SPOKANE, Wash. – A double to left field in the sixth inning by Whitworth’s Tyler Pfeffer allowed Michael Takamura to score from second base, carrying the unranked Whitworth Pirates to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over 10th-ranked Linfield in the third and final game of the Northwest Conference series Sunday at Merkel Field.
The visiting Wildcats saw their eight-game winning streak snapped, falling to 16-5 overall and 10-2 in conference action. The Pirates broke a three-game losing skid, improving to 10-14 overall and 4-5 in the NWC.
J.R. Jarrell went 3-for-4 while Landon Scott scored twice for the Pirates.
Basketball All-American Michael Taylor, in only his second game since joining the Whitworth baseball team, pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory on the mound. Liam O'Brien started for the Pirates and allowed only one earned run as two second-inning errors proved costly for Whitworth.
Cole Bixenman, who hit a pair of home runs in Saturday's second game, led off the second inning with a solo homer, his fourth, to give Linfield the early lead. Clayton Truex (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.), another Wildcat hitting star from Saturday, followed with a double. But an error at second base and a subsequent miscue in left field allowed Truex and Kevin Coleman to score unearned runs.
The Pirates chipped away with single runs in the second, third, fifth and sixth innings. Jarrell led off the second with a single up the middle and later scored on Kyle Krustangel's sacrifice fly. Scott scored on an error at third base in the third. Jarrell singled home Scott in the fifth and Tyler Pfeffer doubled home the eventual winning run in the sixth.
Other than the second inning the Pirates played strong defense, turning four double plays. Linfield's innings ended in the fifth, sixth and eighth inning with those double plays.
Kevin Allan went 3-for-4 for Linfield at the plate. Evan Hilberg started on the mound for the Wildcats and gave up three runs (one earned) on six hits in five innings. Spencer Crepeaux (1-1) pitched the final three innings and allowed the winning run on only one hit.
AHEAD: Linfield returns to Roy Helser Field for a three-game weekend series with Puget Sound. Saturday’s doubleheader starts at noon, followed by a single game Sunday, also at noon.
Three hits in road loss
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