven runs scored. De Sa was a single short of the cycle.
The Warriors did not take long to get on the board. Seamons led off the bottom of the first inning with a single. One batter later, Thomas bounced one off the left field wall to score Seamons to give LC an early 1-0 lead. The Warriors loaded the bases in the inning, but were unable to add to their lead.
Seamons continued to do damage with a double in the bottom of the second inning. Thomas singled on a ground ball to the shortstop that knocked in Seamons. De Sa lined a double over the left fielder’s head to give LC a 3-0 advantage.
The Thunderbirds built a large threat in the top of the fourth inning when Trent Lenihan, Russell Young and Brett Corbeth loaded the bases with no one outs on consecutive singles.
Lenihan scored the first run for UBC on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Mitchell Middlemiss, who was then thrown out at second trying to advance on a ball in the dirt from a strong throw by Jack Sheward. Starter Cole Wilkinson got Aidan Rose to fly out into foul territory to get out of the jam.
LC exploded in the bottom half of the inning for eight runs. After the first two batters were retired to start the frame, the next 10 reached base safely. The top of the order once again caused havoc as Seamons walked, Thomas singled and De Sa hit a triple to knock in two. After a walk, Eric Mast hit an RBI-double and Sheward knocked in two with a single to make it an 8-1 game.
Isaac Haws singled in Dominic Signorelli, and Seamons, in his second at bat of the inning doubled in Marquez to give the Warriors a 10-run advantage.
Wilkinson earned his first win of the season after going four innings while giving up one run. The lefty gave up five hits, walked two and struck out two.
“Cole gave us a pretty quality start on the mound,” Warrior coach Jake Taylor said. “Offensively, for the first time this season, we were aggressive throughout the line up to the middle of the field.”
Brandon Hupe of UBC welcomed Jake Green to the mound with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth to cut the LC lead to 11-3. Lenihan singled and scored on a Young double to cut the lead to seven.
De Sa and Sam Olsson hit back-to-back home runs to open the bottom of the fifth. The Warriors continued the onslaught with four runs in the inning to take a 15-4 lead.
The Thunderbirds were able to get one across in the top of the seventh inning off a single by Corbeth that scored David Draayers.
Seamons led the Warriors in game one with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate. He knocked in two runs and scored three. Thomas, De Sa and Sheward each had three hits in the contest and De Sa drove in four runs.
GAME TWO: (RV) UBC def. No. 2 LC State 11-3
The offenses were held in check in the first two innings, but the third inning was a different story. UBC exploded for six runs in the top of the third on five hits to put the Warriors behind 6-0.
“Credit to British Columbia as they came out swinging in Game two,” Taylor said. “We couldn’t get any consistency in the middle innings to get us back in the game.”
Seamons cut into the lead in the bottom half of the inning with a single to score Carter Booth. UBC answered with one in the fourth, and the Warriors scratched one across in the bottom of the inning after a base hit by Cruz Hepburn and a wild pitch to bring in Booth.
The Thunderbirds pushed the difference to 8-2 in the sixth, but another base hit and UBC miscue made it 8-3.
Another three runs came across for British Columbia in the eighth and LC State was unable to respond.
Seamons, De Sa, Marquez and Hepburn each tallied two hits in the game.
Reliever Jace Taylor has the strongest outing on the mound for the Warriors in the nightcap. The righty went two innings without allowing a run. He struck out five, walked one and gave up one hit.
The Warriors conclude the four-game set with UBC at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
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