SPOKANE, Wash. – Taylor Poffenroth drove in six runs and Whitworth scored nine runs in the fifth inning to turn a four-run deficit into an 18-5 blowout over visiting Linfield in a Northwest Conference baseball game on Friday afternoon at Merkel Field.
The NWC Champion Pirates (21-11 overall, 18-4 NWC) will close out the regular season against the Wildcats (6-27, 3-19) with a doubleheader on Saturday. Twelve Whitworth seniors will be recognized prior to the first game.
Linfield took a 5-1 lead in the second inning with five runs against Pirate starting pitcher Austin Rice. Alec Cook drew a bases-loaded walk and Brian Cromwell had a two run double during the rally.
Taylor Poffenroth started Whitworth's comeback with a three-run homer, his third of the season, in the fifth. It was only the beginning for the Bucs and Poffenroth, who capped the nine-run rally with a two-run single to give him five RBIs in only one inning.
The Bucs added three more in the sixth, a single run in the seventh and JJ Fahnlander hit his first career home run, a two-run shot, in the eighth. Joe Howell closed out Whitworth's scoring with a two-run double in the eighth.
Poffenroth went 3-4 with six RBIs, while Howell finished 3-5 with three RBIs.
Rice saw his five-game winning streak come to an end as he did not factor into the pitching decision after allowing five runs on six hits in three innings. Mathew Pulliam got the win in relief with four scoreless innings. Connor Sand and Timothy Bever finished out the final two innings for the Pirates.
Cromwell was 2-5 with two RBIs and Wyatt Smith went 3-4 to lead Linfield at the plate.
Colton Meyer started on the mound for the Wildcats and fell to 1-6 after allowing six runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings. Three other players finished up in relief for Linfield.