The Lewis and Clark baseball team topped the Kennewick Lions 9-1 and advance to a regional matchup with defending state champ Richland.
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By Greg Lee
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The late-season surge by the Lewis and Clark baseball team continued Tuesday.
Dakota Dubois, Lewis and Clark’s No. 8 batter, hit a grand slam and right-handed pitcher Dean Neilson survived a season-high 10 walks as the Tigers handled the Kennewick Lions 9-1 in a 4A regional play-in game at Hart Field.
The victory earns LC (17-8) a date with defending state champ
LC had doubled its lead to 4-0 earlier in the third inning just before Dubois stepped to the plate with the bases drunk. He was planning on swinging immediately if he got the pitch he was looking for.
Sure enough, Dubois spanked a fastball over the left field fence to double LC’s score again, and the Tigers cruised thereafter.
“I don’t really remember seeing the pitch, but I just told myself first-pitch fastball and don’t swing at a curve,” Dubois said.
Despite inconsistency in finding the strike zone, Neilson had a
no hitter going through five innings. After he allowed his 10th walk,
LC coach Dexter Davis said afterward that had no other Lion
gotten a hit, he would have reversed the call and given Martin an error to
preserve a no-hitter. No matter, Drew Loftus reached to open the seventh on the
hardest struck ball by a
“My curveball wasn’t working like I wanted it to work today,” Neilson said. “My fastball was working, but I was having a little trouble locating and getting ahead of guys. But once I did get ahead of guys I did OK. I was able to keep the ball low in the zone. If you keep the ball down against a good hitting team like that you’ll have success.”
Neilson will start against
“He didn’t have his best stuff, but we supported him defensively
and we supported him offensively,”
Neilson doesn’t see any reason that the Tigers’ momentum shouldn’t carry into Saturday.
“You could call us an underdog, but I think we have the capability of doing great things,” Neilson said.
So far so good.