PLU Sweeps Bearcats in Doubleheader, 7-0 and 14-6

By Ryan Borde, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110, and
Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Joe DiPietro pitched a complete game shutout, and Jordan Post and Justin Whitehall homered, as visiting Pacific Lutheran University defeated Willamette University 7-0 in the first game of a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader at John Lewis Field on Friday, April 6. The Lutes also won the second game, 14-6. PLU upped its record to 23-6 overall and 12-2 in the NWC, while Willamette fell to 13-14 overall, 6-10 in NWC action.

DiPietro allowed only four hits, while improving to 8-1 on the year. He walked three and struck out seven WU hitters. The Lutes, who are in first place in the NWC standings, have now won five in a row, and 12 of their past 13 games. WU entered the doubleheader with 10 wins in its last 13 games.

Post and Whitehall both hit solo home runs, while Bryce DePew went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBIs for the Lutes in the opener. Whitehall was 3 for 4. Kris Hansen had two hits in four at-bats.

Offensively for Willamette, Sean Anderson (Jr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) was 2 for 4, Colin Young (Jr., OF, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) was 1 for 3, and Kelly Gilmore (Sr., RF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) went 1 for 4.

Tye Sundlee (Jr., RHP, Yakima, WA/West Valley HS) pitched six innings of relief for the Bearcats, allowing one earned run, on two hits and no walks. He struck out three. Starter Scott Martin (Fr., RHP, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) took the loss after giving up five runs, four of which were earned, and five hits in one inning.

In the second game, Pacific Lutheran held a 3-2 lead after one inning. The Lutes added to their lead with one run in the third and three runs in the fourth. Jared Simon drove home the first run of the fourth inning with a double down the left field line.

WU cut the lead to 7-4 by scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth inning. Anderson and Matt Rasmussen (Sr., SS, Sandy, UT/Bingham HS) both scored on walks with the bases loaded.

The score remained the same until the top of the seventh inning. With two outs and runners at first and second, PLU's Matt Akridge hit into an error at third base. Brandon Sales followed with a bases-clearing double that drove in three unearned runs. The Lutes led, 10-4 and led by at least five runs the rest of the way.

Willamette scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, including Rasmussen't first homer of the year with one out in the seventh. Pacific Lutheran tacked one run in the eighth and closed out the scoring with three runs in the ninth.

Starter Kael Fischer of PLU, who allowed four runs and three hits in 4 2/3 innings, improved to 2-0 with the win. He struck out four batters and walked four batters. WU starter Jimmy Meuel (So., RHP, Palo Alto, CA/Palo Alto HS) dropped to 1-1 with the loss.

Sales ended the game 4 for 5 with two runs and three RBIs. Post was 3 of 5, scored twice and added one RBI. Whitehall went 2 for 5 with a three-run homer in the first inning. He had four RBIs overall during the game. Ryan Thorne scored three runs and drove in two more for the Lutes.

Third baseman David Tufo (San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) was 2 for 5 in the second game for Willamette. Rasmussen was 1 for 4, but scored twice and belted WU's only homer of the doubleheader. Anderson was 0 for 1 officially, but was hit by two pitches and smacked a sacrifice fly. He drove in two runs, scored once and stole one base.

Game #3 of the NWC weekend series is set for Saturday, April 8 at John Lewis Field. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT).

Game #1 - Pacific Lutheran University 7, Willamette University 0 - Box Score
Game #2 - Pacific Lutheran University 14, Willamette University 6 - Box Score