Lewis-Clark State 6, Washington 5

Andy Torres pitched eight strong innings and improved to a perfect 6-0 as the perennial NAIA power Lewis-Clark State Warriors defeated the Huskies 6-5 at Husky Ballpark on Tuesday evening.

The Warriors staked Torres to a 6-0 lead with a run in the third and five in the fourth.

In the third, against left hander Brian Carter, making his first start of the season for the Huskies, the Warriors got on the board when Matt Morgan reached safely on a throwing error by shortstop Tila Reynolds, advanced to second on a sacrifice by Micah Furtado and scored on a single to center by Gabe Stajduhar.

The Warriors then roughed up reliever Scott Robertson in the fourth, stringing together six consecutive hits for five runs, highlighted by David Bernstine's sixth home run of the season.

Nick Walker led off the inning with a dribbler down the third base line for an infield single and scored on a monstrous blast over the left field wall by Bernstine. Mike Madrid followed Bernstine's long ball with a single, Nick Bullen doubled, and Morgan singled to plate Madrid. Bullen scored on a bloop single to center by Furtado, and Mark Gallagher lofted a sacrifice fly to Garthwaite to score Morgan and complete the Warriors' offensive output for the evening.

From that point the Huskies did all the scoring. They answered the Warriors' five runs in the top of the fourth with three in the bottom of the frame, cutting the deficit to 6-3. Bryan Johnson led off with a single, stole second, and scored the Huskies' first run on a single to center by Michael Done.

Aaron Hathaway walked and Greg Isaacson singled to score Done. With Hathaway at third and Isaacson at first, Torres picked Isaacson off first but Isaacson kept running toward second base and reached safely for his fourth stolen base of the season when he beat the throw from first baseman Madrid.

As Isaacson swiped second, Hathaway easily raced home to complete the double steal and make it 6-3.

The Huskies continued to chip away at the Warrior lead in the fifth and cut the deficit to 6-4 when Bryan Johnson walked and scored on a triple off the right field wall by Tyler Davidson.

Torres then set the Huskies down in order in the sixth and seventh, and more remarkably, needed only three pitches to retire Reynolds, Taylor Johnson and Garthwaite in the seventh.

Reynolds flied out to left, Johnson grounded out to second, and Garthwaite grounded out to third.

After his easy sixth and seventh innings, it looked as if Torres and the Warriors would easily breeze to the win. But Torres pitched himself into a bases loaded jam in the eighth.

Davidson singled with one out and then Torres issued consecutive bases on balls to Kyle Larsen and Done. As easily as Torres pitched himself into trouble, he pitched himself right out of it, striking out Hathaway swinging and pinch hitter Steve Ramsey looking to end the Huskies' threat.

The Huskies threatened one more time in the ninth. Torres hit Reynolds with a pitch and after throwing two balls to Taylor Johnson, Warrior head coach Ed Cheff finally decided to relieve Torres and brought in Kevin Welch to finish pitching to Johnson.

The Husky batter doubled off the wall in right field to put runners on second and third with no one out. It looked as if the Huskies might rally to win, but then Welch struck out Garthwaite and got Bryan Johnson to fly to center, scoring Reynolds. With the Diamond Dawgs ready to knot the score at 6, Welch earned his first save of the season when he got Davidson to line out to left for the final out of the game.

For the game, Torres allowed five runs on seven hits and five walks with seven strikeouts. Carter started and took the loss for the Huskies to drop to 0-1, despite allowing only one unearned run on three hits in three innings. Carter pitched well, but Husky coach Ken Knutson gave his bullpen some work, bringing Robertson in to pitch the fourth, Zack Daniels to pitch the fifth and sixth, and Will Fenton the last three innings.

With the loss, the Huskies dropped to 15-18-1 while the Warriors improved to 25-10. The Huskies now welcome in traditional Pac-10 power and #2 Stanford for a three game series at Husky Ballpark, beginning on Friday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m, with games two and three scheduled for 1 p.m on Saturday and Sunday.

NOTES: With the loss, the Huskies now drop to 14-15 in the all-time series against Lewis-Clark State.

The last three games between the two schools have been one run affairs. In 2001 in a two game series at Husky Ballpark, the Warriors won the first game 5-4 and the Huskies the second 7-6.

Probable starters for the series with Stanford:

Friday: Shawn Kohn (6-2,3.13 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (6-0, 3.07)
Saturday: Sean White (3-2,6.07) vs. Tim Cunningham (5-2,3.94)
Sunday: Clay Johnson (1-1,8.65) vs. John Hudgins(6-0,4.76)

The series between Washington and Stanford will feature five of the top 50 college draft prospects as ranked by Baseball America at midseason: Jeremy Guthrie, rhp (4), Jason Cooper, of (10) and Tim Cunningham,lhp (35) for Stanford, and Tyler Davidson (37) and Sean White (47) for the Huskies.

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