PARKLAND, Wash. – Whitworth University rallied with three runs in the ninth inning, but came up one run short in a 5-4 loss at Pacific Lutheran on Sunday in the finale of a Northwest Conference baseball series.
The Lutes (17-10 overall, 9-6 NWC) avoided a sweep at the hands of the Pirates (14-11, 11-4 NWC). Whitworth continues to hold onto first place in the league standings after losses by Pacific (Ore.) and George Fox on Sunday.
Jacob Bockelie's two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth got the Lutes on the board. Cameron Clem made it 3-0 in the sixth with an RBI single.
The Pirates finally scored in the eighth on Ben Wintringer's RBI single with two outs. It was his third RBI of the series.
PLU appeared to put the game away in the bottom of the eighth when King Jimenez-Cruz drilled a two-run double.
Whitworth rallied in the ninth. Tyler Bailey doubled leading off the inning and came around to score on a wild pitch. Cody Simmons followed with an RBI double. Nicholas Nerud kept the rally going with a two-out RBI single and Jaxsen Sweum singled to center to give the Bucs a pair of base runners. Wintringer flied out deep to right to end the game.
Tommy Snyder (2-2) started for PLU and allowed only one run on four hits in 7.1 innings to earn the win. Alex Gregory was credited with his third save despite allowing three runs on six hits in 1.2 innings.
The Pirates will return home to host Puget Sound in a three-game series at Merkel Field next weekend.