McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Tension ran high Sunday afternoon as two Northwest Conference championship contenders locked up in a fierce battle at Roy Helser Field. A clutch hit from Landon Scott and 6.2 stellar innings of relief from Dan Scheibe helped Whitworth to a 4-2 victory over Linfield, giving the Pirates a 2-1 series victory over the ‘Cats.
Zach Brandon (Jr., Cottage Grove, Ore.) retired the first two batters of the game, but a base hit and hit batter brought up JR Jarrell with two outs. The Pirates’ first baseman shot a single to right field, plating Tyler Pfeffer to give Whitworth the early 1-0 advantage.
The ‘Cats battled back in their half of the first, as a base hit from Kramer Lindell (Jr., West Linn, Ore.) drove in Tim Wilson (Jr., Redmond, Wash.) to even the score at 1-1.
Momentum swung in the Wildcats’ favor in the third, as Wilson scored again, this time thanks to a base hit from Kyle Chamberlain (Sr., Portland, Ore.).
Brandon recovered after allowing a run in the first, and went on to throw six solid innings while throwing a first-pitch strike to 20 out of 26 batters he faced. On the day he allowed just two runs on eight hits and recorded four strikeouts and no walks.
Both teams fought to scratch out hits. Whitworth plated a run in the fifth to knot the score at 2-2.
With the count at 1-2 and two outs in the seventh, a wild pitch allowed Pirate baserunners to advance to second and third. Scott shot the next pitch into right field to plate both runners and give Whitworth a decisive two-run advantage.
Linfield had a chance in the eighth, as a line drive to right from Chamberlain put runners on the corners for Zach Boskovich. But Scheibe coaxed a pop up out of the Wildcats’ left fielder, ending the threat and preserving the Pirates’ lead going into the ninth.
Scheibe threw 6.2 innings of relief for the Pirates, allowing no runs and just two hits while striking out eight and walking just one.
Wilson scored both of the Wildcats’ runs; he and Chamberlain were the only Linfield players to record multiple hits.
Four Pirates logged two hits each, including Scott, as Whitworth tallied 12 total in the game.
Zach Manley (Sr., Coburg, Ore.) threw 2.2 scoreless innings for Linfield, allowing three hits while striking out a pair.
AHEAD: Linfield plays host to Concordia this Wednesday, in a nonconference single game scheduled for 1 p.m. at Roy Helser Field. The contest will keep the ‘Cats fresh going into a big NWC series next weekend in Tacoma versus Puget Sound.
Four strikeouts over six innings
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128