by Jackson Bell | Staff Writer
Pirates baseball ended five-game slump this weekend with three victories over the George Fox Bruins.
With two victories on Saturday and a third on Sunday, the Pirates improved to 9-6 overall and 3-5 in conference play.
“After being 0-5 in conference we needed a big weekend and we got it,” senior Jordan McGowan said.
The Pirates were led to a 5-3 victory in the first game Saturday by sophomore pitcher Hugh Smith (2-2), who allowed the Bruins a meager four hits through nine innings.
The Pirates offense was galvanized in the first inning by a solo home run from McGowan. Later in the third, the Pirates struck again, this time on a single by Joel Condreay,’18, batting in Garrett Hughes,’17, from second.
After the Bruins scored two comeback runs, the Pirates broke the 2-2 tie and scored three more thanks to a two-run homer from Matthew Nelson, ’17, scoring Nicholas Nerud, ’19, and a bases-loaded walk for Condreay, scoring senior Jacob Yamane.
In the second game, the Pirates came out swinging in the first again with a sacrifice fly to center by Condreay that scored senior Daniel Casanova. Then, in the third, Casanova did the same, scoring Hughes.
The game then went scoreless until a huge inning for the Pirates in the seventh. The Bruins had two errors, allowing three runners to score, two of which were unearned. The other four runs came from a huge grand slam by McGowan, scoring Condreay, Casanova, and Hughes.
The Bruins only runs came from a hit by sophomore Tristan Guillen to centerfield. The throw to home from Casanova was cut off by Nelson who caught Guillen at second for the second out of the inning.
From the mound, sophomore lefty Ryan Kingma (3-0) gave up only one walk and two runs, while striking four men out and bringing his ERA to 1.97 on the year.
In the game on Sunday the Pirate lineup was led by senior Ryan Bird, who had 3 hits and 2 RBIs on the day.
Offensively, the Pirates got off to a slow start, with only one hit through the third. Immediately following a fielder’s choice RBI by sophomore AJ Valencia, the Bucs answered back in the fourth with a double from Nelson which scored Nerud and Bird. The Pirates then scored another two in the sixth thanks to a single down the third base line from Bird, which drove in McGowan and Condreay.
Whitworth put one more run up in the eighth on a sac fly to center by McGowan, bringing in Casanova, and accruing a total of 6 RBIs for McGowan on the weekend.
The Pirates’ offensive capabilities were more impressive than they have been in the past couple weeks. The Bucs lineup left 15 men on base this whole weekend, only two more than they did in their final game versus Whitman two weeks ago.
“Just the fact that we finally got out on the field and successfully had a couple practices out there helped our cause,” McGowan said.
If the weather stays fair in Spokane, the Pirates will be looking at their first home game all season this weekend, hosting the Pacific Lutheran Lutes in a three-game series starting Saturday at noon.