Story by Whitworth Univ. Athletics
SPOKANE, Wash. – Tyler Pfeffer singled home Justin Liu with two outs in the bottom of the 16th inning to lift Whitworth to a 6-5 win over visiting Puget Sound in the finale of a three-game Northwest Conference series on Sunday afternoon at Merkel Field.
The Pirates improve to 8-6-1 overall and 3-0 in the NWC with the sweep of the Loggers (7-9, 2-4).
The game was tied 4-4 after Josh Davis' single tied the game in the eighth inning for the Pirates. No runs were scored again until each team posted a single run in the 14th.
The contest was marked by a pair of impressive relief pitching performances from each team. Taylor Isadore threw 6.2 innings of two-hit, scoreless relief for the Pirates, while Lucas Stone moved from the outfield to pitcher and tossed 7.1 innings of relief for the Loggers. Neither factored into the final decision, however.
Stone got his team on the board initially with an RBI single in the top of the first inning. But the Pirates scored two in the bottom half of the first on Pfeffer's first RBI single of the game and a run-scoring fielder's choice by Nathan Jewett.
Whitworth added one more in the third on Jewett's RBI single to make it 3-1.
Puget Sound rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the fifth. Kaulana Smith had a sacrifice fly to pull his team within a run. After Christian Carter reached on an error, Nathan Backes drove in a run with a fielder's choice. Backas later scored on Stone's double to give UPS a 4-3 lead. Two of the runs in the inning were unearned.
Whitworth tied it in the eighth, but had a chance to go ahead. Davis singled to center with the bases loaded and one out. Nick Motsinger scored from third, but Jeremy Druffel was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base.
Nick Funyak's sacrifice fly in the 14th gave UPS a 5-4 lead, but the Pirates tied it on Druffel's RBI single in the bottom of the inning with two outs.
Liu set up the game-winning hit when he led off the bottom of the 16th with a double down the left field line.
Nick Scourey started the game on the mound for Whitworth and allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits in 6.1 innings. He struck out five and walked two. Isadore followed with his 6.2 innings of two-hit relief. He struck out five and didn't walk a batter. Spencer Ansett (1-2) pitched the final 3.0 innings and got the win after giving up one run on two hits.
Nathan Aguiar went 4.0 as the UPS starter, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits. Steve Wager pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, followed by Stone's 7.1 innings of work. Rhett Gibbs finished up and dropped to 0-1 after pitching 1.2 innings.
Pfeffer and Druffel both had four hits on the day for the Bucs.
Whitworth will travel to the west side to take on Pacific Lutheran in a three-game series next weekend.