PHOENIX, AZ - Not much went the way of the Lewis-Clark State College baseball team Thursday morning as the Warriors fell 11-4 to Taylor University in a non-conference matchup at the Coach Calderone Invitational at Arizona Christian University. After opening the season with a victory on Tuesday, the Warriors came out flat today.
“We weren’t ready to play this morning and flat got beat,” said LC coach Jake Taylor in summing up the 19th-ranked Warriors’ lackluster effort as they evened their early season record at 1-1. The Trojans remained undefeated at 5-0.
The Warriors hit a collective .171 from the plate and stranded five baserunners. They did have just one error one defense. The pitching staff for the Warriors was the story of the day though. They gave up 10 hits total and Cole Acosta took the loss after coming in in relief of Cameron Smith in the second inning. Smith gave up four earned runs on four hits and walked two batters in just 1 2/3 innings. Jeremy Rabaulima finished the games final five innings after replacing Acosta in the fourth.
Smith was given the baseball to make his Warrior debut and recorded a strikeout to end the top of the first inning. He struggled in the second, giving up four, before being lifted for Acosta who ended the Taylor rally with a ground out.
The Warrior offense was sparked when Brock Ephan launched the first home run of the season with a blast to left to put LC on the board. Zach Needham then reached on an error and a balk moved him to second, and Jack Johnson ripped a single up the middle top bring the score to 4-2. Caden Goldby singled to left and a wild pitch moved Johnson to third. Riley Way tripled into the left field corner and knocked in two runs to tie the game 4-4.
A leadoff walk in the top of the third gave rise to an RBI single to put Taylor back in front 5-4. After Acosta allowed another run, Rabaulima came in relief and immediately gave up three runs before getting the final out of the inning as the Trojans expanded their lead to 9-4.
The Warriors had just one hit the rest of the way – a single by Johnson in the bottom of the ninth, while Taylor added two more runs in the top of the final inning to claim the 11-4 decision.
The Warriors are now 1-1 on the year and will continue play Friday, January 31 against Westmont at 3:30 P.M.