by Mak Karge, Assistant SID
Forest Grove, OR. – Matthew Young pitched a no-hitter into the ninth inning to lead Whitworth to a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader sweep at Pacific University on Saturday afternoon.
Whitworth took the opener 5-4 in 12 innings on a walk-off sacrifice fly by Liam Fitzpatrick then dominated 9-1 behind Young's strong effort in the nightcap. The games were played at Pacific University due to poor field conditions in Spokane forced the series to relocate south.
Whitworth is 6-9 overall, 3-3 in the NWC, while Pacific fell 12-5, 6-2. The teams will complete the series with a single game at Pacific on Sunday.
Game 1 – Whitworth 5, Pacific 4 (12 innings)
Fitzpatrick's fly ball to deep center field with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the 12th gave the Pirates a win in the opener.
Pacific opened the game with three runs in the first inning on RBIs from Ian Blair, Ryan Krout and Trevor Quinn.
In the bottom of the seventh the Pirates added an unearned on two Boxer errors, allowing Casey Isa to score on a balk.
The Boxers responded in the top of the eighth on Eli Wisdon's hard single down the right field line which drove in Brandon Silowka to tie the game 4-4.
With the game deadlocked into the twelfth, Ben Wintringer walked leading off. Taylor Poffenroth followed with a single advancing Wintringer to third. The Boxers intentionally walked Bailey to load the bases with zero outs. Fitzpatrick drove the ball deep to center field, allowing Wintringer to get home easily and end the game in the Pirates favor.
Connor Grydtal picked up the win for the Pirates allowing no runs in two innings improving his record to 1-2 on the season. Rice allowed three runs in seven innings with his best start of the season. Mathew Pulliam threw three innings of relief and gave up only one run.
Tyler Oscarson fell to 3-1 for Pacific on just one inning of work. Casey Brown started for the Boxers and gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits in seven innings.
Game 2 – Whitworth 9, Pacific 1
Matthew Young took his no hitter into the ninth inning and struck out eight Boxers on the way to his first complete game of the season.
Nerud also scored the second run for the Pirates in the third, this time off a Wintringer single. Sweum and Wintringer followed him across the plate in the third one Tyler Bailey's single, increasing the lead to 4-0.
Whitworth added four more runs in the fourth, ballooning the lead to 8-0. Bailey had a two-run single and Fitzpatrick added an RBI double in the rally.
Bailey wasn't done, in the sixth, he hit a deep double to right center allowing JJ Fahnlander to score the Pirates' ninth run from first base.
Young (3-2) gave up his first hit to Wisdom with one out in the ninth. After a stolen base, Derek Ridgeway singled in Wisdom. But Young induced a game-ending double play to post the complete-game effort. He struck out eight Boxers and walked only two.
Trevor Quinn (1-2) allowed four runs on six hits in 2.1 innings as Pacific's starter.