Pacific takes two from Lutes
By Sam Horn, Sports Writer
This past weekend was rough for the Pacific Lutheran University baseball team.
The Lutes only managed one win in a three-game Northwest Conference series with Pacific University.
Their only win came in the first game, dropping the Boxers 1-0.
After their triumphant start, the Lutes lost the next two games.
In the second game, it took 10 innings for Pacific to win by a score of 7-6.
In the last game of the weekend against Pacific, the Lutes struggled early on their way to a 1-5 loss.
With the two wins over the weekend, the Boxers are tied for fourth place in the Northwest Conference standings with the Lutes, both at 12-12. Pacific improved to 16-22 overall while the Lutes fell to 22-15.
In the first game against Pacific, first baseman Carson McCord, a first year, flexed his muscles by belting a double to left field in the top of the fourth inning that scored the game-winning run.
Senior Max Beatty was in a pitchers duel with his counterpart Rob Dittrick from Pacific.
Both pitchers allowed just five hits and Beatty alone struck out 12 batters. Beatty has helped the Lutes rank ninth in the nation with 293 strikeouts.
That’s an average of 8.8 strikeouts per game from Lute pitchers. Dittrick fell to 3-5 on the season after the loss.
That evening, PLU and Pacific met again in the second game of their doubleheader.
This game was down to the wire, but PLU lost 6-7 in the 10th inning.
PLU held its lead in a rather steadfast manner, not allowing Pacific to score until the fourth inning.
The top of the ninth inning sparked some offensive production, as the Lutes sent eight batters to the plate.
Sophomore Curtis Wildung, catcher, walked to load the bases and his fellow catcher, first-year Garrett Brown, scored the inning’s first run on a wild pitch.
First-year Drew Oord, the third baseman, followed with a single to right field that scored outfielder Cory Nelson, a first year, as he hustled around the bases towards home plate. McCord then drove in two runs to tie the game with his hit to right.
In the 10th inning, sophomore Jake Otness, a relief pitcher, started off with a dominating tone by striking out the first two Pacific batters.
Otness then began to lose sight of the strike zone, hitting a batter while the bases were loaded and allowing Pacific to obtain the game-winning run. Otness is now 1-2 on the season.
Pacific took ahold of the third game early on and never relinquished its lead to the Lutes.
The Boxers had 13 hits in the game and pitcher Matt Delegato threw his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning that kept his team on top.
Pacific scored a run in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings against sophomore PLU starter Trevor Lubking.
After allowing four earned runs on 10 hits in six innings of work, A.J. Konopaski, also a sophomore, relieved Lubking, coming in to pitch the final two innings.Konopaski allowed one run while striking out two batters in his two innings of work.
After the loss, Lubking’s record fell to 8-3 with a conference-leading 97 strikeouts.
The fourth-place Lutes will travel to Lewiston, Idaho to face Linfield and Whitworth tomorrow.
The Lutes end their regular season against Lewis-Clark State on Sunday. 🅼