Shutout and six-run inning propel Loggers to doubleheader sweep

Shutout and six-run inning propel Loggers to doubleheader sweep

FOREST GROVE, Ore.—Thanks to the first complete game shutout by a Logger pitcher in five years in game one and a six-run outburst in the eighth inning of game two, the Puget Sound baseball team won both parts of a doubleheader at Pacific Friday afternoon, winning by 4-0 and 9-7 scores at Chuck Bafaro Stadium in Forest Grove, Ore.

Game 1: Puget Sound 4, Pacific 0

Wagar pitched a gem of a game for the Loggers in game one, going the distance while holding the Boxers to zero runs and four hits while fanning seven. The complete game shutout was the first by a Logger pitcher since April 26, 2006 when Taylor Thompson allowed three hits while throwing nine scoreless innings at Whitman. On Friday, Wagar set two career-bests by pitching all 9.0 innings and allowing just four hits in a start while equaling a career mark with seven strikeouts. Wagar held the Boxers to just one base runner or less in eight of the nine innings, and he never allowed a base runner to pass second base.

At the plate, Puget Sound tallied 11 hits on the day, scoring four runs to get Wagar the win. Puget Sound broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning when Christian Carter ripped a triple to center field, scoring Nathan Backes in the process. Nick Funyak followed up Carter's knock with a double to left field, bringing home the senior for a 2-0 Logger lead. After Addison Melzer advanced Funyak to third on a single, JB Eary laid down a sacrifice bunt to plate Funyak and give the Loggers a three-run advantage.

The visitors added one more in the top of the seventh. Connor Savage led the frame off with a single to center field. He moved over to third on a ground out and a wild pitch, and Savage scored the Loggers' fourth run of the game when Jeff Walton singled to center field for the senior's 13th RBI of the season. Savage led the Loggers with three hits in game one, going 3-for-5 on the day, while Funyak scored one run and brought in an RBI on two hits and a walk.

Game 2: Puget Sound 9, Pacific 7

The hosts scored the first three runs of the nightcap, scoring one each in the first, third, and fourth innings. The Loggers got their first run of game two in the top of the fifth thanks to a sacrifice fly by Walton, but the Boxers extended their lead in the sixth with two more runs. Pacific reliever Topher Mood balked home Walton in the top of the seventh for another Logger score, but the Boxers got that run back and one more in the bottom of the frame to take a 7-2 lead into the eighth.

In the top of the eighth inning, however, the Logger bats exploded for six runs and seven hits to take the lead. Three different players had two-RBI hits in the frame, with Chris Zerio notching the first one by doubling down the left field line with the bases loaded. Zerio's two-bagger plated Nickolas Alarcio and Carter, and it brought Walton up to bat. The senior utility player then singled through the left side for two more RBIs, plating Zerio and Savage. Three batters later, Funyak also ripped a two-run double, plating Backes and Eric Lund with the base-knock to left center. The big inning gave the Loggers an 8-7 lead, their first of the game.

After the offensive outburst, closer Kian Kurokawa came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth, retiring the side in order. The freshman got an additional cushion when Zerio singled up the middle in the top of the ninth to plate Savage, giving the Loggers a 9-7 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, Kurokawa issued a walk to Pacific leadoff batter Ben Duerr but retired the next three batters in order to close out the come-from-behind victory.

Both Savage and Zerio tallied three hits in game two. With the hits, Savage extended his hit streak to nine games, the longest current streak on the team. Zerio and Walton led the Loggers with three RBIs, and Funyak added two more with his pinch-hit double in the eighth inning. Puget Sound's 16 hits were the second-most this season, only exceeded by the 20 hits they tallied during their 15-6 win at PLU March 22.

On the mound, David Torigoe tallied the win, the first of his career, after getting the final out of the seventh inning before the Logger offense exploded in the eighth. Kurokawa tallied his sixth save of the season – his fifth of at least 2.0 innings – while striking out two batters. Collin Maier got the start for Puget Sound, striking out three batters and allowing three runs in 5.0 innings of work.

Puget Sound (12-17, 10-10 NWC) will look to earn their second straight sweep with a win in game three at Pacific on Saturday, April 19. First pitch for that contest has been moved up two hours and will now be at 10:00 a.m., again at Chuck Bafaro Stadium in Forest Grove.