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VanderStaay Walkoff Powers Lutes to DH Sweep of Pioneers

VanderStaay Walkoff Powers Lutes to DH Sweep of Pioneers

Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond

TACOMA, Wash. – Offensive production from Kory VanderStaay in the second game of the doubleheader against Lewis & Clark College on Saturday helped the Pacific Lutheran University baseball team sweep the day, winning 7-1 and 3-2.

VanderStaay was the hero in game two, destroying a pitch over the left field wall for a walk off home run to earn the doubleheader sweep. The senior outfielder got the Lutes (5-2, 3-1 Northwest Conference) on the board in bottom of the fourth inning when he singled in Landon Packard, giving the team a 1-0 lead. The team trailed 2-1 when he came to the plate in the six. VanderStay lifted a ball over the left field wall to tie the game at 2-2 before doing it again in the ninth.

"It feels pretty great to be able to come through for my team," VanderStaay said. "I've had a couple times in the past where i wasn't able to. It feels pretty great."

"Vandy had a great day today," PLU head coach Nolan Soete said. "He's seeing the ball well. Right now he is one of our most consistent hitters. You can see every time he steps in the box he's confident right now. He put some really good swings on balls today and kept us in the game offensively."

PLU was able to piece together a great pitching performance from some young arms. Chad Gideon started game two and went six innings, giving up three hits and three walks. He struck out three and allowed two runs, none of which were earned. Tanner Zuber came on in relief, getting two outs, giving up a hit, a walk and punched out one batter. Tanner Williams went 2 1/3 innings and had a similar outing. He gave up a hit, a walk and had one strike out. Williams picked up the win.

A pair of infielders led the PLU offense in game one of the double header. Anthony Gosline and Landon Packard combined to drive in five runs during the game. Gosline went three-for-three with a double and two RBIS while also scoring a run.

"I was able to see the ball deep in the zone," Gosline said. "I got good pitches to handle, and I hit them hard up the middle."

Packard was two-for-four in game one. He drove in three runs, and scored another. Packard showed his speed on the basepaths, swiping two basesand defensively was in the middle of three double plays turned by the team.

"Defense has always been a strong suit for us," Packard said. We were a little rough in game two, even had an error in game one. We came up with big time double plays when we needed them. It's a good luxury for us to have, especially for our pitchers. If they let a guy get on, we are there for a double play."

That defense helped Jacob Gleichman in game one. Gleichman went a into the eighth inning, going 7 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and just one earned run. He didn't walk a batter, and struck out four, all looking.

"Nothing really worked for me as far as throwing first pitch strikes," Gleichman said. "I just had to trust what I can do and battle out. Overall, all that matters is that we got the win."  

The Lutes look to complete the sweep tomorrow at noon against Lewis & Clark (2-5, 2-2 NWC).

"We need to come out and play our kind of baseball pitch well, play really good defense and have a lot of quality at bats," Soete said. "Lewis & Clark is a very good opponent, so we are going to come out ready to go."