Big middle innings propel Lewis & Clark in opener before split with Whitman

Big middle innings propel Lewis & Clark in opener before split with Whitman

NEWBERG, Ore. -- Sean Shepherd's fourth-inning home run was the middle point of four-straight scoring innings for the Lewis & Clark Pioneers in a 5-2 win over the Whitman Blues in Saturday's opening game.

With the game moved to George Fox's Morse Athletic Fields, the Pioneers scored two runs in the third and then added a single run in each of the next three innings for the victory.

Robert Reaser (3-4) started the game and struck out a career-high 10 batters for the victory, including a pair in three, 1-2-3 innings. He allowed two walks against the 36 batters he faced.

"Rob had some of his best stuff in that first game," said designated hitter Akira Abderrahman. "When he brings it like he did today, he really establishes himself as an NWC ace. We were able to get him some run support offensively and he rode that to the finish."

The Pioneers tallied 10 hits, their fourth double-digit hits game in the last five. Along with Shepherd, Tommy Massari and Matt Donovan had two hits apiece. Donovan had two RBI as well, scoring Chandler Vieira on a single in the third and another base hit in the fifth that scored Conner Sick.

Joseph Zimmer had two hits to lead the Blues offensively. Nick Johnson (3-2) threw 5 2/3 innings without allowing a walk in the losing effort.

Game 2

The Pioneers allowed five runs in the third inning and weren't able to come completely back despite scoring runs in five of the final seven innings. Lewis & Clark lost 11-7 in Saturday's finale.

As one of seven Lewis & Clark seniors playing their final home series, Akira Abderrahman hit three extra-base hits including a ninth-inning home run to right field.

"I was seeing the ball really well and I have been feeling really confident at the plate recently," said Abderrahman. "I want to go out on a high note, so I look to do damage every at-bat."

Abderrahman scored after a one-out double in the third when Sean Shepherd hit the second-straight two-bagger for the Pios. The pair did the exact same thing in the fifth. Nick Lockwood added a homer in the sixth to give Lewis & Clark six extra-base hits on the day.

Pios starter Andrew Yarak faced 19 batters and allowed seven hits and five runs in 2 2/3 innings before Nat Richman threw three innings of relief. Austin Conniff and Jeramy Albert threw the rest of the game without giving up an earned run combined.

Eric Ma improved to 4-0 this season with six innings of work. He struck out three. Jake Wishart went 4 for 5 from the plate, while three other Blues notched three hits.

The third NWC game of the series is scheduled for Sunday at noon. As long as the weather cooperates, the teams will make up a non-conference game from earlier in the season at 3 p.m.

#NewPios16 - Baseball
August 5, 2016 #NewPios16 - Baseball