Game 2 Box Score
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – A trio of multi-home run players helped Linfield and Whitworth split a doubleheader Saturday at Roy Helser Field on the first day of a three-game set between the two Northwest Conference frontrunners.
The Pirates (12-7-1, 6-2 NWC) entered the series in first place in the league standings, but now sit in second place, just ahead of the Wildcats (13-5, 10-4 NWC).
Kramer Lindell (Sr., West Linn, Ore.) and Nick Fisher (Sr., Lake Oswego, Ore.) each hit a pair of home runs as Linfield exploded to a 15-3 victory over the Pirates.
The ‘Cats got off to a hot start, posting a run in the first and another in the second, the latter on a solo home run from Fisher. With one out in the third, Linfield caught fire, as an RBI groundout from Kyle Chamberlain sparked a three-run rally to give the Wildcats a 5-0 lead.
Linfield starter Ryan Larson had exceptional command early, not allowing a baserunner until the fourth.
The Wildcats refused to cool off offensively, scoring three more runs in the fourth thanks to home runs from Kenny Johnson (Sr., Federal Way, Wash.) and Lindell.
Pirates starter Spencer Ansett was driven from the game after only 3.2 innings, surrendering eight earned runs on nine hits and two walks.
Larson carried a shutout into the sixth, allowing only one hit up to that point. On the day he threw seven innings, allowing three runs on four hits, with a pair of strikeouts and no walks.
The Pirates struck for three runs in the sixth, however, opening the door for a potential comeback.
Linfield stretched out the lead again in its half of the sixth, scoring four runs on four hits including a pair of home runs from Lindell and Fisher.
Andrew Villeneuve pitched a scoreless inning for Linfield in the eighth in his varsity debut as a Wildcat. Jacob Nolte finished the game for the ‘Cats, posting a scoreless ninth as he retired all three batters he faced.
Tyler Pfeffer went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Pirates, who totaled just four hits in Game 1.
Eight of the nine starters got hits for the ‘Cats. The home team tallied 19 hits in the first game alone and 27 total for the afternoon. Lindell and Fisher drove in a combined nine runs, and were joined by Harlow as the three Wildcats to collect three hits each.
The early innings of the nightcap were defined by defense. Wilson made a spectacular diving stop and throw on a sharp ground ball in the second to prevent a run from scoring and keep the score knotted at 0-0.
This time it was Whitworth that struck first, scoring three runs in the third inning off of Linfield starter Robert Vaughn. A base hit from Landon Scott brought home Nick Motsinger, which set the stage for Pfeffer. The sophomore hit his fifth home run of the season to give the Pirates the lead, 3-0.
Vaughn was lifted from the game in the fourth after a base hit from Paul Miller extended Whitworth’s edge to 4-0.
Linfield had no answer for Whitworth pitcher Carson Blumenthal, who allowed only two hits through the first five innings.
Whitworth built a two-out rally in the sixth, as a bunt single sandwiched by a pair of walks loaded the bases for Pfeffer. The Pirates’ left fielder sent the 1-2 pitch from Spencer Crepeaux over the left field wall to clear the bases and give his team a commanding 8-0 lead.
The grand slam proved to be more than enough to propel Blumenthal to the win. He threw 7.2 innings, giving up one run on six hits with five strikeouts.
Linfield made one final push in the ninth, as a two-out line drive from Wilson over the outstretched glove of Pirates shortstop Nick Motsinger brought home Jake Wylie (Sr., Eagle, Idaho), who had doubled in a pinch-hitting role.
Motsinger went 4-for-4 with a pair of runs for the Pirates in the second game, and Pfeffer’s two home runs and six RBI helped pace Whitworth to its 13th victory of the season.
NEXT UP: The series wraps up Sunday at Roy Helser Field, when the ‘Cats seek to win the series with a Game 3 victory. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
Hits 3-for-5 with two homers in Game 1
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128