by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SHREVEPORT, La. – Joel Condreay hit a go-ahead grand slam in the top of the ninth inning to earn the Whitworth Pirates a Saturday split against American Southwest Conference opponents.
The Pirates (2-1) fell to 20th-ranked Centenary in the day's opener, and Condreay's clutch blast paired with TJ Orchard's strong start to pick up a win over East Texas Baptist in the nightcap.
Game 1: #20 Centenary 3, Whitworth 0
The Pirates couldn't get their offense going in the day's opener, as 20th-ranked Centenary defeated the Bucs 3-0.
The Gents' offense struck first, picking up runs in the second and fifth innings. In the second, Cameron Guin dropped down a bases-loaded bunt single that drove in Ian Graham. Gage Gerber added to the lead in the fifth when he singled and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. Andrew Russell drove in Gerber with a groundout.
Centenary would pick up one more run in the eighth inning, but their earlier two were enough thanks to strong pitching throughout the game. Matthew Devillier threw five shutout innings and allowed just three hits. Jackie Allen and Cole Lavergne added four innings of scoreless relief.
Ryan Kingma got the start for the Pirates. The junior tossed six strong innings and gave up just two runs on five hits with two strikeouts. Jake Briones made his Whitworth debut in relief. He threw two innings, giving up one run on two hits.
Game 2: Whitworth 6, East Texas Baptist 2
After struggling against Centenary, the Pirate bats came back to life in the early innings against ETBU.
Locati opened the scoring in the first inning by doubling a 1-2 pitch to right-center field, scoring Jarred Yara. In the second, Cody Simmons doubled down the left field line, advanced to third on Casey Isa's productive groundout, and crossed home on a passed ball.
ETBU cut the deficit to one run in the bottom of the second when Dylan Singletary knocked in Landen Barns. The Tigers then evened the game at 2-2 in the seventh inning. Zach Gartner tripled to right-center field, scoring Mason Aldridge.
The game remained tied until the top of the ninth inning. Grayson O'Neil, Nicholas Nerud, and Liam Fitzpatrick walked, loading the bases for Condreay. The senior shortstop took advantage, sending a 1-0 pitch over the center field wall for a go-ahead grand slam.
After allowing the game-tying triple in the eighth inning, Austin Rice closed the door on ETBU in the bottom of the ninth to earn the win.
T.J. Orchard returned to the rubber in his first start since 2016 after battling injuries last season. He tossed six innings and allowed just one run on seven hits, striking out one.
Next up: The Pirates close out their season-opening road trip tomorrow with a rematch against Centenary. Whitworth squares off with the Gents at 10:00 a.m.