FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Hugh Smith threw a complete-game shutout in the opener, but Whitworth was eliminated from contention for the Northwest Conference baseball tournament in the nightcap as the Pirates split a doubleheader at Pacific University on Saturday.
Whitworth won the opener 7-0, but the Boxers won the nightcap 6-5 with a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Pirates are 15-19 overall and 10-13 in the NWC, while Pacific is 15-21, 9-14. The teams will complete the series with a single game on Sunday.
Game 1: Whitworth 7, Pacific 0
Smith threw his first complete game of the season, scattering seven hits in the shoutout, and improved to 6-1 this season. Smith struck out seven batters and walked two as he bounced back from his first loss of the year last weekend and lowered his season ERA to 1.66
Bret Moser, making his first start of the season in left field, gave the Bucs a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly in the top of the second that scored Spencer Locati. Locati had singled earlier in the inning. Liam Fitzpatrick reached on an error to open the third and eventually scored on Joel Condreay's sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
The Pirates broke away with four runs in the top of the fourth inning. Locati opened the frame with a double and scored on JT Phelan's single. Phelan scored later in the inning on a single by Nicholas Nerud. Condreay closed out the rally with a two-run double that scored Nerud and Moser and gave Whitworth a 6-0 lead.
The Pirates scored their final run of the game on Nerud's RBI single in the fifth.
Sam Lawrence started on the hill for Pacific and fell to 5-4 after allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits in 4.0 innings.
Game 2: Pacific 6, Whitworth 5
The Pirates scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning to tie the score 5-5, but the Boxers tallied the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to eliminate Whitworth from contention for the NWC tournament.
Derek Ridgeway's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first gave Pacific a 1-0 lead. He added another sacrifice fly in the third. Brandon Henderson added an RBI single in the second for a 3-0 lead.
Phelan's single drove in Condreay for the Pirates' first run in the top of the fourth.
Pacific added an unearned run in the fifth and increased its lead to 5-1 in the seventh on Ridgeway's RBI double.
Facing elimination from post-season contention, Whitworth rallied to tie the game in the eighth. Singles by Nerud, Taylor Poffenroth and Condreay loaded the bases before a wild pitch allowed each runner to move up and closed the gap to 5-2. Poffenroth then scored on Tyler Bailey's groundout before Locati drove a ball over the left field wall to tie the game.
Whitworth got the potential go-ahead run to second base in the top of the ninth, but could not get it home.
Pacific won the game after Dylan Wright opened the bottom of the ninth with a double. One batter later Joey Galeno singled up the middle to drive in the winning run.
Casey Brown went seven innings on the mound for Pacific and allowed four runs. But Joey Anguys (1-0) earned the win with two innings of relief. He allowed one run on two hits.
Brett Thomas started the game at pitcher for Whitworth and allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits in five innings. Darren Crosby tossed three innings of relief and gave up one run on six hits. Jake Briones (0-2) started the ninth and allowed the double. Condreay came on to pitch next and gave up the game-winning single.
With one game left in the NWC baseball schedule, Whitworth cannot catch either George Fox or Whitman (both 12-11) for fourth place. The top four teams in the NWC standings qualify for the conference tournament.