HAPPY VALLEY, Ariz. - A difficult season-opening baseball trip to Arizona ended on a sour note for Pacific Lutheran on Sunday as the Lutes were swept away by La Verne, 7-2 and 25-7, at Sandra Day O'Connor High School.
The first contest was the final game for both teams in the Arizona Desert Classic, and as a result La Verne finished 2-2 and the Lutes 1-3 in that tournament.
PLU starting pitcher Nathan Eisenhauer had a solid outing in the first game, allowing five runs, but only two earned, on seven hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked two in taking the loss. Ryan Frost pitched the final three innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits.
Neither pitcher got offensive support as the Lutes offense managed just two hits against a trio of La Verne pitchers. Ethan Ottemiller had a one-out single in the third inning, and Brock Gates hit a two-out, run-scoring double in the ninth inning. The Lutes' other run came in the fourth inning without benefit of a hit and was unearned.
La Verne piled up 23 hits and also benefitted from 11 walks and two hit batsmen in the second game. In addition, the Lutes committed two errors that helped account for nine unearned runs. Gates and Elliott Shum both had a pair of hits for the Lutes, who also got a two-run pinch hit homer from Ryan Frost in the ninth inning. Frosh Kipp Godfrey started the game and took the pitching loss for the Lutes.
With the losses, PLU falls to 1-4 for the season. La Verne improved its record to 3-4 with the two victories.
"We will have to get better as a pitching staff to have any hope this season," PLU head coach Geoff Loomis said. "It was a tough trip from a baseball standpoint."
The Lutes return to action this weekend with four games in Oregon.
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