HighlightsSports & Outdoors

Logger baseball had a strong spring break, but falls to the best team in the nation, Linfield

The Logger’s baseball team has had decent success in the Northwest Conference in multiple game sets against Pacific Lutheran University and Linfield College on Mar. 22-23 and Mar. 29-30 respectively.

The Logger bullpen played a meticulous first game against the Lutes, shutting them out for 15 innings straight and scoring two runs to close out the Lutes. The 15 inning shutout was the longest combined shutout by the Loggers in 14 years. Junior Steve Wagar (Yakima, Wash.) had the longest time on the mound with 8.1 innings, followed closely by freshman Kian Kurokawa (Hilo, Hi.) who took the mound for 4.2 innings. Wagar complimented the longest shutout by recording the longest time on the mound by a single player since Apr. 14, 2013. Senior Jarrad Beiser (Cupertino, Calif.) impressed by striking out two of the four batters that took the plate against him. Closing out the pitching for the Loggers was freshman Troy Kakugawa (Mililani, Hi.) who marked the day with his first save of the season in the final inning.

The scoring inning for the Loggers was the last one of the night. Sophomore JB Eary (Las Vegas, Nav.) led the inning by singling to left field on the first pitch of the inning and continued moving to second base when Junior Eric Lund (Tacoma, Wash.) intentionally got thrown out so that Eary could advance. An error by the PLU first baseman allowed Eary to reach third base and junior Connor Savage (Bothell, Wash.) ran safely into first base. Eary scored the first run of the game on the next play when a PLU pitch went wild. Savage scored the second and final run of the game when senior Christian Carter (San Diego, Calif.) doubled to bring him home and end the first game of the series against the Lutes.

The Lutes scored the first two runs in the second game of the series, with RBI’s in both the first and third innings. The Loggers rallied in the fourth inning with four separate singles. Carter started off the  run of consecutive singles by bringing in senior Lucas Stone (Ashland, Ore.). Next, sophomore Nick Funyak brought in sophomore Nathan Backes (Seattle, Wash.) and Eary singled again, putting runners on all bases. Sophomore Chris Zeiro (Pleasanton, Calif.) brought in Carter on his first hit of the evening, and Savage brought home the final of four runs with a fielder’s choice bringing the score to a 4-2 Logger lead.

The two teams battled back and forth for a few innings before the Loggers sprinted out in front in the sixth inning. Kakugawa doubled to left of center field and brought in runs from Ziero and Eary. Stone was next up and wasn’t to be outdone by his teammate, bringing Savage in for a run and sending Kakugawa onto third base. Kakugawa was the next to score as Backes sacrificed his at bat to bring the freshman home. Adding to the two doubles already recorded on the day, Walton hit the third double of the game straight down the left of the field and brought Stone into home as well. Carter batted in Walton with a single to right field and left the Logger run count at 12 to the Lutes three runs. The final run of the day for the Loggers came again from Walton who scored a home run right before the game was suspended due to darkness.

The Loggers didn’t look like letting off the gas pedal after the first eight innings of barn burning action.   Senior Addison Meltzer (Portland, Ore.) lead off the scoring for the Loggers beginning with a double of his own to move to second base, a single from Stone to move him to third, and finally Backes grounded to bring him home. Stone was the next to score when sophomore Nickolas Alarcio (Honolulu, Hi.) singled out to third to bring the senior home and cap off the game for the Loggers at a score of 15-6.

Just like the first game of the series, the Loggers set a new mark for themselves by having the most productive offensive game of the season. The 15 runs, 20 hits, 15 RBI’s, and six doubles are the higest offensive numbers for the Loggers so far this season. Walton led all Loggers with three RBIs and three extra base hits, as well as two doubles and a single home run.

The third game was a close contest between the two teams, but PLU ended up the victor to thwart the Loggers from having a perfect 3-0 series. The Lutes got ahead early in proceedings, scoring three runs before the Loggers were on the board in the sixth inning.

The top of the sixth saw the first Logger run of the game when Stone batted in Savage from the third hit pitch in a row. The Lutes weren’t without reply as they scored two more runs before the seventh inning extending their lead to 5-1.

The Loggers wouldn’t give up without a fight however as they scored three runs to move within striking distance of the Lutes. There were two bases occupied when Backes hit a single out to left field, bringing in Savage and Zerio to score. Walton brought Backes in on the next at bat with another single to left field but unfortunately for the Loggers, they would fall just short of the home team with a score of 5-4.

The Loggers looked to continue their good run of form after their games against PLU when they hosted the Linfield Wildcats.

The Wildcats looked to make a statement quickly as the visitors scored two runs before the first inning was over. The Loggers wouldn’t be dismissed that easily however as they scored in the bottom of the fourth. Backes started the sequence off with a single out to center field, and Funyak got walked advancing Backes to second base. Backes was brought home two at bats later by Early who singled to left field to bring in the sophomore.

The Loggers weren’t done yet and wrestled the lead from the visitors in the fifth inning. Ziero got the scoring going as a Funyak single to center field brought the sophomore in to score. Stone got in on the scoring when Meltzer hit a ball directly to a Wildcat second baseman who lost control of the ball and allowed Stone to score.

The Wildcats proved tougher customers than the Loggers could handle as they scored in the beginning of the sixth inning and added two more in the ninth to bring the score to 5-3 in favor of the Wildcats.

The second game of the day went much worse for the Loggers as the visitors scored two as early as the second inning. The Wildcats more than doubled their lead in the sixth inning, scoring three runs back to back to back. Linfield was all business and capped their lead at seven in the seventh inning.

It isn’t over for the Loggers as they play the third game of their series on Sunday, Mar. 30 at 12:00 p.m. Game three will be played at Curtis High School in University Place.