Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University baseball team closed out the Northwest Conference regular season with an 11-4 win over George Fox University before dropping a 2-1 seven-inning non-conference game to close the series on Sunday.
Cole Johnson was fantastic for the Lutes (19-10, 17-7 NWC) on the mound in game one. The lefty tossed a complete game, allowing six hits, four earned runs, and two strikeouts. He threw 107 pitches, 74 of which were strikes.
"It was fun," Johnson said. "The start of the year didn't go very well. The last couple outings have been going a lot better. It's just nice when you're in a situation where you need to win a game and to go out and do your job."
Johnson got an incredible amount of run support in the bottom of the first inning. The Lutes sent 15 batters to the plate, including 10 with two outs in the inning. They drew two walks, had seven hits and piled on 10 runs.
Landon Packard was huge in the first inning with two singles. The second of which drove in Anthony Gosline. Ben Welch would score on a throwing error in the same play. Packard finished game one three-for-five with a run batted in. The senior scored two runs of his own.
Johnson helped his own cause on the mound by helping the Lutes score three runs in that inning. Packard scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Johnson. Later in the inning, Johnson put a ball in play that resulted in an error, as Packard and Gosline would score unearned runs.
"It was good," Head Coach Nolan Soete said. "It was a very good inning that won us the game. I thought we were pretty flat offensively for the rest of the day. We got a couple hits in seventh and we put up a run, but other than that we were pretty mediocre offensively."
The Lute offense went quiet in game two, accumulating three hits. Their lone run came in the fourth inning when Johnson scored on a ground out from Marques Carlson. The Bruins (14-17, 9-12 NWC) scored a run in the first and added a solo home run in the fourth for the win.
Lee Larson started game two and pitched well. He allowed just three hits in four innings of work. He gave up two earned runs and struck out four. Chad Gideon got three innings worth of work in. He allowed two hits and struck out three.
"I thought Lee had a good outing," Soete said. "Gideon came in and did a really good job keeping it where it was."
The Lutes host California Lutheran University in a non-conference series with a doubleheader on April 14, and a single game on April 15.
"We are going to have to play a lot better," Soete said. "I'm looking to see definite improvement and better focus all around. Game-to-game focus, pitch-to-pitch focus. We haven't really done a good job of being completely focused the last couple weeks."