Another Offensive Explosion Leads to Sweep of Boxers
FOREST GROVE - Pacific Lutheran had an answer for every offensive thrust that the Pacific Boxers threw at them on Sunday as the Lutes finished off a Northwest Conference baseball series sweep with a 15-9 win at Chuck Bafaro Stadium.
In taking the three-game series, the Lutes scored 52 runs and collected 63 hits.
The Lutes (14-5, 5-1 NWC) matched a 3-0 Pacific lead after three
innings with 10 runs scored over the next three innings. The Boxers
(6-12, 4-8 NWC) rallied to come within 10-9 thanks to a five-run
eighth, only to watch the Lutes score five of their own in the
ninth to seal the win.
Dan Johansen led the 21-hit PLU offense by going 3-for-6 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Brock Gates and Jaron Iwakami also had three hits apiece while three other PLU players had two hits each.
Unlike the opening two games of the series, Pacific built an
early 3-0 lead, capped by Nate Rasmussen's third homer of the
The Lutes got to Pacific starter Jeff Bethke to start their rally. Brock Gates put two on the board in the fourth with his seventh home run of the season and Sammy Davis drove in another the hard way when he was hit with the bases loaded. Johansen added one in the fifth when he doubled to lead off the frame and scored on a double by Ryan Aratani.
The Boxers saw a golden chance to tie it in the bottom of the fifth fade quickly away. Scott Rowland singled to open the frame and moved to third on a long double to right by Pulito. Brandon Kon followed with a high fly ball that looked as if it would score Rowland, but an on-target throw by PLU center fielder Ryan Aratani beat Rowland to the plate, effectively killing the rally.
Pacific Lutheran then posted another big inning, scoring six runs in the sixth. Iwakami and Davis led off with singles and both scored on a single to left by Johansen. Gates followed two batters later with a double that plated Johansen and scored himself on a single by Moore. Ben Shively singled to left to bring Moore around to score and Iwakami closed the frame with his second single of the inning that scored Ethan Ottemiller.
Pacific rallied to score one in the seventh and then put together a big inning of its own, scoring five in the eighth to cut its deficit to 10-9.
Just when the Boxers thought they would be in striking distance of the victory, PLU came out and hung another five runs on the scoreboard in the ninth. Johansen started scoring with his third hit of the game, a single that scored Davis. Aratani followed with a RBI double before Johansen himself scored on balk. Moore and Shively closed the frame with RBI singles through the left side.
The Boxers once again had the bases loaded in the ninth when PLU reliever Ryan Frost coaxed Logan Moen into a double play that ended the game.
Scott Wall earned the win for PLU and improved to 4-0 on the season, allowing eight runs, three earned, on nine hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings of work. Bethke fell to 2-2 with the loss for Pacific, allowing eight runs on 12 hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
- PLU -