If you play with fire, eventually you are going to get burned.
Oregon Tech freshman right-hander Patrick Arman had done just about everything right in Game 2 of a Cascade Conference doubleheader Saturday against No. 24 Lewis-Clark State. He scattered five hits in his eight innings, kept the Warriors off balance and had retired 14 consecutive hitters at one stage.
Just when the Owls had scratched their way from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead going to the bottom of the ninth, all the Santa Clarita, Calif., native had to do was get the final three outs in order to earn a split and give his team some much needed momentum heading into the final two games of a four-game series today at Harris Field.
But there was one tiny issue with that plan: his own arm.
Arman’s third error of the game on a pickoff attempt pushed the tying run into scoring position, and it eventually scored, igniting a one-out, two-run rally that lifted LCSC to a 4-3 win and a sweep of the twinbill.
“The error on that throw just gave us more energy,” said Luke White, a junior and a former standout at Lewiston High School who had two hits in the two victories. “Considering the circumstances, we are lucky to get out of here with two (wins). It’s just nice to be back out here on Harris Field on a nice day.”
In the first game, the top of the Warriors lineup went a combined 7-for-12, accounting for all three runs in a 3-1 victory.
The sweep enabled LCSC (9-1, 2-0 Cascade) to extend its winning streak to seven games. With the Game 1 loss, Oregon Tech (5-7, 0-2) had its win streak snapped at three.
After allowing single tallies in the second and third innings, Arman was downright dominant. Between the third and the seventh innings, he induced six groundouts, two popouts, four fly outs and two strikeouts.
That gave the Owls just enough time to get their offense going. Trailing 2-0, they tied the game on an RBI groundout by Micah Jio and a passed ball that allowed Kaleb Keelean to score.
Then in the ninth, they took the lead as Dalton Daily doubled home Michael Tarakhchyan with one out. It could have been much worse, but Jio’s shot to the wall in right-center was caught by junior Aidan Nagle, and he doubled off Daily, who had been running on the pitch. It was the second outstanding defensive play in the outfield in the game, as Keelean was robbed of a two-out, bases-loaded hit in the fourth by junior Sam Linscott.
“Linscott’s play there with the bases loaded was a big play, and then Nagle’s play there at the end was huge,” LCSC coach Jake Taylor said. “We have some athletes out there running around and making some plays.”
Nagle’s grab seemed to give the Warriors a lift. Senior Jack Johnson got aboard to start the ninth as Daily bobbled a ball at shortstop. Thinking for some reason Johnson was going to run, Arman continued to keep him close but finally, he let off a throw that got past first baseman Kellen Mendez and shot up the right-field line. Alertly, Johnson scooted all the way to third base.
Nagle sharply grounded out to Jio at second for the first out, but senior Brock Ephan, who had hit his second homer of the season in the second inning to stake LCSC to the early lead, pounded a double to left to tie the game. That set up White, who was hitless in his six previous at-bats in the two games. He roped a first-pitch single to left and pinch-runner Alex Light, also a former Lewiston standout, scored the game-winner.
“We were just trying to see fastballs up, and we kind of got away from our approach by chasing his change-up,” White said. “He went to that a lot early in counts and at-bats, then worked his fastball late in counts. We just got to focus on getting our pitch and hitting it when we get it.”
It made a winner of sophomore right-handed reliever GT Blackman (1-0), who allowed two hits in two innings of work.
Arman (2-1) allowed seven hits and three earned runs in going the distance.
In the opener, former Lewiston standout and junior shortstop Riley Way was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, senior infielder Dillon Plew had two hits and an RBI, Johnson drove home a run and Nagle was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
That was enough for senior right-hander Tallon Thomason (3-0) to pick up the win. The UNLV transfer allowed three hits and one run with four strikeouts in six innings. Senior right-hander Jesse Parker worked the final three innings, allowing two hits and two walks, striking out three, for his first save of the season.
The two teams meet again at 11 a.m. today at the same site.
Oregon Tech 000 010 000—1 5 1
Lewis-Clark State 001 010 01x—3 10 1
Dunham, Dubray (8) and Stockton; Thomason, Parker (7) and Needham, Threlfall (7).
W — Thomason. L — Dunham. S — Parker.
Oregon Tech hits — Tarakhchyan (2B), Daily, Swanson, Cruz, Malcom.
LCSC hits — Nagle 2 (2B), Plew 2 (2B), Way 2, Johnson (2B), Ephan, Harum, White.
Oregon Tech 000 000 201—3 8 4
Lewis-Clark State 011 000 002—4 7 2
Arman and Connell; Sellers, Smith (6), Spagnuolo (7), Blackman (8) and James, Threlfall (8).
W — Blackman.
Oregon Tech hits — Keelean 2, Jio 2, Daily (2B), Swanson, Dunham, Tarakhchyan.
LCSC hits — Way 2, Ephan 2 (HR, 2B), James (2B), White, Linscott.
Walden may be reached at (208) 848-2258, email@example.com, or on Twitter at @waldo9939.