Boxers fall in NWC tournament final

It was a great ride for the Pacific softball team, but in the end the home run power of Linfield proved too much as the Wildcats hit three longballs to beat the Boxers, 8-0, in six innings to win the Northwest Conference Softball Tournament and end the Boxers’ season.

The Wildcats broke the game open in the third with a pair of home runs and then used a two-run shot to set the foundation for a four-run fourth inning.

In addition to ending the season, the game was the last for Pacific head coach Tim Hill, who is retiring after 12 years in Forest Grove. After the game, Hill praised his club for an incredible run over the last month that allowed the Boxers to finish second in the NWC.

“I told (the team) that I thought they were winners and, in my mind, champions,” Hill said. “I say that because of how they performed late in the season. They just didn’t quit. There were so many games late that they came back from behind in. They didn’t win the tournament, but in my mind they are absolutely champions.”

With the loss, Pacific finished its season with an impressive 26-12 record, the eighth season with 20-plus wins in Hill’s tenure. Linfield, the NWC regular season champions, earned the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament with a 34-7 record.

Battaglia nabs another award

Pacific junior Giancarlo Battaglia ended the 2014 regular season in the best possible way, racking up four victories and earning his second straight selection as the Northwest Conference Men’s Tennis Student-Athlete of the Week.

Battaglia played a key role in the Boxers wrapping up the No. 2 seed in the upcoming NWC Tournament, which begins on Friday in Walla Walla. In last Tuesday’s critical match with George Fox, Battaglia came up big in the No. 2 singles spot, scoring a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Chris Lilliey. He then teamed with partner Troy Zuroske to earn a hard-fought 9-7 victory over Justin McClain and Lilley at No. 1 doubles.

In the regular season finale at Puget Sound on Friday, Battaglia was just as dominant. Playing No. 1 singles, he scored a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Daniel Deuel. In doubles, teaming for the first time with Grayson Frazier, Battaglia opened with an 8-2 win over Chas Stewart and Myles Rivera-Flam.

“Giancarlo has been playing very well since coming back from an injury he suffered on our California trip,” Pacific coach Brian Jackson said. “He is one of the major contributors to the Boxers’ successes this year. We are proud of him and his well-deserved honor.”

Banks takes 2nd at golf tourney

Banks had the top two individual finishers en route to a second-place team finish at the first annual Banks Invitational golf tournament, held last Monday at Quail Valley Golf Course.

Brothers Riley and Ross Philippi tied for first place with matching rounds of 82, and Riley, a senior, beat out Ross, a junior, on the first playoff hole to capture tournament medalist honors.

Carl Feltstiner of Oregon Episcopal School finished third with a round of 84, followed by Scappoose’s Tyler Lukinbeal in fourth (85) and Tillamook’s David Waud in fifth (87).

The Philippis helped Banks to a second-place finish with a team score of 359, just two strokes behind tournament champion Scappoose. OES finished third (366), Tillamook took fourth (370) and Astoria was fifth (401).

Banks’ Austin Wright finished second in the nine-hole JV tournament with a round of 50.

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