PORTLAND, Ore. - The Lewis & Clark baseball team opened Northwest Conference action on Saturday afternoon with a 10-3 loss to Puget Sound at the Huston Sports Complex. The Pioneers bounced back to earn a 5-4 win in game two to split the double-header.
Lewis & Clark senior Ryan Strombom, who got the start on the mound for the Pioneers, started the game strong sitting the Loggers down in order in the top of the first.
The offense carried the momentum into the bottom half of the inning with two runs on one hit and an error. The first run came across after Michael Kinkenon reached on a throwing error by the Logger shortstop, which scored Bradley Lezak from second. Lezak led off the inning with a walk, before moving to second on a sacrific bunt by Christian Macdonald. Kinkenon came around to score with the next Pio at bat, with Eric Hyun doubling to center.
Puget Sound took the lead, 3-2, in the top of the third inning with all three runs coming with help from three Pioneer errors. Another Logger run came across in the fifth to make it a 4-2 game.
The Pioneers tacked on their final run in the bottom of the seventh with a Logger balk walking in EJ Hand. Hand entered the game to pinch run after a Hayden Higger single to left field. Puget Sound countered in the top of the eighth with Layn Croney coming in to score on a sacrifice bunt by Kaula Smith.
Leading 5-3, the Loggers doubled their score in the top of the ninth, making it nearly impossible for the Pioneers to fight their way back.
Strombom picked up the loss for Lewis & Clark after pitching seven innings. The senior faced 32 batters, striking out three, while allowing four runs. Collin Maier earned the win for the Loggers after eight innings of work.
Hyun picked up the Pioneers lone RBI, while finishing 1-of-4 from the plate.
The second game started much like the first with the Pioneers jumping ahead early. Lewis & Clark got the scoring started in the bottom of the first with a two out RBI single to right center by Sean Shepherd. The single brought in Tommy Massari, who reached base on a walk, before moving to second on a single to center by Kinkenon.
Despite putting runners on base, the Loggers would not counter until the top of the fifth when they plated two runs. Like the Pioneers, the first base runner would not reach until the team was down to its final out. A single up the middle by Nic Alarcio brought in Conn Savage for the first run, before Alacrio scored on an infield single by Chis Zerio.
Trailing 2-1, the Pioneers recaptured the lead in the bottom of the sixth on a two RBI single down the left field line by Higger. The shot allowed Shepherd and Massari to come home from scoring position.
This time it didn't take Puget Sound long to respond with the Loggers putting two more on the board in the top of the seventh.
Another Kinkenon single tied the game at 4-4. Ben Beck was the one who got to come home on the hit after reaching on a single to left field and stealing second. Beck then moved down to third after Josh Kirch grounded out to short.
The Loggers tried to capitalize on two hits in the top of the eighth but would have no luck. Lezak broke the deadlock in the bottom half of the eighth with a single through the right side. The hit allowed Higger to come in.
The run proved to be enough, as the Loggers could not find a way to plate a run in the ninth.
Aaron Landecker picked up the win for the Pioneers after pitching just 0.1 innings. Beck was credited with the save after holding the Loggers in the ninth, allowing just one hit, while striking out one.
Kinkenon, Shepherd, Higger and Beck all finished the game 2-of-4 from the plate.
The two sides finish the series on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 12 p.m. at the Huston Sports Complex.