McMINNVILLE, Ore. – First-team all-NWC pitcher Ryan Larson turned in perhaps his best start of the year, throwing a shutout to back a 3-0 Linfield victory over visiting Pacific Lutheran Saturday afternoon at Roy Helser Field.
Linfield’s ace was untouchable, allowing four hits and no walks, while striking out nine Lutes en route to the complete-game shutout.
The Lutes (24-15) threatened in the third, as a base hit from Markus McClurkin put runners on first and third. But Larson kept his composure and struck out the next batter to end the inning and preserve the shutout.
Jake Wylie (Sr., Eagle, Idaho) promptly led off the third with a double down the left-field line for the Wildcats, and Kevin Allan and Kenny Johnson (Sr., Federal Way, Wash.) followed with walks to load the bases with no outs. All-league second baseman Tim Wilson drove in Wylie with a base hit to give the Wildcats the lead.
After struggling with command, Lutes starter Chris Bishop settled down and was able to escape the third inning allowing only a single run, leaving the bases loaded.
Kramer Lindell (Sr., West Linn, Ore.) led off the sixth with a line drive to left center, and Zach Boskovich doubled the Wildcats’ lead with a two-bagger down the left field line. A base hit up the middle from Allan kept the rally going and extended Linfield’s lead to 3-0.
A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases, but relief pitcher Jacob Otness worked out of the jam to limit the damage to two runs.
Bishop lasted 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits while walking four and striking out six Linfield batters.
Defensive replacement Jesse Boustead led off the eighth for the ‘Cats with a walk, and a subsequent walk and hit batter loaded the bases with two outs for second-team all-NWC selection Kyle Chamberlain. PLU’s Otness once again got out of the jam, as the right-hander coaxed a ground ball to retire the side.
Larson took the hill in the ninth, and finished off his masterpiece by getting NWC Player of the Year Brock Gates to ground into a game-ending double play.
Linfield (24-15) boasted three multi-hit players, including Wilson, who had three, and Lindell and Wylie, who each had a pair.
NEXT UP: The Wildcats host George Fox Sunday in the finale of the six-game tournament. The two NWC rivals clash at 3:30 p.m. at Roy Helser Field.
Seven strikeouts, zero walks
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128