by Brad Wall
MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – Whitworth used a five-run seventh inning to distance themselves on their way to a 9-2 victory over Trinity, making the Pirates the Champions of the McMinnville Regional.
Kelly Woodruff hit a one-out single through the left side in the first and moved over to second on a wild pitch. He then moved over to third on a single by Nick Pappas. Kevin Clements put Trinity on the board with a sac-fly to score Woodruff.
Joshua Davis walked to lead off the second. After an Erik Nikssarian popout, Whitworth loaded the bases as Paul Miller was hit by a pitch and Kevin Valerio singled through the right side. Nick Motsinger tied the game up with a sac-fly to left field scoring Davis. Gerald Muelheims flew out to right field to end the second.
Whitworth added a run in the fourth as Davis stole home and he drove in Landon Scott in the fifth with a single up the middle.
After getting two straight walks in the bottom of the fifth with two outs, Trinity got a run back with a Clements single that scored Woodruff.
With one out in the seventh, Whitworth loaded up the bases with a Davis walk, Niksarrian single and a Miller hit by the pitch. Trinity brought in Weston Haff for Joshua Fink, and Valerio welcomed him to the game with a single up the middle to score Davis. Motsinger ripped a double to right field to bring around to score Niksarrian and Miller, ending Haff's outing quickly. Reliever Matthew Tindall induced a ground out by Muelheims, but then gave up a double to Tyler Pfeffer that scored Motsinger and Valerio. Scott grounded out to end the inning with the Pirates up 8-2.
JR Jarrell singled to start the eighth and moved over to third on a sac-bunt and fielder's choice. Miller singled to right field to bring in Jarrell and improve their lead to seven.
C.J. Perry went 3 and 1/3 innings allowing one run on four hits. Jason Renner's relief effort included 1 and 1/3 innings, giving up a run on one hit. Dan Scheibe shut down Trinity's lineup for the next 4 and 1/3 innings only allowing one hit and striking out four.
With the victory, the Pirates advance to the Division Three Finals starting Friday the 25th in Appleton, WI. They will play the winner of the Marietta Regional.