UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash.—The Puget Sound baseball kicked off its three-game series against first-place Linfield Saturday, falling in both games of a double header at Curtis High School in University Place, Wash.
Game One: Linfield 5, Puget Sound 3
The visiting Wildcats took the lead early in game one, scoring two runs in the first inning. After Corey VanDomelen flied out to center field, the Wildcats tallied four straight singles, plating two runs in the process with Clayton Truex and Jake Wylie tallying an RBI each.
Puget Sound got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Nathan Backes singled to center to lead the inning off, and he advanced to second when Nick Funyak drew a walk. Two batters later, JB Eary ripped a single to left field to bring home Backes and cut the Linfield lead to just one.
They took the lead in the next frame when Funyak singled to center field, plating Chris Zerio in the play. The next batter, Addison Melzer smacked a hit to the Wildcat second baseman, who bobbled the ball, allowing Melzer to reach first and Lucas Stone to score. Both Zerio and Stone reached base on singles in the first two at bats of the inning.
Linfield evened the game in the top of the sixth inning, and a two-run ninth inning gave the Wildcats a late lead the Loggers could not come back from. Reliever Cody Walker got the win for the Wildcats after starter and reigning D3baseball.com Pitcher of the Year Chris Haddeland was chased after the sixth inning. The Loggers got three runs and drew five walks off Haddeland. Kian Kurokawa drew the loss for the Loggers, his first of the year. The freshman reliever allowed two runs in two innings pitched, striking out two.
Game Two: Linfield 7, Puget Sound 0
The visitors took another early lead in the nightcap, scoring two runs in the second inning. Both of those scores came off the bat of Kenny Johnson, who ripped a two-RBI single to right field. They added to their lead in the top of the sixth, scoring three runs on three straight plays. Johnson tallied his third RBI of the game that inning, grounding out to plate Kramer Lindell.
In the top of the seventh, the Wildcats scored their final two runs. After the first two batters singled to reach base, two straight flyouts scored Eric Lawson, and then Lindell reached on an error, allowing Nick Fisher to score.
During game two, Puget Sound managed two hits: one by Funyak in the second inning and another by Eary in the sixth. David Torigoe pitched two shutout innings in relief, not allowing any hits for the first time in his career. For the Wildcats, Zach Brandon picked up his fourth win of the season, going seven innings in the start.
Linfield and Puget Sound finish off the series with a single game at 12:00 p.m. Sunday, March 30. Game three will again be played at Curtis High School in University Place.