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Rain suspends Whitworth’s game at Division III nationals

APPLETON, Wis. – Rain washed out the second day of the Division III baseball championships on Saturday, halting the game between Whitworth University and Christopher Newport (Va.) University.

The Pirates held a 4-2 lead in the elimination game going into the bottom of the fifth inning.

Pirates starter Carson Blumenthal shook off a rough start and was in control of the game when play was halted. Through 4 1/2 innings, the freshman left-hander had surrendered two runs on four hits. He walked two.

The Captains capitalized on a couple of Pirates mistakes to get their runs.

In the first inning, Blumenthal dropped the ball in the middle of his delivery after issuing a walk to Billy Steel.

The balk put Steel in scoring position and he was driven on a single by Luke Saunders, giving the Captains a 1-0 lead.

The Pirates answered with two runs in the bottom half of the first. Gerhard Muelheims and Tyler Pfeffer singled with one out. Muelheims scored on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Landon Scott, and an RBI single by JR Jarrell plated Pfeffer.

Another error by the Pirates, who have five in the game, helped score CNU’s second run. Conner Madden’s grounder was misplayed by Pirates third baseman Paul Miller. The next batter, Luke Saunders, laid down a bunt, and Miller committed another error, this time overthrowing first. A sacrifice fly by Matt Shoemaker drove in Madden.

The Pirates scored twice while totaling five singles in the bottom of the third. Pfeffer drove in one run, and Scott added his second RBI of the game.

The game will be resumed at 10 a.m. PDT today with Pfeffer at the plate.

The winner will meet the loser of Game 7 between Wheaton (Mass.) and Cortland State (N.Y.)