Written by Student Assistant Sarah Cornell-Maier
TACOMA, Wash. - The Pacific Lutheran University baseball team combined aggressive hitting with a strong showing from the bullpen to power over the Pacific University 5-4 on Saturday at PLU Field.
The first inning was uneventful for both teams, but the Lutes (10-3, 8-2 Northwest Conference) started off the bottom of the second with a bang as Kory VanderStaay knocked a ball into center field for a double, bringing Cole Johnson up to the plate. Johnson hit a single right up the middle, allowing VanderStaay to round third for the first run of the game. Anthony Gosline then smacked a ball into the outfield for the second double of the inning, putting Johnson into scoring position. Jacob Clements then singled through the left side to advance the runners and allowing Johnson to score. The Lutes scored another run thanks to two walks by the Boxers' (8-8, 3-7 NWC) pitcher.
The Lutes would eventually score two more runs in the bottom of the 7th inning, with another double for Anthony Gosline and an RBI single for pinch-hitter Frank Airey for what proved to be the decisive score.
"We have to ride this momentum from the past few games and keep playing good baseball," said Gosline. "The offense got runners on base and had good at bats the whole game. The pitchers competed and gave the defense a chance to make plays the whole game."
The PLU bullpen came in clutch during the latter half of the game, with reliever Andrew Curran coming in to claim several key outs for the Lutes to earn the win while Tanner Williams tallied four punchouts in the two innings of work for the save.
"It's been great being able to get some playing time and being able to give my team quality innings," said Curran. "It's really cool seeing everyone's hard work pay off."
"We had a lot of guys step up and give us a good team win. Curran came in and did his job, and so did Frank with his pinch hit, go-ahead single," said closer Tanner Williams. "I'm glad I was able to close the door when called on."
Offensively the Lutes pounded out 10 hist with VanderStaay and Gosline both finished with three hits on the day.
"We are getting close to getting all three phases- hitting, pitching, and defense- together," said Head Coach Nolan Soete. "We are looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow."
The Lutes and Boxers close the series with a twinbill on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m.