Lewis-Clark State has played in 195 NAIA World Series games, winning 145, with 19 national titles. Of the victories, the Warriors had fallen behind by at least one run, or more, in 62 games, and came back to win. They have overcome deficits of three or more runs 17 times and six or more runs three times. A two-man committee, my grand-dog Pickle and I, have ranked the top 10 Lewis-Clark State come-from-behind victories in Series play.
Comeback No. 7
May 27, 2005
Lewis-Clark State (0-0) vs. Lee University (0-0)
In the opening game for both teams, Lee jumped out to a 2-0 lead after three innings, and led 4-1 in the seventh. LCSC second baseman Matt Vogel had leadoff triple in the seventh and scored on a groundout to pull the Warriors within two, but a scoreless eighth and top of the ninth found the home team down 4-2 in the bottom of the inning.
Lee chose to replace their ace starting pitcher B.J. Church to start the inning. Church (13-2), the Region XIII player of the year, had thrown 139 pitches and recorded eight strikeouts.
Church’s replacement, Russ Williams, faced three Warriors and left with the bases loaded after allowing a hit, a walk, and hitting shortstop Justin Fuller with a pitch. John Kirby was summoned from the bullpen and promptly threw a wild pitch, scoring Vogel from third. LCSC outfielder Ryan Stevenson then bounced a potential double-play grounder toward the Flames first baseman, which was bobbled, and Joey Dyche came home with the tying run.
After Kirby loaded the bases with an intentional walk, he recorded the first out of the inning with a strikeout. Warrior third baseman and current assistant coach Allen Balmer then singled up the middle, scoring Fuller from third, and bringing more than 3,700 fans to their feet as the Harris Field scoreboard displayed a 5-4 Warrior victory.
The victory earned LCSC a two-day break, and it went on to finish in third place. Lee was eliminated the next day 11-2 by Aquinas.
Here’s a look back at some important dates in Lewis-Clark State NAIA World Series history:
May 28, 1987: Warriors set Series record of most runs (107), hits (102), doubles (26) and best batting average (.418) in six games.
June 1, 1988: Ed Ramirez sets Series mark for most strikeouts by a relief pitcher in a game with 13 against Oklahoma City.