SALEM, Ore. – Whitworth completed a three-game Northwest Conference baseball sweep at Willamette University with a 10-6 win on Sunday at John Lewis Field that kept the Pirates hot on the heels of league-leading Pacific in the conference standings.
Whitworth improved to 23-13-1 overall and 16-5 in the NWC, one game behind Pacific (17-4). The Boxers completed a three-game sweep of Puget Sound on Sunday. Pacific Lutheran (15-6) is in third place, one game behind Whitworth.
Whitworth will host Whitman (5-16 NWC) in a three-game series at home next weekend. Pacific travels to play at Pacific Lutheran. The Pirates hold the tiebreaker advantage against both the Boxers and the Lutes.
Whitworth took control of Sunday's game early, scoring seven runs on eight hits in the second inning. The Pirates made it 8-0 in the third.
Willamette (11-22 overall, 7-14 NWC) rallied, however. The Bearcats got a pair of runs in the second inning and chased Pirate starting pitcher with four runs in the fifth to pull within 8-6.
But Whitworth got two important insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning on Tyler Pfeffer's two-run single.
Ansett improved to 6-3 this season despite allowing six runs on nine hits in 5.0 innings. C.J. Perry came in to provide four scoreless innings of relief, holding the Bearcats to a single hit and earning his first save of the season.
Senior Blake Paisley started on the mound for Willamette, his first start of the season on Senior Day. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in 2.0 innings to fall to 0-2.