PARKLAND, Wash. – Pacific Lutheran completed a Northwest Conference baseball sweep of visiting Whitworth on Sunday to take a big early lead in the league standings.
The Lutes closed out Saturday's suspended game with a 15-9 win and then won the series' third game 6-2 to improve to 12-8 overall and 10-2 in the NWC.
Whitworth fell to 10-10, 5-4 in the NWC. The Pirates are tied with Puget Sound and Whitman for second place in the league standings. Whitworth will host Whitman on Tuesday in a doubleheader.
Game 2: PLU 15, Whitworth 9
After the Pirates took a 7-2 lead in the fourth inning, the Lutes scored 13 straight runs to blow open a game that eventually was suspended in the top of the eighth inning by darkness with the Lutes leading 15-7.
Whitworth scored two runs in the eighth inning after the game resumed on Sunday, but the Bucs could not get any closer.
Connor Cantu tripled twice, went 4-6 at the plate and drove in four runs to lead the Lutes offensively. Anthony Gosline finished 2-3, scored three times and drove in three runs for the Lutes. Cole Johnson, who started the game on the mound before moving to DH, also had four RBIs. Adam Stump hit his first home run of the season.
Brady Simmelink started on the mound for Whitworth and allowed five runs on six hits in 3.2 innings, but did not factor into the decision. Jake Briones (0-1) gave up six runs on two hits, two walks and two hit batters in one third of an inning to pick up the loss. Connor Sand (three innings, four runs) and Brett Thomas (one inning) finished up on the mound for the Bucs.
Janson Pederson threw 5.1 innings of dominant relief over two days to earn the pitching win for PLU. He gave up two runs on two hits with four strikeouts. Johnson allowed seven runs (two earned) on eight hits in 3.2 innings as the starter.
Game 3: PLU 6, Whitworth 2
Justin Armbruester threw 7.2 strong innings to shut down the Pirate offense and earn his first pitching victory of the season.
Whitworth starting pitcher Matthew Young worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first inning by getting Johnson to hit into a double play. But Cantu scored to give the Lutes a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates tied the game in the second on Casey Isa's RBI single, but PLU retook a one run lead in the bottom of the second on Gosline's RBI single.
The Lutes struck for single runs in the fourth and sixth innings, then built a five run lead on Cantu's two-run double in the seventh.
Whitworth scored its final run on a PLU throwing error in the eighth that allowed Poffenroth to score.
Isa and Poffenroth each had two of the Pirates' seven hits in the game.
Young threw five innings for the Bucs and suffered the loss. He allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits. He struck out seven Lutes, but walked six. Austin Rice (two innings, three runs) and Bradley Tiefenthaler (one inning) finished up on the mound for Whitworth.
Armbruester (1-1) allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out five Pirates and walked five. Andrew Curran threw the final 1.1 innings.