TACOMA, Wash. – The Puget Sound baseball team finished off a series sweep of their crosstown rivals from Pacific Lutheran with a 6-3 win on Sunday. The win gave the Loggers their first Northwest Conference series sweep of the Lutes (13-9, 6-6 NWC) since 2006.
The Loggers came out swinging in the series finale with all six of their runs coming before the fifth inning. JB Eary knocked in the game's first run with a single into center. PLU's center fielder misplayed the hit and a second run came in to score for a quick 2-0 Logger lead.
After Eary advanced to third on a passed ball, the Loggers called for a squeeze play. Despite the pitch coming in way above the strike zone, Stephen Kelsey was able to lay down the bunt to score Eary and give the Loggers a three-run lead.
A Lute overthrow in the third allowed Christian Carter to score with two outs for a 4-0 lead, and Kaulana Smith and Bobby Hosmer each knocked in a run in the fourth with a pair of singles.
The Loggers were up 6-0 before the Lutes were able to get going. After four innings, the Lutes had yet to record a hit off Logger starter Nate Aguiar. However, their bats came to life in the fifth.
A Markus McClurkin double started the rally and a string of three one-out hits. Garrett Brown brought in McClurkin with a single up the middle to get the Lutes on the board. With two outs, Alec Beal dropped a single into center as Daniel Altchech scored from third, and Brown slid in just ahead of the tag at the plate to cut the lead down to 6-3. Hosmer caught Beal stealing to end the inning.
The Logger bats went quiet later in the game as Nathan Shoup and AJ Konopaski combined to toss the last 4.1 innings for the Lutes, allowing just two Logger hits.
Meanwhile, the Lutes posed a big threat in both the sixth and seventh. With Steve Wagar on the mound in the sixth, the Lutes loaded the bases with no outs. A quick grounder to third cut the lead runner down at the plate for the first out. Wagar then struck the next two Lutes out looking to end the threat and get back in the dugout unscathed.
It was a similar story in the seventh as the first two batters reached base for the Lutes. Lucas Stone came on pitch and quickly struck out the first batter he faced. McClurkin then hit a grounder that appeared to be heading into left field before a diving Smith grabbed it and threw the runner out at second for the second out. A comebacker to the mound ended the threat, and Stone shut down the Lutes 1-2-3 in the ninth to complete the sweep and earn his third save.
The Loggers look to keep their momentum next Friday and Saturday when they head south to face No. 6 Linfield for a three-game series.