By Christian Bond, Sports Information Student Writer
PORTLAND, Ore. - Pacific Lutheran nearly overcame a large deficit for the second consective day but a late run gave Lewis & Clark a 6-5 victory. The loss snapped the Lutes' seven game conference win steak.
The Lutes (23-15, 15-9) trailed 5-2 heading into the fifth inning when they began to chip away at the Pioneers' lead. Ben Welch walked and advanced to second on Drew Oord's single. Tyler Thompson's fielder's choice erased Welch off the bases. Cole Johnson and Brett Johnson then followed with consecutive two-out singles to plate Oord and Thompson and bring the Lutes within one, 5-4.
The game remained 5-4 until the top of the sixth inning when Sean Rehon led off the inning with a walk and scored on Welch's two-out double to left field.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Pioneers pushed across the winning run with an RBI single to left field.
Welch, Oord and Landon Packard led the Lutes offensively with two hits each.
"I was just trying to see the ball deep in the zone and stay inside the baseball," Welch said. "It
was nice to get a couple hits to fall today."
Cole Johnson got the start on the mound for the Lutes and gave the Lutes 7 1/3 innings despite early struggles.
"Cole had a rough second inning," PLU head coach Nolan Soete said. "Other than that he
pitched pretty well."
Cory Nelson finished conference play with the lowest ERA (2.32) among qualified pitchers (min. 1 inning per team game). He also finished second in conference with six wins.
Garrett Brown finished in a tie for most saves (6) with Willamette's Jackson Watt.
"We sit in second place," Soete said. "We did a good job getting to this point after a rough 2-4
start to the NWC season... Our focus is on the post season. We are excited for this tournament"
ON TAP FOR THE LUTES...
Whitworth (No. 1), PLU (No. 2), George Fox (No. 3) and Pacific (No. 4) earned spots in the Northwest Conference Tournament. The Lutes will play George Fox on Friday, 3 p.m.