Whitworth Splits DH With Central Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. – The big bats were out on Tuesday, just not at the same time, as Whitworth and visiting Central Washington exchanged blowouts in a non-conference baseball doubleheader at Merkel Field.

CWU (12-18) won the opener 13-0 while the Pirates (18-10-1) took the nightcap 12-1.  The Wildcats won the season series 3-1.

Whitworth will remain at home this coming weekend for a Northwest Conference showdown with first-place Pacific (Ore.).  The Pirates are two games behind the Boxers in the league standings.

Game 1 – Central Washington 13, Whitworth 0
Kyle Sani and Ethan Sterkel each homered, while Kyle Long threw seven scoreless innings to lead the Wildcats to the easy victory in the first game of the doubleheader.

Long and Pirate starting pitcher Landon Scott each threw three scoreless innings to start the game and it looked like the contest may settle into a pitchers' duel.  But CWU first baseman Derrick Webb reached on an error leading off the fourth inning and that play led to four unearned runs against Scott.  David Leid doubled in Webb for the first run of the game with one out.  Glen Reser's ground out to first base should have been the third out of the inning, but instead it drove home the second run of the game.  Sterkel followed with a two-run shot to right field, his second of the season, to finish off the fourth-run fourth inning.

The Wildcats added five more runs in the fifth to blow the game open.  Sani's three-run homer came off of reliever Brandon Ellendt and increased the lead to 8-0.  Brady Kincannon later scored on a wild pitch in the fifth and he added a run-scoring double in the sixth inning for a 10-0 lead.

CWU added three more in the eighth on only two hits.  Two of the runs scored when Wildcat batters were hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Long improved to 3-3 after allowing only four hits and no walks in seven innings.  He struck out two batters.  Drew Davidson and Deren Jones each tossed an inning in relief.

Scott (1-1) gave up six runs on seven hits in 4.0 innings (he faced two batters in the fifth).  But only two of the runs were earned.  Ellendt allowed four runs (three earned) in 3.0 innings, while Troy Duppenthaler gave up three in the eighth inning.  Nick Combo finished out the game.

Sterkel went 3-4 with three RBIs, while Sani was 2-3 with three runs driven in, to lead the Wildcats at the plate.  Kincannon also had three hits and scored three runs.

Kevin Valerio went 2-3 for the Pirates.

Game 2 – Whitworth 12, Central Washington 1
The Pirates pounded out 17 hits and Nick Scourey threw eight strong innings to give Whitworth a split of the doubleheader.

Gerhard Muelheims singled home Nick Motsinger with the first Pirate run of the game in the first inning and Muelheims later scored on JR Jarrell's perfectly placed bunt single later in the frame.

CWU got within 2-1 in the top of the fifth when Reser homered down the right field line, his third of the season.

But Whitworth broke open the game with six runs in the bottom half of the fifth.  After Erik Nikssarian opened with a triple, Motsinger singled him home.  A sacrifice bunt, a single and a walk loaded the bases and Jarrell drove a pitch to the top of the wall in left field for a sacrifice fly.  Paul Miller's single plated the third run of the inning.  Valerio's infield single loaded the bases once again and Joshua Davis singled through the left side of the infield to drive in two more.  The ball got past the left fielder, allowing Valerio to score all the way from first and Davis to hustle into third.  By the time the dust had settled Whitworth was out to an 8-1 lead.

The Bucs added two more in the sixth on Tyler Pfeffer's RBI triple, his second triple of the day, and Landon Scott's single.

Nikssarian drove his first career home run over the left field wall in the seventh inning to score the final two Whitworth runs of the game.

Scourey, making his second career start, allowed one run on six hits in eight innings.  He struck out six and didn't walk a batter.  James King finished up with a scoreless ninth.

Tanner Knutson (0-1) took the loss for CWU, giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits in 4.1 innings. 

Miller, named the NWC Player of the Week on Tuesday after hitting .681 in four games last week, went 3-5 in the nightcap.