Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
TACOMA, Wash. – In his second career start on the mound, Chad Gideon willed the Pacific Lutheran University baseball team to a 1-0 road win on Sunday against crosstown rival University of Puget Sound.
The narrow victory led to a Northwest Conference series win for the Lutes (4-2, 2-1 NWC) against the Loggers (4-6, 1-2 NWC). Gideon pitched seven strong, striking out seven batters. The freshman gave up just four hits while walking two batters. Lee Larson came in in relief, pitching the final two innings of the ball game, keeping the Loggers off the scoreboard. The duo combined for eight strikeouts on the day.
"We got another great start from Gideon, and Larson was really tough in relief to get his first save," PLU pitching coach Sean Taunt said. "We played fantastic defense all weekend. In weather like we faced this weekend, it's really difficult to throw zeros up in error column, so hats off to them."
The game was scoreless until the seventh inning. The bases were loaded for Brett Johnson when he hit a groundball up the middle. The shortstop was able to scoop it up, and step on the bag for the force at second but Brett Johnson scurried up the line to beat out the double play allowing Cole Johnson to score what proved to be the lone run of the day.
Apart from that, the Lute offense was quiet. Landon Packard went two-for-four on the day, picking up two singles. The Lute outfield all had a hit, as B. Johnson, Kory VanderStaay and Connor Cantu reached first base. C. Johnson went one-for-two at the plate, drawing a walk.
The game was won on the mound for the Lutes. Puget Sound leadoff hitters were one-for-nine on the game. PLU pitchers were stellar with runners on. The Loggers went zero-for-four with runners in scoring position. They got outs in the air and on the ground, as the Loggers flew out 10 times, and grounded out seven times.
"It's huge," Taunt said. "Our conference is such a dogfight, anytime you can take two out of three it's a great weekend, especially on the road. Our guys showed a lot of guts winning two after dropping the first game."
PLU plays its true home opener next weekend as they host Lewis & Clark College for a three-game set. On Saturday the 25th, the two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. and will wrap the series on Sunday at noon.