APPLETON, Wis. – The Whitworth University Pirates found out why Austin Blaski of the No. 1-ranked Marietta College Pioneers was voted the D3baseball.com Pitcher of the Year.
The Pirates just could not find an answer for Blaski, who silenced the Whitworth bats and handed the Pirates a 13-2 loss on the opening day of the NCAA Division III College World Series.
The Pirates could only muster two hits against Blaski in six innings of work.
“It’s one of those deals that you can’t be deceived by the outcome. You can’t be deceived by what you see on the scoreboard. We went out there against the best pitcher in the country,” Whitworth coach Dan Ramsay said. “We have got a group of guys that have done a great job of fighting all year and they are going to continue to do a great job of fighting. This isn’t the first time we have faced adversity.”
Pirates starter Dan Scheibe started strong. On two occasions, Scheibe was able to get the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters for Marietta out with runners in scoring position. Over the first four innings the Pioneers stranded 10 runners.
Eventually, Scheibe broke, giving up four runs on nine hits before giving way to sophomore Taylor Isadore. Marietta touched up Isadore for five runs on seven hits in just two innings of work. The Pioneers collected 22 hits.
“They may have put up 22 hits, but that means we are throwing strikes, we are competing,” Ramsay said. “It’s a tough job for us, be we are going to bounce back on Saturday. “
The Pirates scored twice in the eighth. The Pioneeers responded with four in the bottom of the inning.
“We weren’t sharp executing at times on offense, but 20 some hits makes those things go away,” Marietta head coach Brian Brewer said. “I didn’t think Austin was real sharp early, but he settled in and we caught the ball behind him.”
Whitworth had five hits foro the game, with Gerhard Muelheims and Landon Scott getting two apiece. Tyler Pfeffer roped an RBI double in the eighth
Kirby Becker led the Pioneers at the plate, picking five hits in seven at-bats. Aaron Hopper added a two-run home run.
The Pirates now face an elimination game against Christopher Newport (Va.) today at 11:15 a.m. (Pacific).
“It’s just a matter of trusting what we have done all year,” Ramsay said when asked if any adjustments will be made. “We aren’t going to change anything we have done. We faced a guy that can really pitch.
“It’s a matter of trusting our plan like we have all year.”
Washington 5, Washington State 2: Branden Berry’s two-run double in the seventh inning snapped a tie and lifted the Huskies (29-24, 12-16) to a 5-2 win over the Cougars (27-27, 11-17) in a Pac-12 game in Seattle.
Derek Jones’ double in the fifth drove in the Cougars’ runs. Jones had three hits.
Gonzaga 13, BYU 1: Marco Gonzales pitched eight strong innings and the Bulldogs, collecting 17 hits, came up with a couple of big innings to take the West Coast Conference victory at Provo, Utah, over the Cougars (22-26, 10-13).
Gonzaga (33-22, 13-10) scored four in the fifth and six in the sixth. Maxx Garrett had three hits while five other Bulldogs had two hits each.
Oklahoma City 7, Lewis-Clark 2: The Stars (48-10) slugged three home runs to down the Warriors (42-12) to complete the first round of play in the NAIA World Series in Lewiston.