Recap | Recap | Recap | Box Score
GEORGE FOX 7, PAC LUTHERAN 1: Bruins Overpower Lutes to Open Linfield Tourney
NEWBERG, Ore. – Josh Rapacz hit his first home run of the season and Danny Clifford slugged his team-leading seventh in support of Brian Ranta’s seventh win as the George Fox University Bruins dispatched the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes 7-1 on the first day of the Linfield College Baseball Tournament Friday evening here at Roy Helser Field.
Pacific Lutheran struck first with an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st. Dominick Courcy led off with an infield single to short, took second on a passed ball, and scored on Brock Gates’ two-out single that right fielder Timothy Williams dove for and just missed.
PLU southpaw Trevor Lubking (5-4), who struck out 13 in seven innings while defeating the Bruins 8-2 earlier in the season, picked up where he left off, fanning five through the first three innings and retiring 11 in a row to start the game. Clifford broke the string with a line single to left in the 4th just off the glove of shortstop Nicholas Hall, and Rapacz followed with a line drove over the 355 sign in left-center to put the Bruins ahead 2-1.
The Bruins exploded for five more runs in the 5th, all off Lubking. Derek Dixon dumped a single down the right-field line and went to third as Williams doubled to the wall in center, then Jared Chase delivered them both with a solid one-out single up the middle. Chase was caught at second trying to advance on the throw toward home, but David Greenstein bunted for a hit, Taylor Hunter singled to center, and Clifford plastered his seventh round-tripper of the season over the batting screen in dead center field.
That was more than enough for Ranta (7-1), who scattered seven hits and walked one while throwing his fourth complete game of the season. He struck out 11, including the side in the 9th, overtaking Dan Scheibe of Whitworth University for the conference lead with 79 strikeouts to 78 and lowering his earned run average to a league-leading 1.95.
Greenstein, Clifford, Dixon and Williams each had two hits out of the Bruins’ total of 12. Courcy and Gates had two safeties apiece for the Lutes.
In the day’s first game, the host Linfield Wildcats knocked off the Lewis-Clark State College Warriors, ranked No. 11 in the NAIA, 4-3.
NEXT: On Saturday, George Fox (20-18) plays Lewis-Clark State (39-12) at 12:00 noon, and Linfield (23-15) takes on Pacific Lutheran (24-14) at 3:30 p.m. Sunday’s schedule, which will close the regular season fir the three Northwest Conference teams, has Lewis-Clark State vs. Pacific Lutheran at noon and Linfield vs. George Fox at 3:30 p.m. Linfield will provide live stats for all games on the Wildcats’ baseball website at http://www.linfield.edu/sports/sports-stats/baseball-live-stats.html.