Area roundup: Pirates win NWC title, D-III berth
The Whitworth Pirates used some Sunday magic to clinch a share of the Northwest Conference title, beating the visiting Whitman Missionaries 8-7 to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.
Whitworth improved to 9-0-1 on Sunday games this season and finished 26-13-1 overall and 19-5 in conference play. The 26 wins ties a school record for most victories in a season set in 1989. The Pirates tied Pacific for the NWC title, but earned the automatic bid by way of a tiebreaker.
Nick Motsinger, Landon Scott, JR Jarrell and Paul Miller each drove in a run in a five-run sixth inning with the Pirates taking advantage of a balk that forced in the go-ahead run.
Whitman (5-34, 5-19) rallied to pull within a run in the eighth inning and had the tying run on second base with two outs in the ninth before closer Jason Renner coaxed a flyout to left from Chris Konolige for his seventh save.
Whitworth earned its first conference title since 1991 and its first postseason appearance since the 1992 NAIA District 1 playoffs. The Pirates are heading to their first D-III tournament.
• Taylor Ard delivered a run-scoring single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Washington State Cougars (22-18, 8-9) to a 7-6 victory over the 23rd-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils (26-17, 11-10) in Pac-12 Conference baseball action in Pullman.
Ard, who also belted his ninth home run of the season with a leadoff shot in the fifth inning, finished with three RBIs after plating the first run of the game with a groundout in the bottom of the first.
WSU’s seventh win over a ranked team this season helped the Cougars avoid a sweep.
• The Loyola Marymount Lions (21-18, 9-6) scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to pull out a 4-3 victory over the host Gonzaga Bulldogs (27-14, 7-8) in West Coast Conference play.
Gonzaga reliever Zach Abbruzza (2-4) allowed two walks, two singles and a sacrifice fly in the ninth to get tagged with the loss.
Gonzaga managed just seven singles, three by Royce Bolinger.
• Chase Anselment drove in a pair of runs and the Washington Huskies (23-18, 8-10) jumped ahead with a four-run third inning and held off a late Utah (12-30, 6-15) rally to beat the Utes 7-6 in the rubber game of a Pac-12 series in Salt Lake City.
Austin Voth (7-1) allowed one run on one hit in 2 2/3 innings to pick up the win in relief.
Joe Meggs had two hits, including a triple, for Washington.
Annie Lockwood, Haley Steele and Bethany Kemp each had two hits and drove in a run to lead the third-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils (42-5, 14-2) to a 5-4 victory over the 11th-ranked Washington Huskies (36-14, 7-13) in Pac-12 play in Seattle.
Shawna Wright homered and drove in two runs for the Huskies.
Luke Clausen of Otis Orchards finished third at the Walmart FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake, Ark., after beginning the day in first place.
David Dudley of Virginia totaled 16 pounds, 9 ounces on the final day to end the tourney with 54 pounds, 7 ounces over four days. He earned $125,000.
Clausen had a total weight of 53 pounds, 9 ounces and earned $30,000.
Andy Morgan of Tennessee was second at 53 pounds, 15 ounces and earned $35,000.