Written by Student Assistant Sarah Cornell-Maier
FOREST GROVE, Ore. – The Pacific Lutheran University baseball team secured a weekend sweep of Northwest Conference rival Pacific University on Sunday, outlasting the hosts 11-10 in a marathon 11-inning contest to close out the three-game series.
Contrary to the narrative of Saturday's games, the runs in Sunday's game were spread out through several innings, although they still came in the same spectacularly concentrated fashion as Saturday's victories over the Boxers.
The day started with an exciting first inning for the Lutes (9-8, 7-2 NWC), with Connor Cantu doubling into left field. A groundout from Anthony Gosline brought Cantu around to third, before being brought into home plate by a wild pitch from Pacific (8-12, 4-8 NWC) pitcher Paul Wolfram.
In the third, Tori Doten reached first after being hit by a pitch, and a Cantu single and Gosline walk loaded the bases for Jacob Bockelie. Bockelie was hit by a pitch, bringing in Doten for a run. Then a pair of sacrifice flies by Cole Johnson and Marques Carlson brought Cantu and Gosline over home plate for the 4-2 lead.
Pacific answered with six runs across the third and fourth innings before taking a 9-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
A single run was scored in the seventh, with Cantu singling yet again to be driven in by another sacrifice fly by Cole Johnson.
The real action for the Lutes came in the top of the ninth inning, where the Lutes scored four to take the game to extra innings. Gosline singled to right center, and Bockelie came in right after and hit a home run to drive in Gosline and himself, closing the gap to just two runs. Johnson singled to left and was moved to third on a double from Carlson. A walk for Adam Stump loaded the bases, and when Corey Ng came in to run for Stump, a groundout by Kyle Temme drove in Johnson. Matt Vick got on base after being hit by a pitch, re-loading the bases to make a walk on Tori Doten move in the tying run.
In the tenth, a Bockelie double and Johnson single put the Lutes on top for half the inning, before the Boxers caught up with a run in the bottom of the tenth.
It took eleven innings, but the Lutes came out on top with no reciprocal scoring from the Boxers in the bottom of the eleventh. A Gosline single, Bockelie walk, followed by an error allowed Gosline to score and put the Lutes on top for good.
"It wasn't the prettiest win, but we will take it," said head coach Nolan Soete. "I'm extremely proud of how this team battled. We faced a lot of adversity this weekend and the players really came together and demonstrated a lot of mental toughness."
Seven of the 10 runs allowed by the Lutes were unearned while Alex Gregory helped the Lutes minimize any damage late in the game, tossing 1 2/3 innings to collect the win while Josh Takagi tallied the save.
The Lutes return home to Washington to pick up the second game of their delayed series against the University of Puget Sound on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at PLU Field.