The Pacific University baseball team withstood a late rally by Lewis & Clark to complete a series sweep with a 7-5 win on Sunday in Portland.
The Boxers (12-12, 7-11 NWC) broke a 1-1 tie in with a run each in the fourth, fifth and three in the sixth to take a 6-1 lead. Then, they added an insurance tally in the ninth for the victory.
For the sixth-straight game, Pacific had at least eight hits with an 11-hit attack in the win. Seniors Kurtis Kloke (San Bernardino, Calif.) and Charlie Dietrich (Aberdeen, Wash.) accounted for three and two hits; plus, a third senior Josh Keithly (Mission Viejo, Calif.) had three RBI in the win. Pacific starting pitcher Brady O'Keefe (Tacoma, Wash.) raised his record to 2-3, pitching 6.2 innings, scattering five hits and a strikeout.
The Pioneers (4-19, 3-10 NWC) cut the deficit to one, 6-5, in the eighth when they scored three runs without a hit. Lewis & Clark had just six hits but a patient approach in a consistent downpour of rain led to 10 walks. Connor Sick and Akira Abderrahman each had two hits and three different players each had a pair of walks.
With the game tied at 1 in the fourth inning, Keithly picked up RBI groundout to put Pacific ahead 2-1. Then, the first baseman delivered a bases-clearing, two-RBI double down the right field line in the sixth that put the visitors in front by a 5-1 margin. They added to their lead when Eli Wisdom (La Grande, Ore.) was hit by a pitch to make it a 6-1 game.
A RBI double in the seventh by Lewis & Clark cut the deficit to four, 6-2. In the next inning, Lewis & Clark took advantage of six walks to score three runs and make it a one-run game. The Boxers' Cody Ahlgrimm (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ended the inning, striking out Sick looking with the bases loaded en route to his second save of the weekend.
Holding a one-run lead in the ninth, Wright reached on a one-out walk. Next, with two out, a hit-and-run with Brandon Henderson (Pearl City, Hawaii) scored Wright from second on a Pioneers' error to put Pacific up two.
Ahlgrimm surrendered a single to start the bottom half of the ninth. With the tying run at the plate, he came back with back-to-back strikeouts; then picked up a fly out to Kloke in right field to end the game.
The Boxers have now won the last nine games in a row against Lewis & Clark including series sweeps for the last three seasons.
Next, the Boxers will come home to host Linfield in a three-game series. The action starts on Saturday with a doubleheader at Chuck Bafaro Stadium on Saturday at noon.
Photos by Ellie Parker