McMINNVILLE, Ore. – A wet and windy day stole the spotlight in a nonconference matchup that saw Concordia-Portland prevail over Linfield 6-2 Wednesday afternoon at Roy Helser Field.
The NAIA-affiliated Cavaliers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after posting two runs in the first inning and three more in the second. Linfield starter Casey Cameron battled the elements and struggled to harness control of his pitches. Several wild pitches and a hit batter put runners on base for Concordia.
CU (16-13) sprinkled five singles throughout the game and benefitted from two Linfield errors.
The ‘Cats clawed their way back into the game in the third, posting two runs by way of a double from Kevin Allan that danced down the left-field line and an RBI groundout from Kramer Lindell (Sr., West Linn, Ore.).
Linfield (13-7) used the nonconference bout as the opportunity to test six different pitching arms. Cameron, Chris Haddeland (Jr., McMinnville, Ore.) and Aaron Thomassen (Jr., Seattle, Wash.) each threw two innings for the ‘Cats, while closers Garett Speyer (Sr., Vancouver, Wash.), Andrew Villeneuve and Jacob Nolte tossed an inning apiece in relief.
The Wildcats had no answer for Concordia’s pitching, managing three hits through the first seven innings and four hits overall.
Linfield had a decent scoring opportunity in the eighth when an error by Cavs shortstop Jordan Keeker allowed Jordan Harlow to reach base and Tim Wilson advanced to second. Shayne Nakata retired the next two Wildcats on a strikeout and fly out to preserve Concordia’s 6-2 lead.
Nolte retired the side in order in the top of the ninth, giving Linfield one last chance to cut into Concordia’s lead.
Zach Boskovich was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the inning and a subsequent hit batsman and a walk loaded the bases. With two outs on the board, all-star second baseman Tim Wilson smoked a line drive into center field, but the ball hung up just long enough for centerfielder Calvin Nagy to snag it, ending the game.
Concordia ended with just five hits but capitalized on two Linfield errors and five issued walks.
Nakata earned the win, his first of the season. Cameron took the loss to fall to 1-2.
NEXT UP: The ‘Cats travel to Tacoma, Wash., to take on Puget Sound in a three-game Northwest Conference series. Saturday's doubleheader starts at noon with a single game scheduled for Sunday, also at noon.