Offense erupts in 8-4 win over Saint Martin’s

Offense erupts in 8-4 win over Saint Martin’s

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Logger offense was firing on all cylinders Sunday as the Puget Sound baseball squad scored eight runs on a season-high 12 hits in an 8-4 win over Saint Martin's in their final game of the CCC-NWC Challenge at Porter Park in Portland, Ore.  

Puget Sound struck quick, scoring two runs in the second. Connor Savage drew a walk in the game's first at bat and then advanced to second base on a passed ball. Nickolas Alarcio put down a sacrifice bunt to move Savage to third, but he himself reached base due to an error by Saint Martin's second baseman, Kaelen Hirashiki. The Loggers scored on each of the next two plays with Lucas Stone singling to bring home Savage and Nathan Backes hitting a sacrifice fly to right, plating Alarcio.

Savage kicked off another Logger run in the third, doubling down the left field line on the first pitch he saw. Alarcio moved Savage over third with another sacrifice bunt, and two batters later Christian Carter ripped a single up the middle to score Savage.

The Saints answered with two of their own in the bottom of the third, however. With two men on, Alex Bielaski got a single off Logger pitcher David Torigoe, scoring two runs. Torigoe walked the next batter, but he got Shayne Kurihara to pop up to Kaulana Smith at short to end the inning.

Puget Sound added another one in the top of the fourth with Smith and Layne Croney opening the frame with two singles. They both moved up 90 feet thanks to a balk by Saint Martin's pitcher Chase DeCoito, and Smith scored on the next play, a JB Eary groundout to the short stop. The next two batters, Savage and Alarcio, both grounded out to end the Loggers' offensive portion of the frame.

In the bottom of the fourth Torigoe sat down the Saints in order. He did not come out to pitch the fifth, however, as Jarrod Beiser and Kian Kurokawa handled duties on the mound for the rest of the game. Beiser recorded the first two outs of the fifth inning, not allowing a hit in the process. Kurokawa  took over for Beiser and threw 4.1 innings in relief, his longest career outing. In four appearances so far in his freshman season, Kurokawa has allowed just two runs, one of which was earned.

The Loggers blew the game open in the top of the eighth, scoring four runs on three hits, a walk, and an error. Ian Hughes led off the frame with a single and took second two batters later on a ground out. Eary then ripped a single to left field, plating Hughes for the Loggers' first run of the frame. The visitors then loaded the bases with the next two batters for Stone. The three-hole hitter came through with his first double of the season, clearing the bases in the process to give the Loggers an 8-2 lead.

Saint Martin's added one run in each of the eighth and ninth innings, but Puget Sound's four-run eighth remained the difference as the Loggers won 8-4. Stone's double allowed him to pace the Logger batters as he knocked in four runs on two hits and added a walk. Backes, Smith, and Eary also collected two hits apiece in the victory. Savage scored three of the Loggers' runs, while Backes collected two more doubles, giving him five on the year.

Baiser was credited with the win to move to 1-1 on the season and Kurokawa earned his first collegiate save, entering with a two-run lead. DeCoito took the loss for the Saints.

Puget Sound (2-5) now heads into the Northwest Conference season as they start conference play next weekend at Whitman. They play a doubleheader against the Missionaries Saturday, March 1, with the first game starting at 11:00 a.m. The two teams finish the weekend with a single game on Sunday, March 2.