Pioneers drop Sunday match up; take two of three from Linfield

Pioneers drop Sunday match up; take two of three from Linfield

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Sunday afternoon victory on game three of the series wasn't in the cards for the Lewis & Clark Pioneers baseball team, falling 8-4 to the Linfield Wildcats in a Northwest Conference matchup at the Huston Sports Complex.

Lewis & Clark drops to 5-17 overall and 3-8 in the Northwest Conference, while Linfield avoids its first three-game skid of the season, improving to 13-10 overall, 8-7 in the NWC.

The Pioneers took a Saturday sweep with 4-1 and 3-1 victories in games one and two, respectively, have won four its last seven games. Lewis & Clark also took the series over its conference rival, a first since April 1991.

Lewis & Clark righthander Andrew Yarak went 3.2 innings on Sunday, allowing six runs, four hits, three walks, and struck out five. He took the loss, dropping his record to 1-4 in his seventh appearance.

Linfield lefthander Carter Buuck picked up the win, improving to 4-1. He gave up seven hits, four runs (three earned) and struck out four.

Lewis & Clark started the scoring in its first at-bats the same way in the previous two games of the series, this time recording a pair of runs. The Pioneers scored eight of their 11 runs in the first inning alone over the three games.

The inning started on the first pitch of the game when Matt Donovan doubled to left, and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Chandler Vieira drew a walk and later stole second (his third of the year). Ryan Ericksen picked up his fifth hit of the series with a single to center, scoring both Donovan and Vieira for a quick 2-0 lead.

Linfield cut its deficit in the third when Brady Rediger reached base after being hit-by-the-pitch and later scored Yarak's throwing error to first on a Joey Cassano sacrifice bunt.

The key inning for Linfield came in the fourth inning with five runs on three hits. With two outs and a runner on second after a successful sacrifice, Jake Dennis singled to right, then advanced on Yarak's throwing error, allowing Jake Gellos to score from second.

Trailing 2-1, Linfield's Daniel Zavala reached base on an error, allowing Dennis to score evening the game at 2-2. After a walk, an RBI single later and a 3-2 lead, the Wildcats loaded the bases when Ryan Ross delivered a two-RBI double off reliever Nat Richman that broke open the game.

Linfield added a solo home run in the fifth inning by Alex Hendra-Brown (his fourth) and another run in the seventh to round out its eight runs.

The Pioneers scored runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Shepherd connected on his third home run of the year in the sixth with a solo shot to left field, and Katona reached base on an error and later scored on a Donovan single to left with two outs in the seventh.

On the day, Donovan hit his team-best 12th double of the season, went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI, and Shepherd was 1-for-4 with an RBI. Ericksen, who batted 2-for-4 with two RBI on Sunday, went 6-for-12 in the three-game series with six hits and three RBI.

The Pioneers went 3-3 on their six-game homestand, had eight hits on Sunday and left four runners on base.

Up next for the Pioneers is a four-game road trip beginning this Tuesday against Willamette at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, Ore. at 6 p.m. Following the single game with the Bearcats, Lewis & Clark travels to Pacific for a three-game series on Saturday.

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