Bruins Top Lutes, Salvage Final Game of Series
PARKLAND, Wash. - After losing both ends of Saturday's doubleheader in the final inning, George Fox salvaged the final game of its three-game Northwest Conference series with Pacific Lutheran by taking a 4-3 win on Sunday.
All three games of the conference-opening series between the two teams that tied for the 2009 NWC title were decided by one run. The Lutes took 6-5 and 7-6 victories on Saturday before the Bruins scored the winning run in the top of the eighth inning today to break a 3-3 deadlock.
Following today's result, Pacific Lutheran is now 11-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference, while George Fox is now 7-7 overall and 1-2 in the NWC.
The Bruins received a strong seven-inning performance from starting pitcher Brian Ranta. The freshman, who improved his season record to 2-1, allowed three runs, all earned, on nine hits while striking out three and walking two. Adam Weber allowed a couple of hits and struck out one batter over the final two innings to record his second save.
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a two-run homer by Josh Burch, that following a leadoff double by Eric Gantenbein. George Fox made it 3-0 in the top of the fourth when Seth Anderson led off with a single and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Pacific Lutheran, which would later tie the game at 3-3, started its comeback in the fourth inning on a run-scoring single by Brock Gates. Ben Shively started the two-out rally with a single, followed by a walk to Ryan Aratani and Gates' RBI hit.
The Lutes tied the game in the seventh with a three-hit rally. Ryan Frost led off with a walk and was replaced on the basepaths by Jaron Iwakami. Ethan Ottemiller followed with a single, but Iwakami was thrown out at third on a bunt attempt. Sammy Davis hit a single through the left side of the infield to score Ottemiller, and with two outs Davis tallied on a base hit by Josh Takayoshi.
George Fox scored the winning run against PLU relief pitcher Nic Delikat. After a leadoff walk to Nate Hickok and a sacrifice bunt, Anderson hit a double to left field to drive in Hickok.
Weber made the run stand up, though the Lutes threatened in the ninth inning. With one out, Corey Moore and Davis hit back-to-back singles, putting the tying run at second base. Weber got the next two batters to fly out to end the game.
Pacific Lutheran finished the game with 11 hits but left nine runners on base. Davis had three hits and both Takayoshi and Shively had a pair each for the Lutes.
George Fox managed just six hits with Anderson collecting a pair to lead his team.
Pacific Lutheran returns to action next Saturday and Sunday when it plays a three-game non-conference series against the Menlo College Oaks in Atherton, Calif.
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