SPOKANE, Wash. – Spencer Ansett threw a five-hit shutout and Matt Nelson drilled a grand slam to lead Whitworth to an 8-0 win over visiting Pacific in the rubber match of the Northwest Conference series on Sunday afternoon.
Gerhard Muelheims also homered for the Pirates, who improved to 10-19 overall and 7-11 in the NWC with their fourth win in the last five games. The Boxers dropped to 11-18, 4-14.
Ansett scattered five hits and rarely faced trouble. Pacific seriously threatened only in the third inning after singles by Danny Yazzolino and Ben Duerr put runners on first and second base with one out. But Ansett got a harmless fly ball and ground out to end the threat.
Pacific starting pitcher Nathan Suyematsu kept the Pirates off of the board until the fifth inning. That was when Muelheims drove a ball off of the top of the scoreboard in right-center field for a two-run home run, his first of the season.
Whitworth added two more runs in the seventh inning on back-to-back RBI doubles from Thomas Wakem and Nelson.
Nelson singlehandedly put the game away with his grand slam in the bottom of the eighth, doubling the score to 8-0. It was his third homer of the season and the first grand slam of the year by the Pirates.
Ansett needed only 84 pitches for the shutout, rarely working deep into the count. He struck out one batter and walked only one to improve to 3-2. He lowered his season ERA to 2.79.
Nelson finished 3-4 with five RBIs. Nick Motsinger went 3-3 and scored two runs from his leadoff spot in the batting order.
Suyematsu pitched well, but fell to 2-2 after giving up two runs on four hits in five innings of work. He also walked five batters, but benefitted from double plays that ended Whitworth threats in the first and third innings. Four other pitchers threw in relief for Pacific, allowing six runs on six hits.
Suyematsu also led Pacific at the plate, going 2-4 as the only Boxer with more than one hit.
Pirate head coach Dan Ramsay presented Pacific head coach Greg Bradley a commemorative ball prior to the game. Bradley, who has coached the Boxers for 19 years and has more than 300 wins, has announced his retirement following this season.
Whitworth returns to action this week with a Northwest Conference series at Willamette. The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday and a single game on Saturday.