Drahn's double enables WU to complete sweep of Whitworth

SALEM — Matt Drahn’s two-out, two-run double to center field in the bottom of the eighth inning capped a four-run rally, lifting Willamette to an 11-10 victory Sunday over Whitworth at John Lewis Field.

The victory capped a three-game Northwest Conference sweep for the Bearcats (12-7, 8-1 NWC) over the Pirates (7-12-1, 5-6 NWC) and extended Willamette’s win streak to seven games.

Willamette took a 6-1 lead over Whitworth through six innings before the visitors erupted for eight runs in the top of the seventh to take a 9-6 lead. The Pirates sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, which was highlighted by two-run homers from Brian Moser and Danny Pecka.

The score was 10-7 before Willamette put together its game-winning rally. Matt Johnson scored on a wild pitch and Drew Ecklund raced home on a throwing error to make the score 10-9, setting the stage for Drahn’s game-winning hit that plated Andy Bartels and Colin Griffin.

The comeback victory made a winner out of reliever Jeff Ross (2-0), who gave up one run in two innings. Zach Vande Griend, who pitched a complete-game victory on Saturday, got the final two outs in the top of the ninth inning to pick up his first save of the year. Jason Myers (0-1), who yielded all four runs in the eighth, took the loss.

Willamette was led offensively by Drahn, who went 4 for 5 with four RBI. Ecklund, Griffin, Bartels, Johnson, Ken Halpin and John Cox each had a pair of hits for the winners.

Moser finished the day by going 3 for 4 with two RBI. Daniel Gebbers went 3 for 5, and Aaron Sedler and Pecka each went 2 for 5 with three RBI.