LCSC's Kerns stymies Yotes in complete-game shutout

CALDWELL, Idaho — Senior pitcher Beau Kerns tossed a complete-game shutout to lead second-ranked Lewis-Clark State College to an 8-0 victory over the College of Idaho on Sunday morning in the Treasure Valley Collegiate Baseball Icebreaker.

One of LCSC’s more dependable relievers a season ago, Kerns was making his first start as a Warrior. The right-handed hurler, a former Lewiston High standout, surrendered just three hits and one walk to go with seven strikeouts. He faced just one batter over the minimum.

LC State, which improves to 3-1 on the season, has won nine straight against the Coyotes and 11 of the last 12 meetings between the schools. Sunday’s decision marked the first time the Warriors notched a complete-game shutout against the Yotes since March 2008.

Kerns’ effort was especially impressive considering that the Coyotes torched opposing pitchers for 25 runs on 32 hits in a pair of wins the day before. But after allowing a single to leadoff hitter Jordan Grubbs to start the game, Kerns retired 14 of the next 15 batters, including 11 straight at one point. He allowed just four baserunners all game and none of them advanced past first base.

His counterpart, Yote starter Gary Koopman, proved equally effective for a while, holding LCSC scoreless through the first five innings. But the Warriors finally began to wear down the right-hander in the sixth.

Seth Brown sparked the LC State offense by leading off the inning with a home run, his second of the season, to right field.

The next inning, after the Coyotes replaced Koopman with reliever Zach Cooper, Cabe Reiten mashed a leadoff double. After Max Whitt drew a walk, Ty Jackson lashed a two-run triple to the corner in left, giving the Warriors a 3-0 lead.

The Warriors really blew the game open in the eighth, when they tacked on four more runs on three hits and a Coyote error. Whitt drove in the first run on a fielder’s choice, but Brown delivered the big blow, bashing a three-run double to right field to make the score 7-0.

Brown finished the game with three of the Warriors’ 13 hits while Reiten, who is batting .500, and Andris Rizquez both went 2-for-5. Rizquez added the Warriors’ final run with an RBI single to right in the top of the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Kerns completed his gem by retiring the Yotes in order for the third time in the game. The decision gave the Warriors the best record at the three-day tournament.

The Warriors’ 12-game road trip, the longest to begin a season in school history, continues Tuesday when they travel to El Cajon, Calif., to play San Diego Christian, which qualified for the Avista-NAIA World Series last season. That doubleheader starts at 2 p.m.

Matt Breach

Athletic Operations/Assistant SID

Lewis-Clark State College

Office: 208-792-2492

Cell: 208-790-6859