Pacific Sweep Puget Sound With Some Ninth Inning Heroics

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FOREST GROVE – Another masterful pitching performance by Rob Dittrick (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii) in the opener yielded to a dramatic two-out rally in the bottom of the ninth in the nightcap as Pacific swept both games from Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader at Chuck Bafaro Stadium.
Dittrick improved to 8-1 with his fifth complete game win of the season, allowing six hits as Nick Tasaka (Jr., Hawaii Kai, Hawaii) hammered our three hits to give the Boxers a 3-0 shutout win in game one.  Puget Sound held off the Boxers' bats until a pair of infield singles in bottom of the ninth gave the Boxers a 3-2 come-from-behind win.  Tasaka led Pacific with six hits in the twinbill, including the game-winning hit in the second game.
The victories allowed Pacific to pad their lead in the Northwest Conference standings, improving to 19-14, 16-4 NWC.  The Boxers maintained their one-game lead on Whitworth, who swept both games of their doubleheader with Willamette.  Puget Sound dropped to 9-25-1, 5-15 NWC.
Dittick proved masterful in putting together his eighth straight win and his fifth complete game effort, scattering six hits and striking out eight.  After giving up a pair of hits in the first, Dittrick did not allow more than one base runner in any of the last eight innings.
The Boxers succeeded in manufacturing single runs in the first, fourth and sixth to secure the win, but also left 10 runners on base.  Tasaka opened his 3 for 4 day with a one-out single in the first, moved to second on Jared Van Hoon's (Sr., Lake Oswego, Ore.) and scored on Chad Fahey's (Sr., Keizer, Ore.) rolling single through the right side.
Mike Nagamine (Sr., Aiea, Hawaii) accounted for the one run in the fourth, leading off the frame with a double.  He was sacrificed to third by Michael Arakaki (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii) and scored in Jordan Siu's (Jr., Redmond, Wash.) sacrifice fly.  Arakaki led off the bottom of the sixth by being hit by a pitch, was sacrificed to second on Siu's bunt and scored on a single by Kevin Schwartz (Sr., Milwaukie, Ore.).
Steve Wagar took the loss (1-2) in his first start of the season, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work.  Taylor Volz finished out for the Loggers, allowing two hits and a walk in 2.2 innings.  Tasaka's 3 for 4 effort paced the Boxers offensively, with Van Hoon going 2 for 4.  Mentor finished 2 for 4 to lead the Loggers.
Through the first eight innings, it looked as if Puget Sound starter Nathan Aguiar would have the right staff to steal a critical game from the Boxers.  Aguiar held Pacific scoreless through the first four innings and allowed just one run in the fifth inning before yielding to relievers in the eighth and ninth.
The Puget Sound offense, meanwhile, succeeded in manufacturing a pair of runs off of Pacific starter Mike McGuire (Sr., Olympia, Wash.).  Savage doubled to left center field with one out in the top of the third, moved to third on a single by Will Mentor and scored on Addison Melzer's sacrifice fly.
Mentor made it a 2-0 Puget Sound lead in the fifth when he singled with two outs, and moved to second on a single by Melzer.  Matt Cox drove in Mentor with a single up the middle against reliever Quin Moore (So., Bellingham, Wash.).
Pacific, meanwhile, found offense hard to come by early in the game as they managed just three hits over the first four innings.  The Boxers got on the board in the fifth when Donnie Bradley (Fr., Beaverton, Ore.) reached on a walk, stole second and reached third on a subsequent throwing error.  He then scored on a single to center field by Schwartz.
The Boxers put together then winning rally with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.  Pinch hitter Anson Arakaki (Jr., Hilo, Hawaii) reached when he was hit by Loggers' closer Alex Baugh.  Bradley was then issued a walk and Schwartz followed with a single to right to score Anson Arakaki.  A misplay on the ball by Puget Sound left fielder Casey Coberly allowed both Bradley and Schwartz to move up an additional 90 feet.  Tasaka followed with his sixth hit of the day, a single up the middle, to score Bradley for the win.
The rally made a winner out of Van Hoon, who retired the final two batters in the top of the ninth to improve to 2-0 on the season.  Baugh dropped to 1-2 with the loss, allowing the two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning.  Schwartz and Tasaka each went 2 for 5 to lead Pacific, while Savage went 3 for 5 to lead the Loggers.
The two teams will conclude their three-game series on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for noon.  Pacific will honor 10 seniors playing in their final home game prior to the contest.