Pioneers drop rubber game, 5-3

Photo by Robert Garcia-Magdaleno
Photo by Robert Garcia-Magdaleno
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark College Pioneers scored single runs in the first, fifth and sixth innings, however, Swarthmore erupted for five runs of their own in the sixth to win the rubber game, Sunday afternoon at the Huston Sports Complex, 5-3.
The two teams split Saturday's doubleheader with the Garnet taking a 4-1 victory in game one, then the Pioneers rallied with five runs in the ninth with an 11-10 come-from-behind win in 10 innings in the nightcap.
On Sunday, Swarthmore (6-1) starting pitcher Noah Linhart struck out 10 batters, gave up two earned runs and scattered eight hits for his first win of the season.  Adam Schauer picked up the save in relief.
Lewis & Clark hurler Andrew Yarak (1-3), making his sixth start of the season, pitched 5.2 innings and struck out seven batters.  Yarak started strong, allowing one hit through five innings until the sixth when Swarthmore did its damage. 
"Tough loss today," Lewis & Clark head coach Matt Kosderka said.  "We certainly had chances, but some self-inflicted wounds came back to bite us.  I like where things are going overall.  Our guys continue to get better and battle every time out.
Lewis & Clark (3-16) has split its last four games going 2-2.
"I thought Andrew (Yarak) did a solid job other than the one inning and Max Haddad was great in relief," added Kosderka.  "I was very happy to see his hard work paying off.  Offensively, we keep putting ourselves in good situations, but sometimes try to do too much. We also hit a number of balls hard, but right at their guys."
Lewis & Clark scored early with a run in the bottom of the first.  Matt Donovan, who originally struck out, reached first on Garnet catcher Kenji Yoshii's throwing error to first base.  After stealing second base, his third swipe of the year, Donovan advanced to third on Chandler Vieira's sacrifice fly to right field.
After a pop out to the catcher, Donovan scored, his team-leading 12th run of the season on a Ryan Ericksen RBI grounder to third base for a 1-0 lead.   
The Pioneers added their second run in the fifth when Donovan led off with a double down the left field line.  After Vieira grounded out, Donovan advanced to third, and later scored an out later when Ericksen knocked in his second RBI on the day with a single to left center.
Yarak entered the sixth inning allowing only one hit, however, the visitors erupted with five runs on four hits. Conor Elliot collected two RBI in the rally after Swarthmore capitalized on a pair of hit by pitches and a walk to start the inning.  A pair of close plays at home plate were called safe generating two more runs for the Garnet.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Pioneers inched closer, generating another run as they did in the first and fifth innings, as Max Gordon led off with a single to left.  He later scored, two outs later on a Jacob Serafini single to center.
Donovan went 1-for-4 with two runs scored for the Pioneers, while Kevin Jacobs had two hits, as did Ericksen, who also had two RBI, his 10th and 11th on the season.
The Pioneers stranded two runners on base in the ninth.  Overall, they left seven runners on base. Lewis & Clark limited Swarthmore to its second-lowest hits total of the season (6).
The Pioneers continue their six-game homestand hosting Northwest Conference opponent Linfield this Saturday (March 17) with a doubleheader at 12 p.m., and a single game on Sunday (March 18, 12 p.m.).