SPOKANE, Wash. – A pair of outstanding pitching performances lifted visiting Whitworth to a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader sweep at Lewis & Clark on Friday afternoon. Hugh Smith's effort led to a 5-1 win in the opener while Brady Simmelink's 6.1 shutout innings dominated an 8-0 shutout.
The Pirates improved to 14-14 overall and 9-8 in the NWC. The Pioneers fell to 6-24, 3-14. The teams will complete the series with a single contest on Saturday at noon.
Game 1: Whitworth 5, Lewis & Clark 1
Smith went eight innings and gave up only one unearned run on five hits. He struck out 12 Pioneers and walked one to improve to 5-0 this season.
Lewis & Clark scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third. Matthew Donovan opened the frame with a double and moved to third base on a passed ball. He scored on Sean Shepherd's ground out to second base.
The Pirates tied the game in the top of the fourth after Nicholas Nerud opened the inning with a single, moved to third on Taylor Poffenroth's single to center and scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Cody Simmons.
Nerud sparked Whitworth's three-run fifth inning. He singled home Cael McKeirnan with one out to give the Bucs the lead. Two more runs, including Nerud, came home after a throwing error from second base with Tayler Bailey at bat.
Whitworth scored its final run in the ninth when Poffenroth doubled home Liam Fitzpatrick with two outs.
Nerud and Poffenroth had two hits apiece to lead the Pirates at the plate. Darren Crosby threw the ninth inning in relief of Smith.
Nick Kennison started on the mound for the Pioneers and fell to 1-6 after allowing five runs (three earned) on nine hits in 8.2 innings.
Game 2: Whitworth 8, Lewis & Clark 0
Simmelink and T.J. Orchard combined on the shutout and 12 more strikeouts while Tyler Bailey went 4-5 with two RBIs and Dalen Hainline homered to lift the Pirates to the doubleheader sweep.
Whitworth scored three runs in the third to grab the lead. Poffenroth doubled in the first two runs and then scored on Bailey's RBI single. Liam Fitzpatrick tripled home Casey Isa in the fourth inning for a 4-0 lead.
Bailey added his second RBI single of the game in the seventh inning to increase the margin to 5-0. Hainline followed with a three-run, pinch-hit home run to round out the scoring. It was his first homer of the season.
Simmelink allowed only three hits over the first 6.1 innings to improve to 3-1 in 2018. He struck out six and walked three. Orchard came on with one out and runners on first and second. He struck out the first two batters he faced on the way to 2.1 innings of perfect relief with six strikeouts. The pair combined for Whitworth's third shutout of the season.
Robert Reaser (1-7) allowed eight runs on 11 hits in 6.2 innings as the starting pitcher for L&C.