The three-time defending NAIA champion Warriors (17-6) snapped the Wildcats’ current winning streak at 17, preventing Linfield (20-4) from equaling the school record of 18 straight victories set in 1993.
Linfield is ranked 11th in NCAA Division III. L-C State is rated ninth by the NAIA.
A two-run double to left field by Josh Ashenbrenner broke a 6-all tie in the eighth inning after Linfield had fought back from an early three-run deficit to take a 6-4 lead in the seventh.
Ashenbrenner finished the day 3 for 4 at the plate with three RBIs. LCSC first baseman Ben Ornelas went 4 for 4 and scored three times.
Linfield’s Dustin Smith was 4 for 5 in the game, helping Linfield climb from a three-run hole in the fourth inning.
The Warriors broke the ice in the top of the first inning, scoring on a sacrifice RBI by Ashenbrenner that scored Paul Martin from third base.
Loading the bases in the next inning on Wildcats starter Mitch Edwards, L-C State added to its lead when Danny Anguiano sent a sharply hit ball through the legs of shortstop Ryan Larson, allowing two runs to score.
The Wildcats put a run on the board in the third. Smith singled, then moved to second on an error. Two more errors allowed Smith to score, helping the Wildcats close the gap to 3-1.
Linfield put runners at first and third with one out in the fourth, then scored a run after Ty Stanley tapped the ball into play, allowing Zach Boskovich to score.
The Wildcats scored a go-ahead run moments later. Smith clubbed his third hit of the afternoon, a two-out, two-run shot that caromed off the left-field wall.
L-C State loaded the bases on reliever Tim Wagar with no outs in the sixth. The Warriors evened the contest at 4 when Danny Anguiano sent a sacrifice to right field, scoring Ben Ornelas. Reliever Bryon Clevenger freed the Wildcats from further damage, striking out Kyle Melton and leadoff hitter Paul Martin in order.
In the seventh, the ‘Cats slotted runners at second and third on Warriors reliever Dustin Willis. Henry Buenrostro spelled Willis, who promptly surrendered a two-run single to Boskovich, who lined the ball just fair down the first-base line.
In the fateful eighth, LCSC loaded the bases on Kyle Mosbrucker, the Wildcats’ seventh pitcher of the day. Trent Bridges and Martin each provided RBIs in the inning to tie game, setting the stage for Ashenbrenner’s game-winning hit off of Andy Hunthausen.
Mosbrucker (1-1) took the loss. Buenrostro (1-2) earned the win for L-C State.
COMING UP: The Wildcats return to Northwest Conference action with four-game home series this weekend against the Pacific Boxers. Doubleheader action begins at Helser Field both days starting at noon. LCSC plays Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in McMinnville against Concordia before heading north to face St. Martins on the weekend.
Four hits, two RBIs
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128