Whitworth and Pacific Split NWC Doubleheader

SPOKANE, Wash. – Pacific's Robb Dittrick and Whitworth's Dan Scheibe traded pitching gems as the teams split a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday at Merkel Field.

Dittrick's effort in the opener led to a 6-2 victory for the Boxers, who are now 17-12 overall, 14-3 in the NWC.  Scheibe's dominant outing in the nightcap improved the Pirates to 19-12-1, 11-5. 

With the win in Saturday's first game, Pacific guaranteed that it will leave Spokane holding onto first place in the NWC standings – no matter what the outcome of the final game of the series on Sunday (Noon start time).

Game 1 – Pacific 6, Whitworth 2
Dittrick improved to 7-1 this season by scattering nine hits in his complete-game effort and Mike Nagamine hit his fourth homer of the season for the Boxers.

Whitworth jumped to a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Landon Scott singled home Gerhard Muelheims, who had doubled.

But Pacific scored three in the third, the first one coming when Michael Arakaki scored on the same wild pitch that allowed Donnie Bradley to reach first base after a strikeout.  Kevin Schwartz's ground ball to shortstop plated the second run and Nick Tasaka followed with an RBI single.

Nagamine's two-run homer to right center field in the third inning increased Pacific's lead to 5-0.  Bradley scored the final run after leading off the fourth with a single and eventually moving to third on a sacrifice and fielder's choice.  With runners at the corners Jered Van Hoon broke for second, but pulled up midway.  By drawing a throw he allowed Bradley to score from third.

Tyler Pfeffer's sacrifice fly drove in Whitworth's second run in the sixth inning.  The Pirates got two runners on base with two outs in the eighth, but Dittrick got Scott to hit into a fielder's choice to end the threat.

Bradley finished the game 3-4 with two runs scored as the ninth hitter for Pacific.  Nate Rasmussen also had three hits for the Boxers.

Nick Motsinger, Muelheims, Scott and Kevin Valerio all had a pair of hits for the Pirates.

Carson Blumenthal (4-4) started on the mound for Whitworth and gave up six runs on six hits in 4.0 innings of work.  Nick Scourey pitched five strong shutout innings of relief for the Bucs.

Game 2 – Whitworth 7, Pacific 1
Scheibe's complete game, six-hit effort was highlighted by 12 strikeouts and no walks.  He improved to 3-2 this season and has struck out 25 batters in his last two starts – without a walk.

Pfeffer and Erik Nikssarian each hit home runs for the Pirates.

Pfeffer's RBI single in the first and Nikssarian's run-scoring single in the second gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead early on.  Then Pfeffer broke the game open with his NWC-leading 10th home run of the season in the third, a three-run shot to right center.

Niksarrian's homer came leading off the fourth inning, his second of the season.

JR Jarrell's RBI single in the fifth made the score 7-0 in favor of the Pirates.

Pacific finally broke through against Scheibe in the eighth when Logan Moen led off with a double, moved to third on a balk and scored on Nagamine's single.  But Scheibe shut the door on any potential rally by getting the next three batters. 

Pfeffer went 3-4 with four RBIs, while Nikssarian was 2-4 with two runs driven in.  Motsinger and Muelheims each had two hits for the second straight game, and Paul Miller also had a pair of hits for the Bucs.

Nagamine was the only Pacific batter with more than one hit, going 2-3 with the RBI.

Mike McGuire started on the mound for the Boxers and fell to 3-2 after giving up five runs on eight hits in 3.0 innings.  Jason Sawyer allowed three runs in 3.0 innings of relief, while Quin Moore tossed two scoreless frames.