LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College baseball team provided more than enough run support to back the efforts of emerging ace and Lewiston native Beau Kerns on Friday afternoon at Harris Field. Kerns tossed his third straight complete game as the No. 2-ranked Warriors defeated Western Oregon University 11-0 in their home opener.
“We have one of the best offenses in the nation,” said Kerns. “You just let them go to work, and if you throw strikes good things happen.”
And a lot of good things did happen as the Warriors jumped all over the NCAA Division II Wolves with 14 hits including six for extra bases. Second baseman Cabe Reiten and first baseman Seth Brown accounted for over half of the team’s runs as they each blasted three-run home runs.
LCSC manufactured a run in the second, added three with Brown’s opposite field bomb in the third, scored two runs apiece in the fifth and sixth, and then capped it all off with Reiten’s homer to left in the seventh.
Meanwhile, Kerns did his thing – mowing through lineups and eating up a whole bunch of innings. The 5-foot-10 hard-throwing right-hander, now 3-0, used 129 pitches to go the distance, holding the Wolves to just six hits while striking out nine. He is the first Warrior pitcher since Andy Torres in 2002 to throw three consecutive complete games. He’s also the first hurler since Matt Fitts (2008) to notch three complete games in a season, and it’s only February.
After opening the season with 11 games on the road, and after all of the renovations to Harris Field over the offseason, Friday’s home opener was extra special for LC State.
“This is the game I wanted,” Kerns said. “Start off the game on the new field – kind of christen it up a little bit. It’s a good feeling. It’s a good feeling being back home.”
Though a lot of things have changed; with renovations including the complete resurfacing of the playing field, a new backstop with walls down the sidelines, and new dugouts; the Warriors’ product on the field looked as good as ever.
Reiten, the leadoff batter, finished 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs, Brown was 2-for-3 with two runs and four RBIs, catcher Chadwick Ka’alekahi added three hits, and Michael Sexton had two. Reiten has now hit safely in 12 straight games.
The Wolves (2-11) used three pitchers on the day. Starter Jesse Pratt was tagged with the loss after surrendering six runs (four earned) and nine hits in five innings.
LC State, which is seeking its 17th national title this season after finishing as the runner-up the past two years, hosts a doubleheader against Western Oregon on Saturday. First pitch is at noon with live video coverage available online here http://t.signalequattro.com/e1t/c/5/f18dQhb0S7lC8dDMPbW2n0x6l2B9nMJW7t5XYg7fsH4gVcW5kR1qw9H2VRrZFz56dNjGf2ywqLq02?t=https%3A%2F%2Fnew.livestream.com%2Faccounts%2F8399277%2Fevents%2F3823699&si=6368500374306816&pi=34f00ffc-5724-4868-9e92-2131f3549327.
Sports Information Director &
Asst. Director of College Communications
Lewis-Clark State College
Lewiston, Idaho 83501