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. 10
May 31, 1980
NAIA World Series Game No. 14
Lewis-Clark State (2-1) vs. Coastal Carolina (2-1)
In the first-ever meeting with the Chanticleers, the Warriors fell behind 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning, in an elimination game in Nashville, Tenn. Neither team scored from the fourth to the eighth inning. LCSC pitcher Kevin Matthews threw seven strong innings, allowing five hits and two runs, before being relieved by John Christiansen.
With the Warriors still trailing by one in the top of the ninth, Steve Smith, the Coastal Carolina starter who had pitched the entire way, walked first baseman Doug Blume, then allowed a single to outfielder Jody Gatz. With one out, designated hitter Kirk Komstadius walked to load the bases. Shortstop Mark Pingree, who had driven in the only run for LCSC, singled to left to score pinch runner Alex Zanini to tie the game at 2. A ground out by second baseman Walt Robinson brought in the go-ahead run, and the third and final run of the inning came across on center fielder Chris Konze’s single.
With a 4-2 lead, Christiansen pitched out of a tight situation in the bottom of the inning, recording a game-ending strikeout with runners at first and second base, to pick up the win. LCSC moved on to the semifinal-round game, but lost to Grand Canyon, and tied for third place.
Here’s a lookback at some important dates in Lewis-Clark State Avista NAIA World Series history:
June 2, 1983: Allen Peterson has eight RBI in game against Lubbock Christian.
June 5, 1984: LCSC becomes only Series team to win six elimination games.