SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth baseball team returns home to host Pacific University for a three-game Northwest Conference series this weekend. The teams are scheduled for a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday with noon starts each day. Both teams carry two-game winning streaks into the series and both are looking to set a positive tone on the finish of the 2014 season.
Watch the Whitworth baseball schedule for possible links to live coverage of this weekend's games.
The Pirates: Whitworth is 8-18 this season (5-10 NWC) and the Bucs ended a ten-game losing skid by taking the final two games of last weekend's series at Lewis & Clark. After dropping the opener 11-5, Whitworth won the next two games by scores of 9-2 and 13-3. Matt Nelson hit the first two home runs of his career in the series, while Nick Motsinger and Thomas Wakem batted .583 and .571, respectively. Cory Mack threw Whitworth's first complete-game victory of the season on Sunday.
This season Whitworth is hitting .251 as a team with a team ERA of 5.23.
Thomas Wakem has the team lead in batting average at .345. Joshua Davis leads the Pirates in RBIs (16). Nick Motsinger has ten extra-base hits. Cory Mack (3-3) leads the starting pitchers in wins, innings pitched (42.2) and strikeouts (29). Spencer Ansett has the lead among the starters in ERA (3.43). Taylor Isadore has been strong out of the bullpen, with a 1.19 ERA in 13 relief appearances.
The Injury Bug: The injury bug has bitten two of the Pirates' top players. All-American outfielder Tyler Pfeffer injured his wrist in the series at College of Idaho and may be out for the season. All-NWC starting pitcher Dan Scheibe has just returned to the mound in limited roles out of the bullpen.
One-Run Pain: Seven of Whitworth's 18 losses have come by a single run this season.
The Boxers: Pacific ended its own losing streak with a 5-3 win over Whitman on Sunday. The Boxers followed that with a 6-2 non-conference win over Willamette on Tuesday to improve to 10-16. Pacific is 3-12 in the NWC. The Boxers are hitting .260 as a team with a 4.23 ERA.
Sophomore outfielder Walker Olis leads his team in batting average (.326), runs batted in (17) and doubles (eight). Junior RHP is 2-5 as a starter, but he has a 2.39 ERA in 49 innings with 31 strikeouts.
Last year Pacific swept the Pirates in a three-game series in Forest Grove, Oregon.
Coming Up Next: Whitworth will travel to Willamette University for a three-game series on April 18-19.