PORTLAND, Ore.—The Puget Sound baseball squad played its opening two games of the CCC-NWC Challenge Friday, falling in both of them at Porter Park on the Concordia campus in Portland, Ore.
Game 1: Oregon Tech 2, Puget Sound 1
The Loggers pushed their lone run against the Owls across in the first inning. Center fielder Connor Savage started the bottom half of the inning off with a triple to right field, his first extra-base hit of the year. Shortstop Troy Kakugawa flied out to right in the next at bat, bringing home Savage to give the Loggers an early advantage.
The Loggers held onto their lead until the top of the fifth when Oregon Tech evened the game at one run apiece. Cameron Cole walked in the second at bat of the inning and advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt. Dominic Morris then ripped a double to right center to plate Cole and even the game. The Owls took the lead in the top of the sixth with three singles in the first three at bats. Ethan Schlecht plated the go-ahead RBI in that inning.
The Loggers couldn't mount a comeback, only scattering just four hits in nine innings. Kakugawa collected two of those hits for his second multi-hit game of the season. Starting pitcher Steve Wagar threw a quality start, going 7.0 innings while allowing just two runs and striking out seven batters, but he took the loss to fall to 0-1 on the season. Reliever Kian Kurokawa saw another strong appearance, throwing two shutout innings while allowing just two hits and striking out three to end the game.
Game 2: Concordia 6, Puget Sound 0
Concordia took a 5-0 lead in the game's first two innings, scoring three in the bottom of the first. With the bases loaded, Kaulana Smith made a throwing error on a ground ball which allowed two runs to score. After Puget Sound starter Anthony Brady walked the next batter to re-load the bases, the Cavaliers' Ian Erickson flied out to Nick Funyak in right to bring home a third run for the home team.
The Cavaliers added two more in the second, scoring two unearned runs on a single by Ryan McMonigle. The Loggers had runners on second and third for McMonigle's single thanks to a failed pick off attempt by Puget Sound reliever Javin Nohara. They added one more in the fourth with two more singles and a walk.
Puget Sound couldn't get much going at the plate, tallying three hits and drawing just one walk. They stranded six base runners in the game, including two in both the top of the first and the top of the eighth.
The Loggers used five pitchers in the game with Rhett Gibbs, Collin Maier, and Logan Day ending the game with 4.2 innings of shutout ball. Brady took the loss, his second of the season, while Jason Snodgrass earned the win for the hometown Cavaliers.
Puget Sound (1-4) continues play at the CCC-NWC Challenge Saturday, Feb. 22, when they face Corban College at 2:00 p.m. That game will again take place at Porter Park in Portland.