PARKLAND, Wash. – Matthew Nelson's fourth home run of the season was not enough to prevent Whitworth from dropping a 6-3 Northwest Conference baseball contest to Willamette on Sunday afternoon at the PLU baseball field.
The Bearcats completed a three-game sweep of the Pirates to improve to 11-5 overall and 7-2 in the NWC, holding onto share of first place. Defending NWC champion Whitworth (6-6 overall, 0-5 NWC) is still looking for its first conference win.
Jack Brett's three-run home run highlighted a four-run first inning for Willamette. The Bearcats added a run in the top of the fourth when Tyler Esquivel stole home on a successful double steal.
Brett scored an insurance run for Willamette in the sixth after he led off the inning with a single, moved to third base on a double and came home Eric Del Prado's groundout to shortstop.
Nathan Gilman (1-1) earned the win for the Bearcats he tossed six innings and allowed three runs on only three hits. Brandon Nelson earned his first save by throwing three shutout innings of relief.
Whitworth will try to regroup in time for next weekend's Northwest Conference series at George Fox.