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Pacific opens baseball season with a bang

BASEBALL: Pacific takes two of three from Whitworth in its first conference action this year

Pacific baseball got off to a great start in Northwest Conference play last weekend with a pair of wins on a road trip to Whitworth.

The Boxers (4-2, 2-1) swept a Saturday afternoon doubleheader, getting a huge 22-2 win in Game 1 and following it with a much-closer 3-2 victory in Game 2. Whitworth was able to steal the third game of the series on Sunday, but it was still a good weekend for the Boxers.

The 22 runs scored in Game 1 on Saturday was the most by a Pacific team in over four years. Every Pacific starter had a hit and scored a run in the blowout, and 13 of the 15 players to enter the game finished with a base hit.

The Boxers led 2-0 before breaking the game open with a six-run third inning, culminating with a two-run single by Frankie Guros. Pacific continued to pile it on late, scoring five runs in the seventh, two in the eighth and five more in the ninth. Kyle Barksdale capped the seventh inning with a two-run double, and Kaeo Lau Hee roped a two-run double in the ninth.

Derek Haner earned his first win of the season with a solid pitching performance, allowing just three hits and two walks in six innings of work. Tyler Fransen and Barksdale each allowed one run and one hit in relief.

In the nightcap, Whitworth hurler Brandon Zimmerman kept things a bit closer, allowing just six hits in a complete-game effort. But with the game tied 1-1 in the seventh, Pacific capitalized on a Whitworth error to score two runs. Scott Yasumoto scored on a fielding error and Zach Gantenbein drove in the winning run with a single.

Blaine Knuth earned his second win of the season, giving up just one run on two hits. Allen Sugiyama picked up the save in his first appearance of the year.

Whitworth came back with a blowout of its own on Sunday in the series finale, winning 10-0 on the strength of a nine-run seventh inning.

Pacific starter Brandon Larson allowed just one run on three hits through the first six innings, but ran into trouble in the seventh. Ryne Webb and Dan Ramsay each had RBI singles, and Alex Scarpelli and J.J. Jones each plated two more runs with hits off reliever Andrew Curtin.

Ryan Snell got the win for Whitworth, tossing eight innings of three-hit ball.

Pacific will be back in action this afternoon with a non-conference game against Portland.