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March 10, 2012

Lutes Cruise Past Whitman To Open Weekend Series

PARKLAND, Wash. - After scoring eight runs in the first two innings, Pacific Lutheran rolled to an 18-3 Northwest Conference baseball victory on a cold and wet Saturday afternoon against visiting Whitman College. 

The victory marked the third in a row for the Lutes, improving their record to 8-5 overall and 3-1 in the NWC, while Whitman dropped to 2-14 and 2-2.

PLU took advantage of two Whitman errors leading to three runs in the opening frame. After hitting a single to start the inning, Dominick Courcy advanced on a wild pick-off attempt and eventually scored the game's first run on a Brock Gates groundout.

The Lutes came back in the second inning, tacking five more runs on the board to push the lead to 8-0. Just like the first inning, Courcy began Pacific Lutheran's rally by getting on base with a walk. After stealing second base and advancing to third on a throwing error, Courcy and Ryan Frost, who reached base on the throwing error, both scored on a Gates double in the gap. Later in the inning, Jaron Iwakami hit his second of three doubles on the day, driving in Gates to push the lead to 6-0. Sammy Davis finished off the five-run rally with a two-out single that drove in two.

Whitman finally got to Pacific Lutheran starter Chris Bishop in the seventh inning. Jimmy Madden open the inning for the Missionaries with a single and scored on a double by Cameron Young. Young then scored two batters later when Kyle Moyes tripled. Whitman scored their third and final run of the game after PLU error.

Although Pacific Lutheran did surrender three runs in the inning, the damage could have been worse. After back-to-back singles, Bishop caught Peter Valentine looking to end the inning with the bases loaded.

In the eighth inning, the Lute bats came alive one more time, scoring 10 runs in the frame. Corey Moore contributed with two RBI singles, while both Bo Pearson and Iwakami added run-scoring singles as well. Iwakami added a two run double, his third of the game, joining Jacob Hoffman and Ryan Frost who also had RBI doubles in the eighth. Sammy Davis drove in his third run of the game with a sacrifice fly. 

Pacific Lutheran finished the game with 17 hits led by Iwakami with four. His four RBIs also led the team, with Gates and Davis finishing out the day with three apiece.

With the victory, Bishop pushed his record to 2-0 on the season. He went eight innings and struck out six. Whitman's Justin Weeks dropped to 1-3 on the year for the Missionaries.

Saturday was supposed to feature a doubleheader between the two teams but because of consistent rainfall throughout the opening contest, the second game has been pushed back a day. Sunday, the Lutes and Missionaries will try to wrap-up their three-game set with two games. First pitch of game one is set for 11 a.m.

-PLU-