Wakem Slam Powers Whitworth to Win - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Wakem Slam Powers Whitworth to Win

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by Whitworth University Sports Information

SALEM, Ore. – Thomas Wakem hit a grand slam with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to lift visiting Whitworth to an 8-6 win over Willamette on Saturday afternoon in the finale of a Northwest Conference baseball series at John Lewis Field.

Wakem finished the game with five RBIs to help the Pirates (12-20 overall, 9-12 NWC) with their third consecutive conference series. He finished the game 2-5 at the plate.

Willamette (22-13, 14-6) had won 12 straight NWC games before dropping two of three to Whitworth.

Ty Wyatt, who went 2-5 with three RBIs, appeared to give Willamette the game-winning hit with a two-run single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Taylor Isadore pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to pick up his second win of the weekend. After allowing a lead-off walk in the ninth and a single with one out, he induced a fielder’s choice ground out by Austin Hagerty to end the game. The Pirate reliever lowered his ERA to 0.99 in his 16th appearance.

Nick Motsinger got Whitworth on the board with a two-run home run in the third inning, his second homer of the season. Willamette tied the game with single runs in the third and fourth innings.

But the Pirates retook the lead with a two-out rally in the fifth. Joshua Davis, Tyler Pfeffer, Wakem and Matt Nelson put together four consecutive singles to give Whitworth a 4-2 lead.

Willamette got within 4-3 in the fifth on Wyatt’s RBI double. Wyatt then scored the tying run in the seventh on Rolenn Himuro’s RBI single. In the next inning Wyatt delivered what appeared to be a game-winning hit for the Bearcats.

Mostinger reached on an error with one out to start the ninth inning rally. Gerhard Muelheims nearly tied the game in the next at-bat, but his drive was caught at the fence in right field. Davis and Pfeffer singled to load the bases for Wakem. After taking a ball, Wakem drove the next pitch from Willamette starter Peter Hoffman over the wall in left field. None of the runs were earned thanks to the error that allowed Motsinger to reach base.

Davis finished the game 4-5 for the Pirates, while Nelson went 3-5. Tommy Kawamura and Andrew Wilson had three hits each for the Bearcats.

Spencer Ansett, last week’s NWC Pitcher of the Week, started for Whitworth and allowed three runs on eight hits in four innings. Jason Renner followed and gave up three runs on seven hits over the next 3.2 innings before Isadore relieved with two outs in the eighth. Isadore improved to 2-2.

Hoffman fell to 4-3 after allowing eight runs (four earned) on 15 hits in 8.2 innings.

Whitworth has four games remaining this season, beginning with a non-conference contest against Central Washington on Tuesday at home. The Pirates will host Whitman in a three-game NWC series next weekend.

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