Ninth Inning Provides Different Results for PLU
McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Pacific Lutheran gave up the winning runs in the ninth inning of its first game on Sunday and then scored the game decider in the ninth inning of the second contest as it split two a pair of baseball games at the Jim Doran Auto Classic hosted by Linfield College.
Puget Sound scored five runs in the ninth inning to rally for an 8-5 victory over PLU in an afternoon contest. Later, in a game that ended at 9:55 p.m., Pacific Lutheran scored the winning run in the top of the ninth to defeat Corban College, 12-11. PLU finished the tournament with a 2-1 record and is now 9-1 for the season.
The UPS Loggers (4-4) overcame a two-run deficit with their big ninth inning output, which came against PLU closer Ryan Frost. Puget Sound managed only three hits in the frame but also took advantage of two walks and a wild pitch.
Pacific Lutheran used the long ball to build a 5-1 lead through three innings. Brock Gates hit his sixth homer of the season for the first run in the bottom of the second and Ben Shively added a three-run shot, his first homer of the campaign, in the bottom of the third. Dan Johansen added an sacrifice fly for the Lutes' other run.
The Lutes left two runners stranded in the fourth and three more on base in the fifth inning, and their inability to play add on ended up making a difference as they suffered their first loss of the season.
PLU finished the game with 12 hits, led by Sammy Davis with three and Josh Takayoshi, Carl Benton and Shively with two apiece.
Scott Wall was the PLU starter, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. Wall, making his third start of the season, walked three and struck out two. Frost took the loss and is 0-1 for the season.
Relievers Nathan Aguiar and Matt Robinson combined to allow no runs on six hits in the final 6 1/3 innings for the Loggers. Robinson picked up the victory to improve his season record to 3-0.
In the second game, the Lutes tallied the winning run when Ryan Aratani hit a single into rightfield to score Dan Johansen, who had reached base on his fourth hit of the contest. Johansen hit his second home run of the season in the first inning for PLU and finished with three runs scored and three runs batted in. Davis had his second three-hit game of the day and Benton also had three hits for the Lutes. Shively and Aratani both had a pair of hits as the Lutes pounded out 18 safeties in the second game.
Paul DiPietro (1-0) picked up the win in relief for the Lutes, allowing just one hit while striking out three in two innings of work. Nic Delikat, pitching in relief to start the bottom of the ninth, allowed a two-out single and hit the next batter but got a strikeout to end it for his first save of the season.
Pacific Lutheran opens Northwest Conference play next weekend when it hosts the George Fox Bruins in a three-game series. The Lutes and Bruins, who shared the 2009 conference championship, play a pair of nine-inning games starting at 11 a.m. Saturday and then conclude the series with a nine-inning contest beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday.
- PLU -