Puget Sound rallies with seven runs in last three frames to win finale vs. Linfield
MCMINNVILLE, Ore. -- Sophomore Connor Savage smashed a grand slam in the eighth inning to lead Puget Sound to a 9-7 upset of No. 1 Linfield on Saturday. The game went back and forth all day with the lead changing hands three times before the Loggers were able to overcome the nation's top-ranked team.
Savage's first career home run couldn't have come at a better time. He already had two hits in the game and had scored a run, but the Loggers (11-15, 6-6 NWC) were down 6-4 when he came to the plate in the eighth.
Two walks and a single from JB Eary had the bases loaded with two outs. Garrett Spyer came on in relief for the Wildcats (20-4, 13-2 NWC) after Stephen Kelsey drew a walk to get the bases loaded. Savage launched the 1-2 pitch over the right field wall for a grand slam and an 8-6 Logger lead.
Jeff Walton's double in the ninth added to the lead, scoring Kaulana Smith from second. That was more than enough for Lucas Stone, who earned the win in relief for the Loggers.
Stone threw four innings out of the bullpen and had two hits in the game as he started as the Loggers' designated hitter. He struck out one in the winning effort. He had allowed just two runs on three hits, but four hits led to a Linfield run in the ninth. He was able to shut the door on its late effort to earn his third win.
Previous to Savage's late-inning shot, Eary had put the Loggers on top 2-1 with a two-run double in the fourth. Jake Wylie responded for the Wildcats with his third home run of the series. He smashed a three-run homer in the fifth to regain the Linfield lead 4-2. Two more came across in the sixth for a 6-2 lead.
Stone and Christian Carter narrowed the gap in the seventh as each drove in a run to get back within two and set up the Savage slam.
Not only was Savage's grand slam the first homer of his career, it was also the first homer allowed by the Linfield pitching staff this year. The slam also ended Linfield's eight-game winning streak.