LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) A 19-day layoff failed the slow the offense of No. 7 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), as the Warriors rolled past No. 10 Rogers State (Okla.), 6-1, in game four of the 2013 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series Friday at Harris Field.
With the victory, Lewis-Clark State (42-13) advances to play No. 2 Lee (Tenn.) (49-10) at 6:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday. The contest will be the first of the championship for Lee, who received a day one bye as the second seed. 2012 World Series runner-up Rogers State will square off against No. 6 York (Neb.) in an elimination contest tomorrow at 12 p.m.
Lewis-Clark State catcher Kyle Blackwell chose the perfect stage to have one of his best games of the season, going 2-for-4 at the plate with two home runs and a season-high tying four RBI. The home runs were his first and second of the season. With the performance, Blackwell has now hit safely in six-straight games.
In addition to Blackwell, Warrior first baseman Brady Steiger extended his hitting streak to nine games with a pair of singles against the Hillcats. Steiger enter the tournament ranked fifth in the NAIA with a .431 batting average – the highest amongst players present at this year’s World Series.
Lewis-Clark State starting pitcher Anthony Armanino went the distance for the second time this season, scattering four hits and allowing one run to improve to 10-3 on the year. Additionally, he set a season-high with 10 strikeouts, which is the most for a pitcher at this year’s World Series so far.
The Warriors seized control of the game in the top of the first when Blackwell sent a 1-2, two out pitch over the left field wall to give Lewis-Clark State a 3-0 lead. Prior to home run, Rogers State’s starter Shawn Spainhoward had not given up a deep fly in 87.2-straight innings this season.
Lewis-Clark State added insurance runs in the top of the seventh and eighth on a Bobby Joe Tannehill two RBI double and Blackwell’s second home run of the night.
Rogers State’s biggest threat came in the bottom of the first inning when the Hillcats loaded the bases with one out. Rogers State scored its only run of the game when Armanino walked Tyler Wheeler on five pitches to allow Hector Rivera to score. The threat ended with the next two batters as Armanino induced a foul out to first base before striking out Emmanuel De La Cruz to end the inning.
Spainhoward (8-5) received the loss for the Hillcats. The senior left-hander surrendered five runs (four earned) on seven hits in seven innings. He also struck out two and walked on.
Centerfielder Eric Baker led the Rogers State offense with two hits – both singles.
The 57th annual Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by Lewis-Clark State College. For more information on the World Series, click here.