Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
POMONA, Calif. – In the final game in its California trip, the Pacific Lutheran University Baseball team showcased some effective hitting before falling on a walk-off homer to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Sunday afternoon, falling 17-16 in 10 innings.
The first inning showed the trends occurring for the Lutes, with singles from Jacob Bockelie and Anthony Gosline putting two on base for Cole Johnson. In typical Lute fashion, Johnson homered to right center, bringing in three runs to open up the scoring on the game.
In the same inning, a single from Max Cummings put him on, and a double from Tori Doten moved Cummings to third. Adam Stump then singled, driving in Cummings and advancing Doten to third. A single from Matt Vick drove in Doten, taking the Lutes to a 5-0 lead in the first inning of the game.
The Lutes gave up two in the bottom of the first, but made the run differential up in the top of the second. A Bockelie single and Johnson double put runners on second and third, and a Marques Carlson RBI single drove in both runners on base, taking the Lutes to a 7-2 lead.
The Lutes gave up two more in the bottom of the fourth, but came back in the top of the sixth to add on to their lead. Connor Cantu doubled to left field, and advanced to third on a groundout by Gosline. A Bockelie RBI single drove Cantu in, and a Johnson double pushed Bockelie to third. Carlson was walked to load the bases. An error on Pomona-Pitzer brought Cummings to second, scoring Bockelie and Johnson.
Doten hit a single through the left side to score Carlson, and a Stump single the same way scored Cummings. The Lutes added five runs onto their score, putting them at a 12-4 lead.
The Lutes decided in the top of the ninth that a five-run lead just wasn't enough. A Cantu walk, followed by a wild pitch that advanced him to second. A Gosline walk put two players on base, and a single from Johnson drove in Cantu, while a single from Carlson drove in Gosline. The Lutes added two to their lead, putting them at 14-7.
Pomona-Pitzer came back and tied the game up in the bottom of the ninth, extending the game on into extra innings.
In the top of the tenth inning, the Lutes put together a walk for Doten, Stump got hit by a pitch, Vick made a sacrifice play to advance Doten and Stump, Cantu singled, and Doten scored on an error by Pomona-Pitzer. A Bockelie sacrifice fly scored another, but it wasn't enough to keep the Lutes ahead, with Pomona-Pitzer scoring three on a walkoff three-run homer in the bottom of the tenth to take the game.
"The game today was tough," said Bockelie. "Offensively, we've been seeing the ball well and putting really good swings on balls. Cole was electric for us at the plate and really carried us when his number was called."
While it may not have been the result the Lutes were looking for, the California trip definitely proved to be successful, with the Lutes winning the previous series against last year's NCAA champions in California Lutheran University.
"The Cali trip was really good for us to prepare ourselves for the conference tournament," said Jacob Bockelie. "Playing California Lutheran is always a cool experience for us, especially being down at their facilities and playing in the sun."
The Lutes are hosting the Northwest Conference Tournament this upcoming weekend, with games starting on Friday, April 20.