By John Tveter
The theme of the series between PLU and Whitworth was pitching, and the final game of the series proved to be no exception. As the scoreless game headed into the ninth inning, the Lutes were growing desperate. It had been 23 innings since their last run.
Junior Collin Nilson stepped up to bat to lead off the inning, and drilled a double down the left field line. A Whitworth throwing error later in the inning allowed him to score, and the Lutes celebrated a 1-0 victory.
“Our program is run on an acronym that is very fundamental to our success: E.A.T. (Effort, Attitude, and Toughness),” junior Trevor Lubking said. “As long as we’re giving maximum effort, keeping a positive attitude, and being the toughest team on the field, we will keep finding success.”
First-year Derrick Mahlum picked up the victory with eight scoreless innings, improving his season record to 4-1. Mahlum held the Pirates to two hits along with his six strikeouts on 103 pitches. Junior AJ Konopaski entered the game in the ninth to close it out, and his 1-2-3 inning gave him his eighth save of the year, which leads the Northwest Conference.
Senior Alec Beal led PLU with two hits, while sophomore Tyler Thompson, junior Collin Nilson, junior Curtis Wildung, senior Bo Pearson and first-year Ben Welch all added one hit apiece. Pearson managed a hit in every game in the series.
The Northwest Conference-leading Lutes 12-5 (7-1) return to action March 22 and 23 when they host Puget Sound 5-8 (3-3) in a three-game series. The double-header on the 22 begins at noon, and the final game of the series on the 23 will start at 1 PM.