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Eisenhauer Stifles UPS With Complete Game Shutout

Nathan Eisenhauer capped an outstanding weekend of starting pitching for Pacific Lutheran on Sunday with a complete-game two-hit shutout as the Lutes notched a 6-0 victory over Puget Sound to complete a three-game Northwest Conference baseball series sweep at the PLU field.

Pacific Lutheran improved its overall record to 14-7 and its conference mark to 9-3, while Puget Sound dropped to 4-18-1 overall and 1-8 in the conference.

In recording his first complete game in 15 career starts, Eisenhauer faced just three batters over the minimum and also did not allow a runner to get to second base. In addition to giving up just the two hits - singles to Addison Melzer in the first and to Will Mentor in the fourth - Eisenhauer walked three, but he picked off one of those and the other was erased by a double play. Puget Sound left just three runners on base as Eisenhauer threw 107 pitches, 65 of them for strikes. He improved his record to 4-1 with the win. 

His performance came on the heels of Saturday's gems thrown by freshman teammates Collin Nilson and Trevor Lubking, who between the two of them combined to allow just six hits in 15 innings of work.

All of that led up to a convincing series sweep by the Lutes, who out-scored the Loggers, 29-7, in the three games combined.

The Lutes gave Eisenhauer all of the offensive support he needed with a run in the first inning, but they would go on to finish the game wtih 11 hits, including three by Jacob Hoffman and two apiece by Dominick Courcy and Chris Bishop.

PLU punched a run across in the first inning when Courcy led off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sammy Davis, and then scored on Hoffman's base hit. Courcy and Hoffman combined for another run in the third when Hoffman's single scored Courcy, who had himself reached on a base hit.

The home team made it 3-0 in the fourth inning when Curtis Wildung hit a two-out double and Bishop, normally a pitcher but making a rare start in the outfield, followed with his first collegiate hit and RBI.

The final three runs came an inning later, and again they came via a two-out rally. Jaron Iwakami hit a single to center to drive in Davis, who had reached on a base hit. After a Puget Sound error and a hit batter loaded the bases, Bishop hit another single to center, driving in two runs.

That was more than enough offense for Eisenhauer, who punched the air with his fist and let out a shout after getting the final out of the game on a force play at second base.

Unfortunately, Brock Gates saw his season-opening 20-game hitting streak come to an end as he finished 0-for-4 in the game.

The Lutes are back in action next weekend when they travel to Orange, Calif., to play a four-game non-conference series against the 2011 NCAA Division III national runner-up Chapman Panthers.

- PLU -