PARKLAND, Wash. – Whitworth University closed out the 2019 baseball regular season with a split of non-conference games against Northwest Conference opponents on Sunday afternoon at Pacific Lutheran University.
The Pirates defeated PLU 12-5 and fell to Whitman 17-5 to cap the season with a 27-15 record. Whitworth won the NWC regular season by four games, but fell to Whitman in the championship of last week's NWC tournament, which means the Pirates must hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The field will be announced on Monday, May 13th and the Bucs are considered a long shot.
Game 1 – Whitworth 12, Pacific Lutheran 5
Jaxsen Sweum drove in five runs, including a grand slam, to help the Pirates build a 12-1 lead on the way to a 12-5 victory over the Lutes.
JJ Fahnlander went 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Bucs.
Sweum's grand slam capped a five-run second inning rally that gave Whitworth a 7-0 lead. Casey Isa's two-run triple made it 10-1 in the fourth and the Pirates added two more runs in the fifth, including Sweum's fifth RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly.
Austin Rice (6-1) started on the mound for Whitworth and allowed only one run through five innings. He was unable to record an out in the sixth before giving way to Darren Crosby. Rice got the win after allowing five runs on eight hits. Crosby worked four scoreless innings of relief to pick up his first save of the year.
Game 2 – Whitman 17, Whitworth 5
The Blues broke open a close game by scoring nine runs in the bottom of the eighth inning in their final tune-up for the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Mathew Pulliam got the start at first base and went 3-4 for the Pirates. He was the only Whitworth player with more than one hit.
The Bucs scored two in the third, including an RBI double by Tyler Bailey, to take an early lead. Whitman answered with four runs in its half of the third, including a two-run double by David Johnson.
Whitman scored one in the bottom of the sixth, then broke things open with the nine-run eighth thanks to some help from Whitworth. The first run scored on a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded. After a sacrifice fly, the next two runs were driven in by bases-loaded walks. Kepa Supnet added a two-run double later in the inning.
Ryan Kingma (7-4) made his final start on the mound for Whitworth and took the loss after giving up eight runs on nine hits in five innings. Taylor Roelofs, Jake Briones and Tyson Yamane finished up for the Pirates.