PORTLAND, Ore. - The Whitworth baseball team extended its win streak to eight games and took over first place in the Northwest Conference standings with a pair of wins at Lewis & Clark on Saturday, using two dominant pitching performances and consistent offense to turn away the Pioneers.
Whitworth (18-8, 10-4 NWC) now leads the University of Puget Sound by a half game in the standings. Lewis & Clark fell to 5-23 overall and 2-12 in conference play.
Spencer Ansett pitched a complete game in the nightcap to follow an eight-inning performance by Dan Scheibe in the opener. Matthew Nelson was 7 for 11 with eight RBIs and three runs scored to lead the Whitworth offense.
The Pirates and Pioneers continue the series with a game at noon Sunday. The four-game slate will conclude Monday with a non-conference contest following three conference games to begin the weekend.
Game 1: Whitworth 16, Lewis & Clark 4
Scheibe pitched eight dominant innings while the Pirates jumped to an early lead and continued to score consistently en route to a 16-4 win during the opener.
Nelson finished 4 for 7 with six RBIs and two runs scored to lead another strong performance for the Whitworth offense, which totaled double-digit runs for the fifth consecutive game.
The Pirates scored in each inning except the seventh at the plate, beginning with a two-run first frame. A one-out single by Jeremy Druffel and a walk to Joshua Davis put two runners on base for Nelson, who delivered a RBI single to center field. Thomas Wakem followed with a single to right field to plate Davis.
Druffel had a run-scoring single in the second inning and Casey Isa added a RBI base hit in the third inning before Whitworth scored four times in the fourth to open an 8-0 lead.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases in the fourth for Nelson, who delivered his second RBI single of the game. Back-to-back strikeouts helped the Pioneers before Nick Motsinger and Isa each delivered two-out hits to help Whitworth open the 8-0 lead.
Lewis & Clark scored a run on two hits in the bottom of the fourth before Nelson connected for a three-run home run in the fifth inning to give the Pirates a double-digit advantage, hitting his second long ball of the season to center field to open an 11-1 lead.
Carter scored Skyler Lookabill with a RBI single in the sixth and a wild pitch later in the inning helped Whitworth score a second run. The Pirates took advantage of two walks, a hit by pitch and three wild pitches in the inning.
The Pioneers capitalized on a Whitworth error to score an unearned run in the sixth inning but neither team scored in the seventh.
Nelson scored Druffel with a base hit in the eighth inning and two more runs crossed the plate in the ninth inning. A defensive miscue allowed the Pirates to score their first run in the ninth before Davis doubled home Druffel.
Whitworth produced 20 hits in the win and had at least one hit in each inning. The Pirates were led by the middle of the order with the No. 2 hitter Druffel, No. 3 hitter Davis and No. 4 hitter Nelson combining, to go 9 for 14 at the plate with eight RBIs, 10 runs scored and seven walks.
Davis was 3 for 4 with three walks, three runs scored and one RBI while Druffel finished 2 for 3 with four walks, five runs scored and one RBI.
EJ Hand was 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored to lead Lewis & Clark.
Scheibe (6-1) struck out a season-high 12 batters and walked two. He retired the first 10 batters he faced, holding the Pioneers to four hits and two runs (one earned). Scheibe recorded double-digit strikeouts for the third time this season and continues to lead the conference in total wins and strikeouts.
Game 2: Whitworth 5, Lewis & Clark 0
Ansett pitched at least eight innings for the third consecutive start, throwing a seven-hit complete game shutout in the nightcap.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the second and added a pair of runs in the sixth and ninth innings for the win.
Brett Moser gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the second with a single to score Nelson, who had led off the frame with a single and advanced to second with a walk to Motsinger.
A one-out double in the sixth inning for Moser followed by a walk to Nate Lamberty helped begin a rally. Both runners advanced a base with a wild pitch before JT Phelan delivered a two-RBI single to center field.
Whitworth padded the lead in the ninth inning as Nelson came through with yet another run-scoring hit. Druffel singled and the Pioneers intentionally walked Davis. Nelson's seventh hit of the day was a double to center field, scoring both runners.
Ansett (3-0) struck out three, allowing one walk and one hit by pitch. He has pitched eight innings or more in three of five starts this season and lowered his ERA to 2.20 with the victory.
Lewis & Clark starter John Trupin (0-4) also threw a complete game, allowing five runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts, five walks and a hit by pitch.
Nelson was 3 for 4 with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored to lead Whitworth. Moser finished 3 for 4 with one run and one RBI while Phelan was 2 for 3 with two RBIs.