TACOMA, Wash. - Zach Brandon (Sr., Cottage Grove, Ore.) threw seven shutout innings and the Linfield Wildcats smacked 20 hits on their way to a 14-0 Northwest Conference victory over the Puget Sound Loggers Monday afternoon at UPS Field.
Linfield (16-7, 13-5 NWC) completed a three-game sweep of Puget Sound (4-21, 1-11 NWC), outscoring the host Loggers 26-4 in the set.
In Monday’s rescheduled third game, every Wildcat starter recorded at least one hit. Jordan Harlow and Michael Hopp each recorded three hits on the afternoon.
Brandon retired the first 18 batters he faced, until a walk in the seventh disrupted his bid for a perfect game and gave the Loggers their first baserunner. For the day, Brandon allowed a single hit across seven innings while collecting six strikeouts.
The ‘Cats got going early with four runs in the second inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Tim Wilson and a RBI single from Harlow. Linfield capitalized again in the third, with another four for runs, including a two-run single from Harlow that scored Hopp and Kevin Allan.
After surrendering eight runs on nine hits, Puget Sound starter Lucas Stone was driven from the game after only 2 1/3 innings.
The Wildcats took a brief refrain in the fourth before scoring in every subsequent inning the rest of the way. The middle of Linfield’s order flexed its muscles in the sixth, as back-to-back doubles from cleanup hitter Kyle Chamberlain and Zach Boskovich added to the lead.
Seven ‘Cats posted multiple hits, and Harlow and Wilson each scored and drove in three runs for Linfield.
The Loggers never got rolling as no Logger advanced past second base.
Puget Sound sprinkled two hits off of Spencer Crepeaux, who threw two scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts in relief for the ‘Cats.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield scored 26 runs on 44 hits in the series . . . Wildcat starting pitchers allowed just one earned run and recorded 20 total strikeouts. . . the ‘Cats look to turn the three-game run into a longer streak, as they have won five in a row and six in a row earlier this season.
AHEAD: Linfield heads to Concordia in Northeast Portland on Tuesday to battle the NAIA Cavaliers in a nonconference bout starting at 6 p.m. The emphasis will be building on their recent momentum and fine tuning the lineup in preparation for a key NWC series against Pacific Lutheran next weekend in McMinnville.
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