Bullpen Meltdown Costs Lutes in 15-14 Defeat
ANTHEM, Ariz. - For the second time in three games, a meltdown by the bullpen cost Pacific Lutheran at the Arizona Desert Classic as Texas-Dallas scored 12 runs in the final four innings to take a 15-14 non-conference baseball win over the Lutes at Boulder Creek High School.
In Thursday's season opener, the Lutes gave up a 5-4 lead, allowing nine runs in the last four innings in a 13-5 loss to Concordia (Texas). Today, the Lutes took a 7-3 lead into the top of the sixth inning, only to see UT-Dallas break loose against several PLU relievers.
With sophomore Blaine Myers drilling his first collegiate homer, a three-run shot in the first inning, the Lutes took a 7-1 lead after two frames. Myers finished 2-for-2 with two runs scored and three RBI.
PLU senior Scott Wall, a two-time second team all-conference starting pitcher, took a 7-3 lead into the top of the sixth, but walked the first two batters and came out of the game. He ended up allowing five runs, all earned, on seven hits, while walking four and striking out one. Senior Bret Handy entered the contest and struggled, walking the first two batters he faced and eventually leaving after Texas-Dallas had scored six runs. In taking the loss, Handy retired only one batter and allowed four runs, though only one was earned. Sophomore Nathan Shoup and frosh Alexander Johnson finished the final 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and six earned runs between them.
In all, PLU pitchers gave up seven walks and hit two batters, and the defense committed three errors. Exacerbating the pitching woes was a Lutes offense that hit into five double plays, several of them gutting potential big innings with runners in scoring position.
With the Lutes trailing 15-8 entering the ninth, senior outfielder Jordan Chargualaf drove in a pair of runs with a base hit. Two batters later, junior Corey Moore hit a grand slam with one out to make it a 15-14 game. Dan Johansen reached on an error, but the game ended when the Lutes hit into their fifth-and-final double play.
PLU finished with 13 hits, including two each my Moore, Myers and frosh Nicholas Hall. UT-Dallas ended the game with 16 hits.
Pacific Lutheran, now 1-2 this season, concludes it Arizona trip with a Sunday doubleheader against University of La Verne at Sandra Day O'Connor High School.
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