LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State Baseball team forced game 19 of the 2022 Avista NAIA World Series after it defeated top-seeded Southeastern (Fla.) 10-9 to start Thursday. Pu’ukani De Sa provided the heroics in the contest as LC edged the Fire, only to have the championship game halted in the seventh inning due to weather.
The championship game will resume on Friday at 8:15 a.m. with SEU leading 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh. The Fire had the bases loaded and no outs when the game was paused.
GAME ONE: LC State def. Southeastern 10-9
The Fire took the lead early in the contest with two runs in the top of the second.
LC State’s two-out magic appeared in the bottom of the inning when De Sa tied the game up with a two-run single into the right field corner. Justin Mazzone and Zach Threlfall each reached with free passes before De Sa laced a pitch down the line to make it a 2-2 game. Riley Way doubled to keep the inning going before both runners scored on a single off the bat of Aidan Nagle.
Southeastern responded in the top half of the third with a run on a solo shot by Brian Fuentes, and Cameron Smith came in an tossed a 1-2-3 top of the fourth.
De Sa sparked another two-out rally with a solo shot in the fourth to give LC a 5-3 edge, and three straight hits by Way, Nagle and Sam Linscott plated one more. A wild pitch brought in one before an SEU mental mistake made it 8-3 to cap the four-run frame.
Smith picked up a pair of strikeouts in the fifth, after another solo home run by Fuentes, and retired the side in order the next inning.
LC State added one in the sixth with a pair of hits. Linscott singled and stole second, tying the single-season record for stolen bases without being caught (27-for-27), then scored on a two-out base knock by Threlfall. The Warriors led 9-4 after six innings.
De Sa notched his fourth hit of the game in the seventh inning, and scored on back-to-back base hits by Nagle and Linscott to answer three SEU runs. LC State led 10-7 through seven innings.
It came down to the wire in the final inning with the Fire adding two runs to come within one of the Warriors. Dawson Day, who threw 139 pitches on Monday, was called upon and struck out a batter to end the contest and force the 19th game of the tournament.
De Sa led LC with four hits in the game, while Nagle and Linscott each had three. De Sa drove in three runs while Nagle and Linscott each had two RBI.
Lucas Gregory earned the win after tossing a scoreless inning of relief. Starter Joe Ball struck out three, Smith fanned three, Eli Shubert struck out one in his 1.1 innings, and Day struck out the only batter he faced.