Lewis-Clark State baseball survives late push from St. Thomas

Feb. 3—PHOENIX — The No. 3 Lewis-Clark State Warriors were originally scheduled to play No. 1 Southeastern (Fla.) on Friday, but rain the previous night pushed that game to today.

Instead, the Warriors played the St. Thomas (Fla.) Bobcats at Greenway High School in Phoenix on Friday.

They survived a late push from the Bobcats to win 7-6.

Lewis-Clark State (3-0) has deployed three different lineup combinations through three games and has had varied levels of success in all of them.

Now, with the game against the 2022 national champions at the end of the East/West Schedule instead of on the second-to-last day. The Warriors have three games through two days to review so they can put together the best lineup against the Fire.

"We'll keep mixing and matching until we find the lineup we really like," LCSC coach Jake Taylor said.

Before the game against Southeastern today, LCSC had to survive another Florida team.

Here's how Friday's game went:

Three's the magic number

Junior third baseman Dominic Signorelli cracked the Warriors' first home run of the season on Thursday against Tennessee Wesleyan.

The encore on Friday was even better.

Signorelli hit a three-run bomb over center field in the bottom of the first to give LCSC an early 3-0 lead against St. Thomas (4-2).

Junior right fielder and first baseman Charlie Updegrave got his first homer of the year, a three-run shot of his own that bounced off the scoreboard in right field, two innings later to put the Warriors up 6-1 a third through the game.

Updegrave, Signorelli, junior transfer utility player Ike George, senior left fielder Nick Seamons and senior center fielder Carter Booth have been the most steady bats for the Warriors.

The five have combined for three home runs, 20 hits and 20 RBI so far this season.

"I think it's just showing that we need to keep doing our job at the plate," Signorelli said. "As long as one guy is doing his job, the next guy's going to try to follow that up. Even (Thursday), I missed a couple at-bats and the next guy below me (in the lineup) was picking me up."

Updegrave added one more RBI with a double that put him at four for the game and gave LCSC its seventh and final run in the bottom of the seventh.

But the Bobcats had one final push in them before it was done.

Takalo closes it out

With the Warriors batting at the bottom of the inning and up 7-3 going into the ninth, LCSC just needed three outs to close the game a half-inning early and start prepping for its finale at the East/West Challenge today.

A vocal Warriors crowd of about 30 had endured a 45-degree wind chill (one poor fan's hat was on the receiving end of the only bird on the block's defecation) and were prepared to see their home team successful in the (surprising) Arizona cold.

The Bobcats had other plans.

Facing junior transfer Jadon Williamson, who took the mound to begin the ninth, St. Thomas got a hit, was walked and was hit by a pitch. Three batters in, and it had a bases-loaded situation down four.

It was the Bobcats' second instance with the bases loaded on Friday — the first came in the third and LCSC junior transfer starter Hiroyuki Yamada got out of that jam, giving up just one run of a potential four.

St. Thomas didn't let the opportunity get past them twice, and they got two runs out of the situation before Williamson was pulled for junior Eli Takalo with two more outs to go and the Warriors lead cut to 7-5.

A sac fly the next at-bat after Takalo took the mound brought St. Thomas within one with two outs and a runner on second. Takalo was able to strike out Bobcats junior Kendry Noriega looking to earn the save and keep LCSC's fledgling undefeated season alive.

Putting out the fire?

The Warriors' game against the Fire will be between two undefeated top-3 opponents, both of which have Avista NAIA World Series championship-aspirations.

Southeastern earned two wins against LCSC last season, one during the inaugural East/West Challenge in Florida and the other at the World Series at Harris Field in Lewiston.

A win would likely put the Warriors in the top 2, if not at No. 1, in the next slate of Top-25 polls.

It would give the team confidence and a lot of momentum going into the latter half of its season-opening road trip next week, which includes games against two more Top-25 opponents in No. 11 Hope International (Calif.) and No. 17 Vanguard (Calif.), all in California.

"I'm stoked," Signorelli said. "It's always good to play a good team, and (Southeastern's) a good team, so I'm excited to just go play."

Players of the game

Signorelli and Updegrave combined to go 3-for-5 with two home runs and accounted for all seven of the team's RBI.

Up next

No. 3 Lewis-Clark State plays No. 1 Southeastern today at 3:45 p.m. at Greenway High School in Phoenix.


ab r h bi ab r h bi

Granato lf 3 1 1 0 Booth cf 5 0 1 0

R. Fernandez 3b 4 1 0 0 George rf 4 2 3 3

Rodriguez c 4 0 2 0 Seamons lf4 2 2 5

H. Fernandez pr 0 1 0 0 Updegrave 1b 4 0 1 0

Polito dh 3 1 1 1 Signorelli 3b 2 0 0 0

Schoeller 2b 5 0 2 1 De Sa 2b 0 0 0 0

Lopez ss 4 0 2 2 Weintraub dh 3 0 0 0

Caretta rf 3 1 1 0 Marquez c 2 1 0 0

Noriega ph 1 0 0 0 Cabrera pr 2 0 0 0

Hernandez 1b 4 1 2 1 Hofstetter ss 2 1 1 0

Oniel cf 2 0 0 0 Sol ph 2 1 1 0

Estrada ph 0 0 0 1 Rivera ss 2 1 1 0

Hill ph 1 0 0 0

Montagnin cf 0 0 0 0

Totals 34 6 11 6 Totals 28 7 4 7

St. Thomas 010 002 003—6 11 1

Lewis-Clark State 303 000 10x—7 4 0

St. Thomas ip h r er bb so

Polanco (L, 1-1) 4 3 6 6 2 10

Iglesias 2.2 0 1 0 3 4

Quintana 0.1 1 0 0 1 0

DeGracia 1 0 0 0 1 1

LCSC ip h r er bb so

Yamada 3 4 1 1 2 2

Stedman (W, 1-0) 2.2 4 2 2 1 2

Farber 2.1 1 0 0 0 5

Williamson 0.1 2 3 3 1 0

Takalo 0.2 0 0 0 0 1

Attendance — 57.

Kowatsch can be contacted at 208-848-2268, or on Twitter @Teren_Kowatsch.