Seattle U. Game Postponed, Willamette Series Next
NOTE: The non-conference baseball game between Pacific Lutheran and Seattle U. scheduled for this afternoon at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue has been postponed until 4 p.m. Thursday, April 8, because of inclement weather.
THIS WEEK: Pacific Lutheran (14-5 overall, 5-1 NWC) hosts Willamette (6-11, 3-6) in a doubleheader, Saturday, noon; PLU hosts Willamette, Sunday, noon; PLU hosts Concordia (3-16) in a doubleheader, Tuesday, noon.
ABOUT THE BEARCATS: Willamette's greatest weakness is at the plate, where the Bearcats rank eighth in the Northwest Conference in team batting average (.248). The Bearcats rank fourth in the conference in pitching, following the dominant trio atop the NWC with a 6.69 earned run average that is more than two runs worse that third-ranked PLU (4.37). Willamette's pitching staff has given up a .507 slugging percentage and .398 on base percentage to opposing offenses. Mitchell Rowan leads the team offensively with 21 hits, seven doubles, four home runs, 12 runs batted in, 40 total bases and a .615 slugging percentage. Devin Grindy anchors the starting staff with a 4.11 earned run average and 2-2 record in five starts.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS: Concordia has been out-performed by its opponents in several offensive categories: batting average (.330 to .250), on base percentage (.427 to .326), slugging percentage (.477 to .348), doubles (50 to 25), hits (228 to 158) and runs (161 to 72). Sean Myrom leads the team with 22 hits, 10 runs scored, four home runs, 15 runs batted in, 37 total bases and a .607 slugging percentage. Jarrod Castrejon (3.46) anchors a pitching staff has an earned run average of 6.99.
ABOUT THE LUTES: Pacific Lutheran's recent offensive outburst has strengthened the Lutes' position atop the Northwest Conference team batting ranks (.365 team average). The Lutes' 4.37 team earned run average ranks third in the conference, behind perennial powers Linfield (3.63) and George Fox (4.15). PLU also ranks third in the league in team fielding percentage (.962). The Lutes are led offensively by Sammy Davis (.410 batting average), Corey Moore (.400) and Ryan Aratani (.387). Brock Gates leads the team with seven home runs, 26 runs batted in and 58 total bases. Trey Watt and Scott Wall rank first and second in the league in earned run average at 2.25 and 2.55.
LUTES END HITTING SLUMP, LOSING STREAK: Pacific Lutheran broke out the bats in a big way against Pacifc, scoring 52 runs on 63 hits in sweeping a three-game Northwest Conference baseball series from the host Boxers. The Lutes put an emphatic end to a four-game losing streak, taking 19-5 and 18-8 victories Saturday's doubleheader. Dan Johansen led the Lutes in the opener with a 4-for-6 performance that included three doubles, four runs and three runs batted in as PLU cruised to the 19-5 victory. The Lutes then rode a four-hit performance from Corey Moore in the nightcap as seven PLU players finished with two or more hits in the 18-8 rout. Trey Watt pitched masterfully in the first game to improve to 4-0 on the season for the Lutes. In seven innings, Watt allowed one unearned run on three hits and one walk with six strikeouts. Robert Bleecker improved to 3-1 on the season with the victory in Saturday's second game, allowing seven runs on 10 hits with two walks and five strikeouts in eight innings. On Sunday, the Lutes finished off the series sweep with a 15-9 win at Chuck Bafaro Stadium. The Lutes matched a 3-0 Pacific lead after three innings with 10 runs scored over the next three innings. The Boxers 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. 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. 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.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: After reaching No. 14 in the d3baseball.com poll a couple weeks ago, the Lutes dropped out last week following the lost weekend against Menlo. The Lutes currently sit at the top of the "Others Receiving Votes" category with 75 points, four points behind No. 25 Trinity (Texas).
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