McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Pacific Lutheran saw its string of dominant pitching efforts continue even after a nearly two-week layoff, as Trevor Lubking pitched six four-hit innings and the Lutes took down Oregon Tech 3-1 Saturday afternoon at Roy Helser Field.
Lubking picked up his first win of the season, allowing only one unearned run while striking out 10 and walking one. Jake Otness and Cory Nelson pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing a combined five hits as OIT tried to rally to tie it up late before AJ Konopaski pitched a perfect ninth inning for his fifth save in five appearances, tying his 2013 season total.
Oregon Tech got its lone run in the bottom of the first inning, as the first batter reached on a PLU error, stole second and scored on a double. The Owls left two runners on base in three different innings, including an eighth frame that saw the Lutes throw out an OIT runner at home plate to end the inning.
PLU got on board for the first time in the third inning. Nicholas Hall was hit by a pitch to open the inning, and he stole second before advancing to third on a Dominick Courcy single to center. Alex Beal drove Hall in from third with an infield groundout to tie up the game at 1-1.
The Lutes took the lead in the next inning. Kory Vanderstaay led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt before Curtis Wildung brought him in with a double to right. PLU's final run came in the top of the sixth. Kit Banko singled and advanced to second on a groundout before scoring on a single by Landon Packard.
Courcy and Wildung each finished the day with a pair of hits in four at bats, with Courcy reaching base a third time out of the leadoff spot via walk. A trio of OIT hitters tallied multiple hits, but the PLU pitching staff continually frustrated the Owls in compiling a total of 15 strikeouts against one walk in the win. The Lutes return to action Sunday afternoon with a pair of games against Corban (at 2 p.m.) and Concordia (at 5 p.m.).