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PAC LUTHERAN 10, GEORGE FOX 6: Lutes Break Away from Bruins to Take Away Series
PARKLAND, Wash. – After battling back from three runs down to tie it 6-6 in the top of the 5th inning, the George Fox University Bruins gave the lead back to Pacific Lutheran University in the bottom of the frame with two unearned runs and went on to drop a 10-6 Northwest Conference baseball game to the Lutes Sunday afternoon here at the PLU Field.
By taking two of three from George Fox, the Lutes improved to 20-11 overall and 12-6 in the NWC, two games back of first-place Pacific University. The Bruins slipped to 16-18 overall and 12-9 in the conference.
George Fox struck first, scoring twice after two were out in the 1st. Danny Clifford doubled, Derek Dixon was hit by a pitch, and Derek Blankenship singled to score Clifford. Dixon scored on a PLU fielding error. The Lutes answered with three in the home half as Corey Moore singled, moved up on a ground out, and scored on a single by Brock Gates. Curtis Wildung followed with a homer to right, his second of the year.
The Bruins tied it in the 2nd as David Greenstein singled, moved up on a ground out, and scored on Clifford’s single to center, but the Lutes scored three times in the bottom of the 4th to take a 6-3 lead. Taylor Wattenberg walked, Ethan Ottemiller singled, and both advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Dominick Courcy singled in the first run, and Moore drove in the second on a fielder's choice. After Moore stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error, he scored on Jaron Iwakami's base hit.
Again the Bruins rallied, scoring three runs in the top of the 5th. Dixon walked, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored when Timothy Williams singled. After Zac Israel walked, bringing Nathan Eisenhauser (5-1) into the game in place of PLU starter Chris Bishop, Jared Chase drove in both runners with a double.
PLU pinned the loss on Bruin starter Tom Zarosinski (1-5) and took the lead for good in the home half of the 5th. Wildung was hit by a pitch and Markus McClurkin singled, and both moved up on a sacrifice. With two out, Nicholas Hall’s grounder to short was thrown away as both runners scored. The Lutes added insurance runs in the 6th and 8th innings off the Bruin bullpen, McClurkin hitting a sacrifice fly for the first run and Hall drawing a bases-loaded walk for the final run.
Eisenhauser got the win with three innings of three-hit shutout relief, striking out three and walking two. Jacob Otness closed out the final 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and no runs, to earn his second save. Zarosinski took the loss, allowing eight runs, six earned, on 10 hits in five-plus innings, with two strikeouts and one walk.
George Fox had 10 hits in all, with Clifford getting three and Blankenship two. Gates went 4-for-5 and scored three runs to lead the Lutes, who had 13 hits. Courcy and McClurkin had two hits apiece.
NEXT: George Fox closes out conference play with a three-game “home” series against Linfield College that will be played at the University of Portland’s Joe Etzel Field, with a doubleheader at 12:00 noon Saturday and a single game at 1:00 p.m. Sunday ... Pacific Lutheran visits Lewis & Clark College in a three-game conference series with two on Saturday and one on Sunday, starting at noon both days.