PARKLAND, Wash.—For the second year in a row, the Puget Sound baseball team came out on top in the cross-Tacoma rivalry series with Pacific Lutheran as the Loggers clinched their second victory of the weekend over the Lutes Sunday at PLU Ballpark in Parkland, Wash. The Loggers clinched the series by wrapping a 15-6 victory in game two, but couldn't get a second consecutive sweep as PLU held on for a 5-4 win during the rubber match between the two Tacoma-area teams.
GAME TWO: Puget Sound 15, Pacific Lutheran 6 (continued from March 22)
The Loggers and Lutes began play Sunday by finishing the second game of the three-game series, which was suspended March 22 due to darkness. At the time of the suspension the Loggers held a 13-6 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, but PLU had one out and runners on first and second for Nicholas Hall. New Loggers pitcher Lucas Stone got Hall to ground into a double play to get out of the frame.
The Puget Sound bats didn't cool off after they added to their already lofty offensive numbers. Addison Melzer led the inning off, ripping a double and moving to third on a single from Stone. Melzer then scored on a Nathan Backes grounder, and Stone took second thanks to a Lute fielding error on the play. Two batters later, Stone scored when Nickolas Alarcio singled to third base in his first at bat of the contest. Stone then made all three outs in the ninth to finish off the 15-6 victory for Puget Sound.
The game was Puget Sound's best offensive game of the season as the club set yearly highs in runs (15), hits (20), RBIs (15), and doubles (6). Four different Loggers tallied three hits as Stone, Jeff Walton, Christian Carter, and JB Eary all hit that mark, and Walton led the team with three RBI and three extra base hits, two doubles and his first homer of the season.
GAME THREE: Pacific Lutheran 5, Puget Sound 4
Pacific Lutheran took an early lead in the rubber match between the two teams, plating a run on a single from Drew Oord. They added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth on two straight RBI base knocks from Jacob Clements and Alec Beal.
The Loggers got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth. Connor Savage ripped a two-out single up the middle and moved to second on another base knock by Chris Zerio. Stone then tallied the Loggers' third hit in a row to score Savage by singling to second base. In the bottom of the frame, the Lutes got that run back and scored one more, taking a 5-1 lead into the seventh.
That wasn't it for Puget Sound, however, as they scored three more in the eighth to pull within one. With two men on, Backes ripped a single to left field to plate Savage and Zerio, and in the next at bat Walton ripped another single to left to bring home Backes. The three runs on three hits cut the Loggers' deficit to just one at 5-4, but the visitors couldn't push another run across in the top of the ninth and Pacific Lutheran held on to avoid the sweep.
Zerio led the Loggers with two hits in the nightcap, his second consecutive multi-hit game. Backes' two-RBI single gave him the team lead in that category, and Stone went 5.0 innings and struck out five batters after starting the contest on the mound.
Lutes starter Chris Bishop went 8.0 innings in the win, striking out nine batters while allowing all four Puget Sound runs. With the win, he advanced to 2-3 on the year while AJ Konopaski tallied his ninth save of 2014 after getting all three outs in the ninth. Oord, the home squad's first baseman, went a perfect 4-for-4 with 1 RBI in the final game of the series. The Lutes (13-7, 8-3 NWC) will head to southern California for their next four contests, beginning with a single game at Pomona-Pitzer on Friday, March 26.
The Loggers (7-10, 5-4 NWC)) next take the field Saturday, March 29, with a doubleheader versus Linfield. First pitch in that stretch of games is slated for 12:00 p.m. at Logger Field on the Puget Sound campus in Tacoma, Wash.