Pioneers gain Saturday split in dramatic fashion

Photo by Robert Garcia-Magdaleno
Photo by Robert Garcia-Magdaleno
PORTLAND, Ore. –- Max Gordon hit his first career home run – a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning, then Justin Katona won it in the 10th with a RBI to center field leading Lewis and Clark College to a come-from-behind 11-10 victory over Swarthmore, in game two of a Saturday doubleheader.
The Pioneers have now won two of their last three games, while Swarthmore lost for the first time this season in six games.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Chandler Vieira walked, then stole second.  Sean Shepherd followed with a walk, then Vieira advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an error by the catcher, narrowing the deficit to 10-6.
The Garnet changed pitchers putting in Jack Corkery, who saved game one.
Katona and Cooper Larson both walked setting up ninth-inning fireworks with Gordon stepping to the plate and hammering a 2-0 count over the left-center fence tying the game at 10-10.
"I was looking for a fastball that I could hit hard and got it, and I put my best swing on it," said Gordon. "It's my first career home run and it came in a big spot, a lot of fun.  I've been waiting for a long time, it felt pretty good."
The five runs in the bottom of the ninth set up extra innings for the second time in the last three games for the Pioneers.
In the top of the 10, Swarthmore made things interesting putting a runner on second with its season-best sixth double of the game, however, failed.
In the Pios 10th, Shepherd knocked a stand up double to center, was later substituted by pinch runner Michael Contreras.  One out later, Katona connected on his third hit of the game with a shot to center, scoring Contreras for the game-winner.
Vieira picked up the win in relief for the Pioneers, while Corkery took the loss.
Lewis and Clark (3-15) opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning with Katona reaching base on a hit and later scored on a fielders choice.
The visitors jumped ahead with three runs in the top of the third on a pair of home runs.  Michael Sepe hit a solo home run, then two batters later, Charles Levitt connected on a 2-run shot to right field.
The Pioneers tied the score with a pair of runs on an unusual way in the third inning, all on errors and no hits.  After Serafini walked, Vieira reached base on an error and later scored on a Ryan Ericksen sacrifice fly.
Lewis and Clark kept its momentum going with Shepherd drawing a walk, then advanced to second on a throwing error, which allowed Vieira to score, tying the game at three.
The Garnet (5-1) regained the lead with three more runs on three hits in their top of the fourth inning, however, the home team rallied, once again cutting its deficit to 6-5 with a one-out, two-RBI single from Serafini, who crushed a hit down the left field line.
After Swarthmore added a run in the sixth and eighth innings for an 8-5 lead, the Pioneers made things interesting in the eighth.  Katona drew a walk, then stole second.  Two outs later, Serafini was hit-by-the-pitch.  With runners on first and second, and the top of the order coming up, Matthew Donovan grounded into a fielder's choice to the third basemen ending the rally.
The Garnet added two more runs in the ninth to round out their 10 runs. They also had a season-high 14 hits and suffered four errors.
Katona, who went 2 for 4 in game one, went 3 for 4 in the nightcap with three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases.  Donovan hit his team-leading 10th double on the season in the first inning, and Kevin Jacobs went 2 for 5.  
Serafini also knocked in two RBI on a 2 for 2 performance.
Vieira opened the seventh with a leadoff double, his sixth on the season and second on the day. Vieira went 1 for 4 with a run scored and two runs scored.
The final matchup of the three-game set at the Huston Sports Complex is scheduled for Sunday at 12 p.m.

Game 1

by Myles Boyns
The first game of Saturday's doubleheader didn't go the way the Pioneers planned, falling 4-1. It was the first true home game for the Pioneers as their previous two home games were played on a neutral field.
Swarthmore started the scoring in the top of the third with two doubles which led to the Garnet first run.  Lewis & Clark catcher Ryan Ericksen threw out a Garnet runner attempting to steal (his first of three on the day), as he caught a runner stealing in the top of the fourth.
It didn't stop Swarthmore, as Cole Beeker hit a double which eventually led to his run, putting the Garnet up 2−0.  Six of the nine Garnet batters had hits through four innings.  For the game, Swarthmore 12 hits.
The Pios wouldn't get their first hit until the bottom of the fourth as Chandler Vieira hit a double to open the inning.  After a wild pitch, he advanced to third and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Sean Shepherd.  The Pios trailed 2−1 heading to the top of the fifth. 
Lewis & Clark switched to Austin Conniff to pitch at the top of the fifth and remained the Pios hurler to the eighth. The Garnet scored two more runs, each coming from Coleson Hebble and Matt Palmer, putting Swarthmore up 4−1.
Justin Katona went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles for the Pios.
Nick Kennison (0-4) took the loss for the Pios, while Swarthmore was led by Ricky Conti, who improved to 3-0 on the season.  Jack Corkery picked up his first save on the campaign for the Garnet.