By: Amanda Dow-Allen
Sports Information Assistant
TUCSON, Ariz- Andrew Traver hits two home runs on the day as the Lewis & Clark baseball team splits with Oberlin College at the Tucson Invitational. The Pioneers took game one 7-6 before falling in game two 3-4. The Pioneers move to 6-11-1 overall.
The Pioneers came out strong in the first inning. Bradley Lezak led off with a single to right, advanced to second on a ground out, and scored on a Hayden Higger single to left field. Michael Kinkenon, hit by a pitch advanced to second on the Higger single. A passed ball advanced both of them as Corey Davis walked to load the bases. A sac fly hit by Tommy Massari scored Kinkenon and advanced Higger. With two runs already on the board, Traver stepped up to rip his first home run on the day scoring three more runs to take an early 5-0 lead.
Scoreless innings for Oberlin until the fifth, the Pioneers were able to tack on two more runs in the second and the fourth. Back-to-back doubles by Matthew Cathcart and Kinkenon scored the run in the second, while a Lezak triple put him in scoring position Kinkenon who grounded out and moved Lezak home.
Oberlin showed a bit of life in the fifth and sixth innings as they attempted to come back. Three hits and three runs while using an error to their advantage in the fifth brought them back within four. Giving up three more hits that produced three more runs in the sixth made it a nail bitter for the rest of the game, but the Pioneers were able to hold them off and take the win 7-6.
Lezak and Cathcart each finished with two hits for the Pioneers, while Kinkenon, Higger, Traver, and Jacob Burton each finished with one.
Blake Howell (1-0) took the start on the mound for the Pioneers pitching five innings giving up six runs on eleven hits, while striking out one. Alex Heimbrodt takes a save on the day pitching two hitless innings walking two and striking out one.
Not as lucky in game two, the Pioneers started off with a scoreless inning. Oberlin struck first this time scoring three runs in the first inning off four hits and an error. The inning began with a walk, but the runner was quickly picked off by pitcher Aaron Landecker. With two outs, Oberlin used back-to-back singles, a walk and two more singles to score three runs.
Traver smacked his second home run on the day in the second to put the Pioneers within two runs, while shortstop Kyle Decker gets ejected from the game for Oberlin at the end of the second. Bringing the score even in the third, the Pioneers scored two more runs. Ben Beck was hit by a pitch and scored on a Lezak double down the left field line. Kinkenon then scored Lezak when he hit a single to left making the score even.
With one out in the fifth Mitch Novak took a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and on a ground out advanced to third. One more wild pitch scored Novak, which turned out to be the winning run for Oberlin who takes the game 4-3.
Kinkenon led the pack with three hits, while Lezak and Traver finished with two for the Pioneers.
Landecker (1-5) takes the loss for the Pioneers pitching five and two thirds if an inning giving up four runs on five hits, while walking seven and striking out five. Kyle Tibbett also saw time on the mound for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers play another double-header in the Tucson Invitational March 27 against Lawrence beginning at 11 a.m.