Bucs Split Doubleheader With Whitman - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Bucs Split Doubleheader With Whitman

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by Whitworth Sports Information

SPOKANE, Wash. – Gerhard Muelheims doubled in the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift Whitworth to an 8-6 win over Whitman and a split in the Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Merkel Field. The Missionaries won the opener 7-4 behind the strong pitching of Brett Lambert.

Tyler Pfeffer had five hits on the day for the Pirates, who are now 13-21 overall and 10-13 in the NWC. Whitman (19-18-1, 8-15) has equaled the team’s highest single-season win total since 1982.

The teams will complete the series, and their seasons, with Sunday’s rubber game at noon. Whitworth will also recognize its senior class prior to the first pitch at 11:45 am.

Game 1: Whitman 7, Whitworth 4

Brett Lambert threw eight strong innings and Ozzy Braff homered and doubled to lead the Missionaries to a win in the first game.

Jimmy Madden doubled in a pair of runs in the third inning to give Whitman a 2-0 lead. The Missionaries added a run in the fourth on a ground out, then scored three more times in the fifth inning to chase Whitworth starting pitcher Cory Mack. Braff doubled in the fourth run and Cameron Young added an RBI single for a 6-0 lead.

The Pirates struggled to complete rallies against Lambert. Whitworth worked the bases loaded with no one out in the fourth inning, but Lambert got a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to prevent any runs from crossing the plate. The Bucs left two more runners on the fifth without scoring and finally pushed a run across in the sixth when Pfeffer scored on a fielder’s choice.

Lambert worked his magic again in the seventh and eighth innings as Whitworth left two more runners on base in each frame. Lambert allowed one run on seven hits in eight full innings of work. He struck out seven and walked two batters and improved to 2-3.

Braff’s solo home run in the seventh inning, his fourth of the season, gave Whitman a 7-1 lead.

Whitworth scored three times in the ninth and got the tying run on base against a pair of Whitman relievers. Thomas Wakem walked with two outs and the bases loaded. Matt Nelson singled in a run and then Jeremy Druffel walked with the bases loaded to pull the Pirates within 7-4. But Nick Johnson got the final out to record his third save of the season.

Mack fell to 4-4 after allowing six runs on five hits in 4.2 innings. He walked two and struck out two. Michael Renner was solid in relief, giving up one run on two hits in the final 4.1 innnings.

Game 2: Whitworth 8, Whitman 6

Muelheims delivered the game-winning hit in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Pirates twice rallied from behind to pick up a win in the nightcap.

Whitman jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Aaron Cohen had an RBI double and Paul Heywood followed with a two-run single. Peter Carmichael’s bloop single drove in the final run of the inning.

But Whitworth answered with four runs in the bottom of the first. Pfeffer singled to right field to drive in a pair of runs, then Justin Liu tied the game with a two-run double off of the right field wall.

The Pirates took their first lead of the series in the second when Pfeffer’s double drove in Muelheims for a 5-4 lead.

The Missionaries tied the game in the fourth inning with an unearned run, then retook the lead 6-5 in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Jonny Lari.

Whitworth knotted the game back up in the seventh with three straight singles off of reliever Spencer Hobson. Wakem’s single scored Josh Davis.

The Bucs’ game-winning rally in the eighth got started when Garrett Hughes doubled to lead off the inning. Two outs later Hughes was at third when Muelheims delivered his drive to right-center field. Muelheims was able to score on the next at-bat when a throw got away at first base following an infield hit from Josh Davis.

Jason Renner started on the mound for Whitworth, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits in five innings. Carson Blumenthal (1-6) picked up the win in relief, throwing 3.1 shutout innings. Taylor Isadore recorded the final two outs of the game for his third save of the season.

Hobson pitched well in relief for Whitman, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits in 5.1 innings. But he was saddled with the loss and fell to 4-3. Starter Will Thompson went 2.1 innings and gave up five runs on seven hits.

Whitworth improved to 1-3 against Whitman this season.

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