Lewis-Clark State College won its 17th NAIA National Championship on Friday night. (Photo: NAIA)
LEWISTON, Idaho -- Lewis-Clark State College won its 17th NAIA National Championship with a comeback 10-7 win over St. Thomas University at Harris Field in the NAIA World Series finale.
The Bobcats (48-19) jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to another slow start for the Warriors (46-12) starting pitchers.
LCSC finally got a run on the board in the top of the third when Seth Brown doubled in Raymond Pedrina with two outs.
St. Thomas pushed the lead out to six in the fifth inning on Eric Santamaria's two-run home run just inside the left field foul pole to chase Warriors starter Nick Sagendorf off the mound.
In came LCSC's Cameron Pongs who went on to shutout the Bobcats over the final 4.2 innings, only giving up one hit and striking out six. More impressive he sat on the bench for over 30 minutes because of a weather delay called when lightning struck near Lewiston in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Warriors added two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to cut St. Thomas' lead to 7-4 with only six outs left in the game.
Cabe Reiten singled in Robert Smith Jr. in the top of the eighth to start off a six-run rally in the frame to give LCSC a 10-7 lead. Max Whitt's bases-loaded single brought in two runs, including the go-ahead score, before the Warriors added two more runs for a little extra cushion.
Pongs sat down the next six batters in order to clinch the NAIA Championship.