TACOMA, Wash. – Whitman College defeated Whitworth University 6-4 on Sunday in the rubber match of a Northwest Conference baseball series played at the University of Puget Sound.
The Blues (7-7 overall, 4-2 NWC) took a 6-0 lead after two innings and held off a late rally by the Pirates (4-9, 1-2) to win the series.
Nicholas Nerud doubled twice and drove in two runs to lead Whitworth's comeback attempt.
Whitman scored five runs on only two hits in the top of the first when Pirate starting pitcher Ryan Kingma walked the first four batters. Kevin Nakamura's two-run double was the big blow for the Blues. Lucas Thrun's RBI single in the second gave Whitman a 6-0 lead.
Whitworth finally got on the board in the fourth when Nerud led off the inning with a double and scored on Tyler Bailey's two-out double. Nerud cut the margin in half in the top of the seventh with a two-run double down the left field line.
Spencer Locati's two-out single in the top of the eighth drove in Taylor Poffenroth, getting the Bucs within 6-4. But closer Milo Mincin came on to get the Blues out of trouble and allowed only a two-out walk in the ninth to pick up his third save.
Matthew Sox started on the mound for Whitman and improved to 1-1 after allowing three runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings.
Nerud finished 3-5 at the plate for Whitworth. Casey Isa had two hits and scored a run.
The Pirates are scheduled to play their home-opening series next weekend against league-leading Pacific (Ore.).