Linfield Blanks Whitworth Twice, Ends Win Streak

Linfield Blanks Whitworth Twice, Ends Win Streak

SPOKANE, Wash. - A pair of complete game pitching performances from Linfield's Chris Haddeland and Aaron Thomassen helped the Wildcats to snap Whitworth's 10-game win streak and sweep Friday's doubleheader with two shutout wins at Merkel Field.

Linfield (20-9, 10-7 Northwest Conference) won the opener, 4-0, and took the nightcap, 9-0. Haddeland tossed a four-hit shutout in game one before Thomassen followed with a five-hit shutout. Whitworth (20-10, 11-6) now sits a half game back of Pacific Lutheran for first place in the NWC standings.

The Pirates and Wildcats face off at noon Saturday in the series finale.

Game 1: Linfield 4, Whitworth 0

Haddeland allowed a runner to reach second base only once and had a stretch of 15 consecutive batters retired while the Wildcats scored in the first and fifth innings before adding a pair of insurance runs in the ninth inning.

Linfield's Finn McMichael reached safely on an error to begin the first inning and advanced to third base on a single by Corey VanDomelen. McMichael then scored when Eric Lawson hit into a double play.

Scott Hilpert scored Jo Carroll with a two-out single to left field in the fifth inning to double the Linfield lead. Carroll scored from second base after reaching first base via a hit by pitch and advancing into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.

The Wildcats used a single, walk and hit by pitch to load the bases in the ninth inning before David Mason delivered a RBI single to left field and a bases-loaded walk to McMichael built the lead to 4-0.

Whitworth starter Dan Scheibe (6-2) pitched well but took the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) over eight innings pitched while allowing four hits. Scheibe recorded nine strikeouts, two walks and one hit by pitch. He retired 10 consecutive batters, a stretch that began in the first inning and continued until the fifth inning, as both pitchers were in control for much of the contest.

Haddeland (6-2) hit one batter, but did not allow a walk and struck out seven in the win.

Skyler Lookabill, Joshua Davis, Thomas Wakem and Brett Moser each had a hit for the Pirates.

Game 2: Linfield 9, Whitworth 0

Linfield scored twice in the second inning before pulling away with a five-run seventh inning and adding two more runs in the ninth inning during the nightcap.

Carroll gave Linfield a 1-0 lead with a base hit to score Ben Andrews in the second inning. Andrews had walked to begin the second inning and advanced into scoring position on a groundout. The Wildcats added a second run in the frame when Chance Laboda successfully executed a squeeze bunt, allowing Carroll to score. Carroll had advanced from first to third base on a single by Hilpert.

Linfield totaled six hits and took advantage of a Whitworth error to plate five runs (two earned, three unearned) in the seventh inning. Mason and Lawson each produced two-RBI singles to highlight the frame for the Wildcats. Lawson added a two-run home run to left field in his next at-bat during the ninth inning to further extend the lead.

Thomassen (5-2) recorded nine strikeouts and walked just one batter.

Whitworth starter Spencer Ansett (3-1) pitched 6 ⅔ innings, allowing seven runs but only four were earned.

Matthew Nelson had three of Whitworth's five hits, finishing 3 for 4. JT Phelan and Casey Isa each produced pinch-hit singles to account for the other hits.