by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
TYLER, Texas – The Whitworth Pirates split a pair of games with top-25 opponents on Friday, dropping an 11-7 slugfest to 21st-ranked Trinity (Tex.) and winning a 2-1 pitcher's duel against 16th-ranked Texas-Tyler.
The Pirates move to 4-6 on the season after the split. Trinity (Tex.) is now 3-0, and UT-Tyler dropped to 3-1.
Game 1: #21 Trinity (Tex.) 11, Whitworth 7
The 21st-ranked Tigers scored ten runs in the middle innings to defeat Whitworth in the Bucs' first game of the day.
Trinity's offense came to life in the fourth inning. The Tigers took the lead with a pair of two-run home runs in the fourth inning, securing a 4-1 advantage.
Whitworth cut its deficit in half when Spencer Locati drove in Joel Condreay in the bottom of the fourth. The Pirates were in position to cut the Tiger lead down further with runners on first and second, but a foul out and flyout ended the threat.
The Tigers continued their middle inning dominance in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring six more runs to extend the lead to 10-2. They would add another run in the top of the eighth before the Pirates rallied in the bottom of the inning.
The Bucs closed the gap to 11-7 in a five-run eighth inning. Condreay doubled in a run to start the rally, which was continued by run-scoring singles from Phelan, Locati, and Nicholas Nerud. Taylor Poffenroth added an RBI walk. Whitworth sent the game-tying run to the plate with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, but Mark Tindall induced a pop out to end the game.
Matthew Young was hit with the loss after allowing six runs in four innings for Whitworth. Jeff Lonnecker earned the win after tossing 3.1 innings of scoreless relief for Trinity.
Game 2: Whitworth 2, #16 Texas-Tyler 1
The second game of the day could hardly have been a better contrast to the first matchup, with Ryan Kingma winning a pitchers duel to give the Bucs a 2-1 win.
The Pirates needed just two runs to earn the win, scoring both on a single from Poffenroth in the fifth inning. Casey Isa and Cael McKeirnan both reached on errors before scoring for Poffenroth's 2nd and 3rd RBIs of the day.
The two runs were enough thanks to Kingma. The junior tossed eight innings and allowed just one run on three hits. He struck out three batters and walked just one to get the win. Darren Crosby entered in relief and earned the save with a scoreless ninth inning.
Texas-Tyler scored its lone run in the eighth inning. With a runner on third after a walk, stolen base, and groundout, Ben Romines singled in the lone Patriot run of the day to cut the Whitworth lead in half. Kingma, however, escaped the inning by inducing a flyout to center field and ceded the mound to Crosby in the ninth.
Up next, Whitworth takes on Centenary at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon to conclude its weekend in Texas.