‘Cats sweep Whitworth in four game series

Camille Botello, Staff Writer

The Linfield men’s baseball team played an impressive series against the Whitworth Pirates last weekend.

In game one, a rain delay didn’t throw off the ‘Cats. They converted their hits to runs, even when the Pirates brought in a new pitcher. Linfield had 14 base hits during game one, which helped them eventually outscore against Whitworth.

Cason Cunningham, ‘19, pitched seven innings in game one and struck out 13 Pirates during his time on the mound.

They also managed to commit no errors on defense, and a diving catch by second baseman Brady Rediger, ‘18, re energized the ‘Cats for the rest of the game.    

“The bats really came out to play this weekend,” said senior Ben Andrews, who raked in two hits including a homerun in game one.

A late Whitworth home run in the top of the 9th inning wasn’t enough to lift them above the Wildcats, especially after a second home run by Alex Hendra-Brown, ‘18. Linfield won the first game 14-4.

The Pirates bounced back from their huge loss to Linfield in the second game, making it much closer.

Senior Riley Newman started at the mound for the ‘Cats, and pitched for nine innings.

The ‘Cats and Pirates battled through the first nine innings, staying neck and neck with hits and runs. The first nine innings ended with a 3-3 tie, forcing the game into extra innings.

Reliever Matt Strang, ‘18, pitched in extra innings and allowed no hits from Whitworth.

In the bottom of the 11th inning, sophomore Cameron Fox hit a walk-off homerun that lifted the ‘Cats above the Pirates, 3-2. “I think our team goal as conference schedule gets towards the end is just to keep trusting the process and focusing on the little things Day in and day out. We are all extremely competitive and right now the only thing we are looking at is to win our next game, our next at bat and what we can do to help the team when our number is called,” Fox said.

Linfield faced off on another double header against Whitworth on Sunday.

Junior Cal Neely was the starting pitcher for the Wildcats, finishing with three strikeouts.

The ‘Cats put runs on the board early in the first and second innings, with the help of another homerun from Andrews. Linfield’s offense continued to be strong, with hits from Brady Rediger, ‘18, Hilpert, Ryan Pladson, ‘17, and Jared Evans, ‘19.

“We are coming into each game knowing we are going to win because we have hitting, pitching and  defense all working together,” Andrews said.

The ‘Cats beat the Pirates again in game three, 10-4. They played a second non conference game against Whitworth on Sunday and lost, 9-3.

“We won the games we needed. We we pitched, hit and played good defense and it was good to see all of those aspects come together in three games,” said Scott Hilpert, ‘17.

“I’d say the best thing about this weekend is that we swept Whitworth. This conference is extremely competitive and everyone is beating each other up so it was huge to get the sweep. We pitched phenomenal, we played great defense and we hit the ball really well so that was fun,” Fox stated.

Next Linfield plays Puget Sound and Whitman as their regular season comes to an end.