Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
SEGUIN, Texas – The offense from the Pacific Lutheran University baseball team was dormant in game one of their doubleheader against Texas Lutheran University on Sunday. That changed quickly, as the Lutes pounded 10 hits while scoring 12 runs in game two. It wasn't enough as the team dropped both games by finals of 5-0 and 13-12 to close out the season season opening tour of Texas.
In game one, Justin Armbruester made his college debut on the mound for the Lutes (1-3). The freshman out of Eastside Catholic faced 21 batters, striking out five while walking just two. He struggled in the final inning of his outing, giving up three of his four earned runs in the sixth inning.
"Armbruester threw well," head coach Nolan Soete said. "He did a great job for his first college outing. Unfortunately we were unable to provide him with any run support."
Offensively, the Lutes were quiet in game one. Austin Gormley went two-for-three in the leadoff spot. Connor Cantu drew a pair of walks. Marques Carlson roped a double, but PLU wasn't able push across any runs. The host Bulldogs (2-0) pushed across single runs in both the first and fifth innings before scratching across three more in the sixth to secure the win.
The offense came alive early in game two as the Lutes scored six runs in the first two innings. Cole Johnson drove in half of those runs with a sacrifice fly in the first, followed by a two-run smash to right field in the second. The Lutes trailed by two in the eighth inning, before Johnson hammered a double that tied the game at 10. In game two, Johnson went two-for-five, driving in five runs.
"I was trying to get pitches up in the zone," Johnson said. "I was fortunate enough to get some pitches I could handle and I got barrel to them."
In the top of the ninth, Tori Doten reached on a fielding error, followed by a walk from Matt Vick. Wesley Nixon bunted the duo into scoring position before a fielder's choice from Austin Gormley brought in a run. A wild pitch brought in Vick, giving the Lutes a 12-10 lead with three outs to go. Home field advantage loomed large as the Bulldogs scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, ending the Lutes time in Texas.
"We learned a lot about ourselves as a team," Soete said. "A lot of young guys were able to gain a better understanding of this level of baseball. We learned that we absolutely need to sweat the small stuff and we need to consistently improve throughout the season."
The Lutes return to action next weekend in the Northwest Conference Preseason Tournament, playing games against Pacific University, Whitman College, Whitworth University, and Linfield College. The NWCPT starts on Friday and runs through Sunday.