Pirate Comeback Falls Short in 7-5 Loss

Pirate Comeback Falls Short in 7-5 Loss

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant 

McMINNVILLE, Ore. – The Linfield Wildcats held off a ninth inning rally to secure a 7-5 win over the Whitworth Pirates on Sunday afternoon. 

Whitworth and Linfield are both now 3-5. Sunday's game was a non-conference contest, even though it was between Northwest Conference foes.

Linfield led for the majority of the game after the Wildcats jumped out to a four-run lead in the bottom of the first inning. The first six batters in the Linfield lineup reached base and four of the six crossed home plate. Two errors from Whitworth fielders helped extend the rally. 

The Pirates cut the deficit in half in the following inning. Tyler Bailey and JT Phelan hit back-to-back home runs that cut the Linfield lead to 4-2.

Both teams added another run before the high-scoring final innings. Alex Hendra-Brown drove in a run with a single in the third inning for the Wildcats, and Taylor Poffenroth hit a solo home run for the Bucs in the seventh inning.

In the eighth inning, Jake Gellos secured the Linfield victory with a two-run double. With the double, Gellos drove in Hendra-Brown and Jared Evans to give the Wildcats a pair of insurance runs they needed to earn the win.  

The runs were needed thanks to a ninth inning comeback from Whitworth. After the Bucs loaded the bases with three straight singles, Poffenroth drove in two runs with a single to left field. Whitworth couldn't complete the comeback, however, as Dylan Peters struck out Nicholas Nerud and induced a groundout from Casey Isa to finish the game. 

Carter Buuck got the win for Linfield. He threw six innings and allowed just the back-to-back home runs to Bailey and Phelan. Peters gave up three runs in relief, all knocked in by Poffenroth. 

T.J. Orchard was hit with the loss after allowing five runs (three earned) in four innings of work. Jake Briones allowed just one hit in three innings of scoreless relief, and Joel Condreay gave up a pair in his first outing of the season. 

Up next, the Pirates travel to Tyler, Texas for games against Texas-Tyler, Centenary (La.), and Trinity (Tex.).