Game 2 Box Score
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Ryan Larson and
(Sr., Coburg, Ore.) turned in stellar pitching performances as No. 19 Linfield won both games of a key Northwest Conference doubleheader over Pacific Lutheran Friday afternoon at Roy Helser Field.
The Wildcats found their stride at the plate, scoring 17 total runs, and rode solid pitching to stretch their current win streak to six games, a season high.
Hot bats and outstanding pitching paved the way for an 11-1 victory for Linfield (19-7, 15-5 NWC) in the first act of the twinbill.
PLU (17-10, 9-5 NWC) struck first, however. Sammy Davis led off the game with a line drive to center that he turned into a double when Kramer Lindell (Sr., West Linn, Ore.) could not complete a diving grab. After a sacrifice bunt, Jacob Hoffman stroked a base hit to left field, plating Davis and giving the Lutes the early 1-0 edge. With the bases loaded, Linfield starter Ryan Larson worked out of the jam, coaxing a ground ball for an inning-ending double play.
Linfield responded in its half of the first, plating two runs thanks to back-to-back RBI singles from Zach Boskovich and Nate McClellan (Sr., Shoreline, Wash.).
After a shutdown second inning from Larson, Linfield capitalized again in the second, this time on an RBI triple from Tim Wilson followed by an RBI single by Jordan Harlow. The two plays bolstered the Wildcats’ lead and made the score 4-1.
The offensive push proved to be enough to propel Larson into a groove, as the right-hander retired the side in order in the third and went on to throw six consecutive scoreless innings.
A double from Wilson in the fifth set the stage for Linfield’s fifth run of the day, as the second baseman came around to score on a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch.
The ‘Cats blew the game open in the sixth, scoring six runs to ensure an insurmountable lead. McClellan led off the inning with a base hit, and a throwing error by Lutes’ pitcher Nathan Eisenhauer allowed the first run of the inning to score. Three straight subsequent singles, a walk, and a double play fielder’s choice groundout plated the rest of the runs for the ‘Cats, and drove the score to 11-1.
Larson pitched seven innings on the day, allowing one run on six hits and one walk while recording six strikeouts on the way to earning his fifth win of the year.
Spencer Crepeaux threw the final two innings to close out the victory for the Wildcats.
PLU starter Collin Nilson was driven from the game after allowing five runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings of work.
Wilson went 3-for-4 for Linfield in Game 1, and scored three runs while also driving in three more. McClellan added a pair of base hits, scored once and drove in a run to contribute to the win.
Zach Boskovich homered and drove in four runs to help Linfield complete the doubleheader sweep with a 6-2 victory over PLU.
Similar to how things transpired early in Game 1, PLU scratched out a single run in the first, helped in part by a bases-loaded walk from Linfield starter Zach Manley (Sr., Coburg, Ore.). A strikeout and groundout ended the inning however, and Manley managed to limit the damage to a single run.
Linfield wasted no time taking the lead in its half of the frame, as Boskovich clobbered his fifth home run of the season. The three-run blast plated Lindell and Wilson, and gave Manley a 3-1 cushion to work with.
The Lutes threatened in the third, putting runners on first and second with two out. But Manley recorded a strikeout to evade the inning unscathed.
Manley matched Larson’s performance in Game 1 nearly pitch-for-pitch, as he threw four scoreless innings after the first. The streak was snapped by a solo home run from Taylor Wattenberg in the sixth, which brought the Lutes within three runs of Linfield.
The Wildcats’ offense was stymied through the middle innings, as Trevor Lubking didn’t allow a run between the third and eighth.
A sacrifice fly from Kevin Allan in the bottom of the eighth plated pinch runner Danny Urness to add an insurance run for the ‘Cats.
Robert Vaughn threw three scoreless innings of relief for Linfield to earn his second save of the season. He allowed just one hit and struck out four batters in the appearance.
Manley exited after six innings, allowing two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts, and earned his third win of the season.
AHEAD: The three-game set wraps up Saturday at Roy Helser Field with the first pitch scheduled for noon. The ‘Cats look to keep rolling and win their seventh in a row.