McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Tyler Pfeffer homered twice and drove in six runs to lead Whitworth to an 8-2 win in the second game of a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday, giving the Pirates an important split with 8th-ranked Linfield at Roy Helser Field.
Both the Pirates (12-7-1 overall, 6-2 NWC) and Wildcats (13-5, 10-4 NWC) remain in the thick of the conference pennant chase. The teams will conclude the series with a single game on Sunday.
Game 1 – Linfield 15, Whitworth 3
The Wildcats jumped on Pirate starting pitcher Spencer Ansett early, scoring eight runs over the first 3.2 innings.
Linfield's Kramer Lindell and Nick Fisher each hit a pair of home runs. Lindell hit a two-run shot in the fourth and a solo shot in the sixth and he finished with four RBIs in the game. Fisher had a solo shot in the second inning and a three-run bomb in the sixth. He had five RBIs in the game.
But Linfield all-star pitcher Ryan Larson kept the Pirates off of the scoreboard otherwise. He improved to 3-1 after allowing two earned runs on four hits in 7.0 innings. He struck out two and walked none.
Ansett fell to 4-2 after giving up eight runs on nine hits in 3.2 innings. Nick Combo pitched 2.1 innings of relief and allowed six runs on eight hits. Nick Scourey threw the final two innings for the Pirates.
Game 2 – Whitworth 8, Linfield 2
Pfeffer hit a two-run homer and a grand slam to increase his NWC-leading RBI total to 33 while Carson Blumenthal threw 7.2 innings of one-run baseball.
Scott's RBI single got Whitworth on the board first in the top of the third inning. Pfeffer followed with his two-run homer to left field. The Pirates added a run in the fourth on Paul Miller's RBI single for a 4-0 lead.
Whitworth made it 8-0 in the sixth on Pfeffer's grand slam to left with two out. After the first two batters of the inning were out, Gerhard Muelheims and Scott sandwiched walks around an infield hit by Nick Motsinger to load the bases for Pfeffer. Pfeffer now has six home runs this season, which is second in the NWC.
The Wildcats added single runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but never seriously threatened to overcome the Pirates' lead.
Blumenthal (3-2) went 7.2 innings, allowing one run on six hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Taylor Isadore threw the final 1.1 innings and gave up the second run on two hits.
Linfield's Robert Vaughn dropped to 2-2 after giving up four runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings.