KEIZER, Ore. — The offense was high in a pair of pitching duels on Saturday as the UBC Thunderbirds and host Corban University Warriors split a doubleheader that saw a total of four runs scored in 18 rounds of play.
The Warriors won Game 1 of the double bill with a shutout (1-0) before the T-Birds won their own close battle in Game 2 (2-1).
Mason Shaw produced a sparkling effort off the mound to lead the Warriors to a win in Game 1 of the doubleheader.
The Straight Warrior pitched seven scoreless innings en route to victory, and he made a number of big pitches when he needed to. UBC’s most promising threat came when they put two runners in scoring position in the top of the sixth with no outs, but a one-on-one defense from Shaw, a timely out from Nolan Wegerand an “at-him” one-liner on the right ended the rally without a race.
The Warrior’s offense took advantage of that momentum to manufacture a run in the bottom half of the stanza, with Nainoa Ka’ahanui kicking off the streak with a two-run double on the right field fence.
Ryan Clay then sacrificed it with a well-executed bunt on the next at-bat. Senior Maxwell Jeffrey snatched an RBI sacrificial fly to center field to drive home Ka’ahanui, the only run of the game on either side.
Corban’s defense was also important in the Game 1 win, as the Warriors made a season-high four double plays to escape multiple threats from UBC.
After Shaw’s sparkling seven innings of work, Drew Scherrer closed it out with an unblemished pair of frames, earning his second stoppage of the season along the way.
After the pitchers—Nate Martin of Corban and those of UBC Branden Wood– started Game 2 with three scoreless frames apiece, the visitors hit first on a two-run homer from Brandon Hupe at the top of the fourth.
Defensively, Corban’s outfield helped keep UBC’s run tally to just two, finishing both fifth and sixth in the lead by knocking out T-Bird baserunners trying to score from second base in singles . Kyle Clay took down the runner in the fifth with a pinpoint throw in a jump from the left, and Chris Grayson did the same with a laser on the fly from right field the very next inning.
Brad Pellkofer helped the Warriors cut that deficit in half in the fifth, hitting a solo homer over the left-field fence for his second long fly of the season.
It would prove to be the only offense Corban could muster in the loss, as Woods took the win (3-0) on the mound, while Sean Heppner sailed against threats from Corban in the high-leverage late heats to earn his first stop in the blue and gold.
Corban (21-21-1, 8-11) and the Thunderbirds (22-22, 9-9) will meet for the last time this season in the series finale on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. Volcanoes Stadium.