Walk-happy eighth nearly propels Lewis & Clark comeback

Walk-happy eighth nearly propels Lewis & Clark comeback

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers used six eighth-inning walks by Pacific Boxers' pitchers to close to within one late in a 7-5 loss at Porter Park on Sunday afternoon.

With it raining throughout, the Pioneers scored three runs on six walks by Pacific's Ryan Colson, Matt Jensen and Cody Ahlgrimm to close a four-run deficit. Sean Shepherd, Connor Eggleston and Cooper Larson all scored on bases-loaded walks for Lewis & Clark. Although a double play to home and first on Tommy Massari's at-bat hindered the Pioneers' chances of tying the game, the Pios benefited from eight free bases in all during the inning to close to within 6-5.

Along with a walk in the eighth that scored a run, Ben Beck finished with two RBI in the game after a double in the seventh inning that tied the game.

"I saw a pitch on the outside corner," said Beck about the at-bat in the seventh. "I've been struggling to hit the outside pitch this weekend and I was ready for it when it came and I stroked it to the right side."

The Pioneers put up six hits after they were limited to one in Saturday's finale. Conner Sick and Akira Abderrahman each had two hits. Abderrahman also had a RBI in the third after almost scoring a run in the first inning. With Shepherd on base in the opening inning, Abderrahman singled to right and advanced to second on a throw to third base. After Eggleston walked to load the bases, Larson hit a ground ball to shortstop. Abderrahman made an effort to avoid contacting the ball, but couldn't and was called on for contacting the ball.

"It sometimes goes your way and it sometimes doesn't," said Abderrahman when asked about the bounces in a baseball game. "The most important thing is to get back into the cage every day and keep working hard."

Beck says the players decided to do some voluntary work following Saturday's pair of shutout losses to the Boxers, which produced better results offensively on Sunday.

"We talked about how we are in a slump. Last night, we went up to the gym and started hitting. It showed us that we're ourselves and that we could get back into it today. We showed that on the field," said Beck.

Pacific (12-12; 7-11 NWC) took a one-run lead in the first and regained the edge in the fourth inning, 2-1, after the Pios scored in the bottom of the third.

Kurtis Kloke went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles, two of Pacific's four extra-base hits, to lead the Boxers offensively. Brady O'Keefe (2-3) earned the win after throwing 6 2/3 innings.

Drake Gilliland (0-5) started the game for Lewis & Clark and threw five innings. He allowed five runs on seven hits and three strikeouts. Austin Conniff faced four batters and recorded one out before Jeramy Albert threw the final 3 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. He gave up two hits with a pair of strikeouts and one walk.

Lewis & Clark (4-19; 3-10 NWC) has had numerous games changed because of weather this season, including Sunday's fourth game, which was cancelled. It was originally scheduled as part of a season-opening tournament with other Northwest Conference teams. In all, 10 games have been modified for the Pios this season, including a doubleheader with Puget Sound that will be made up on Wednesday.

"We just got to be flexible," said Abderrahman. "As a senior, my body has definitely taken a beating this year, but we only have three weeks left, which is crazy to think about, so at this point, it's just adrenaline. We're excited to go up against Puget Sound. We just got to ride it out and leave a mark on this program."

The doubleheader with Puget Sound is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. on Wednesday at the Huston Sports Complex.

Other Northwest Conference Scores - Sunday

Linfield 5, La Verne 3
Linfield 5, La Verne 4 (11 inn.) 

#NewPios16 - Baseball
August 5, 2016 #NewPios16 - Baseball