Mar 05, 2016

Bruins Sweep High-Flying Whitworth

A Winning Tradition

 
  • NCAA D-III National Champions (2004)
  • Eight NCAA D-III National Tournaments (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
  • One NCAA Regional Championship (West 2004)
  • 10 Northwest Conference Championships (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
  • 19 straight seasons .500 or better (1996-2014)
  • Nine Top 30 national rankings (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2018)
  • 23 All-Americans
  • One National Pitcher of the Year (Scott Hyde - 2004)
  • One D3Baseball.com All-West Region Rookie of the Year (Matt Voelzke - 2017)
  • 10 Academic All-Americans
  • One NCAA National Coach of the Year
  • One NCAA Region Coach of the Year
  • 10 Northwest Conference Coaches of the Year
  • Five NAIA District Tournaments (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994)
  • Three NAIA Disctrict Championships (1991, 1992, 1993)
  • Five NAIA Regional Tournaments (1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998)
  • Two NAIA Distrcit Coach of the Years
  • 22 players signed to professional contracts
  • Three Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Finalists (Derrick Jones - 2005, Scott Hyde - 2004, Eric Bell - 2003)
  • One Slats Gill Coach of the Year Award (Pat Bailey - 2004 finalist)
  • One George Fox Pasero Team of the Year (2004)
 

By: Ryan Lackey

NEWBERG, Ore. --- The Whitworth Pirates entered Saturday's doubleheader undefeated and ranked #14, boasting a perfect 11-0 record and sitting atop the Northwest Conference. The Bruins made sure Whitworth were undefeated no longer. A rugged pitching performance from Dustin Wells and a record-breaking day at the plate by Kadyn Nannini led the Bruins to a 6-3 victory in the first game. The second game was never as easy, but an imposing 3-4 line from Andrew Reichenbach was just enough, and the Bruins had a clean sweep of Saturday's slate.

Recap:

Game One
The Bruins have been scoring in bunches this season, putting up crooked numbers in big innings, and Saturday was no exception. In the first, batting against Pirates's starter Kelly Fitzpatrick, the Bruins gave Wells a very early five-run lead.

Two infield singles by AJ Valencia and Gabe Louthan started things off. After Andrew Reichenbach whiffed, Riley McKean singled in Valencia to begin the scoring. Another single, this one from Jacob Woehler, scored Louthan. The wheels began wobbling for Whitworth: Clay Mott walked to load the bases, and then Ansel Webster also walked, forcing in another run. Clardy's groundout plated one more, and then with two outs, Nannini shot a double into the gap. Gabe Louthan eventually struck out to end the inning, but the Bruins batted around and held a 5-0 lead.

When Reichenbach doubled to begin the second, it looked like the rout was on, but the Bruins were more conservative this time around. McKean sacrificed Reichenbach to third, and Woehler skied a sacrifice fly to score him: 6-0 to the Bruins.

Credit to Dustin Wells, who picked up his fourth win of the year, for stifling Whitworth's offense. Wells checked the Pirates for just two hits through the first five innings, changing speeds well and denying any hard contact. Wells finished with just two strikeouts, but innumerable groundouts.

It wasn't until the sixth that Wells lost his shutout bid. With one out, Wells allowed three straight singles: one run scored, and Wells was faced with two on and one out. But Wells rallied, registering two quick outs, and the Bruins maintained a 6-1 lead.

The Bruins, meanwhile, tallied hits but couldn't manage to score again. This didn't faze Wells, though. He continued on into the ninth, when the Pirates led off with a single and a walk. Wells induced a flyout from Jordan McGowan, but let a single to Joel Condreay and a walk to Ryan Bird make the score 6-2.

Zachery Muenster relieved Wells and immediately exchanged an out for a run, getting Garrett Hughes to fly out; the sacrifice fly rendered the score 6-3. Another single loaded the bases, but Muenster got Jeremy Druffel to ground out, and the Bruins took the first game, 6-3.

Game Two
Once again, the Bruins raced out to an early lead. In the first, with Reichenbach on after his single, Woehler wore an inside pitch, and Reichenbach raced to third on a wild pitch. Brandon Wileman roped a single, and Reichenbach's run made it 1-0.

The Bruins added two more in the second. Kyle Esquerra pinged a double and went to third on another errant pitch. Clardy drove him in on a groundout, and Nannini started things again with a strong single. Valencia poked a single through the right side, and after Connor Newell loaded the bases with yet another single, Reichenbach pummeled a soaring sacrifice fly that gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead.

This time, though, the Pirates refused to wait until the game's twilight to surge. After getting one back in the fifth on JT Phelan's homer, Whitworth took the lead in the sixth. With two on, Matthew Nelson caught hold of Alex Jondal's delivery, and his three-run homer gave Whitworth a 4-3 lead.

But the Bruins swung back: after nearly scoring in the sixth, they tied the game in the seventh. Again, Reichenbach singled to catalyze things, and after Woehler singled too, Louthan sacrificed them both over. Kyle Esquerra then drove in Reichenbach with a sac fly, and the score was knotted at 4-4.

After scoring the tying run, Reichenbach drove in the winning run. In the eighth, with two outs and Nannini on following a bunt single, Reichenbach turned on a hittable pitch and drove it into the left-center gap; his double plated Nannini, and the score was 5-4.

Reliever Sam Morland set Whitworth down in order in the ninth, and the Bruins had a 5-4 win, and a sweep.

Top Performers:

Game One
Wells had one of his best outings as a Bruin, going eight-and-a-third and holding Whitworth to three runs. Kadyn Nannini tied a Bruin record by collecting three doubles; he finished 3-4 with an RBI. Woehler drove in two and went 2-3. Reichenbach was 2-4. Webster, Caylen Clardy, and McKean all claimed RBIs.

Game Two
Reichenbach was unstoppable, finishing 3-4 with two runs and two RBIs, cool in the clutch. Valencia and Newell both were 2-4. Esquerra and Nannini both had 2-3 days. Esquerra had a run and an RBI, while Nannini scored twice. Jondal was solid on the bump, going seven and allowing four runs. Morland was unassailable in relief.

What It Means:
Saturday was a statement for the Bruins. With the sweep of the formerly undefeated Pirates, the Bruins go to 10-6 and 6-2 in the NWC, taking first place. Increasingly, they look like the team to beat in the region.

What Comes Next:
The Bruins will look to make it three in a row against Whitworth tomorrow, as they complete the three-game set.