TACOMA - Erupting for four two-out runs in the eighth inning, Whitman College squeezed past Pacific Lutheran 4-2 in the opener of a Northwest Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon.
The Lutes bounced back to win the nightcap 7-0.
The two teams play the rubber game of the three-game series at noon Sunday.
Whitman, now 3-11 in the NWC (4-21 overall), was trailing 2-0 in the opener when its first two hitters were retired in the eighth inning.
First-year sophomore Chris Andrews and freshman Jimmy Madden started the game-winning rally with singles to right field.
After senior Jay Richards was hit by a pitch to load the bases, freshman Cam Young smacked a liner off the pitcher's leg for a run-scoring single.
Freshman Casey Minnick, the next hitter, drew a bases-loaded walk to even the score at 2-2, and senior Erik Korsmo followed with a two-run single up the middle to make it 4-2 Whitman.
Freshman Aaron Cohen beat out an infield single to reload the bases, but PLU hurler Max Beatty escaped further damage with an inning-ending ground-out.
Sophomore Justin Weeks, who started on the mound for the Missionaries, made the lead stand up, holding the Lutes to a single in the eighth and a single in the ninth. He scattered eight hits in all, fanning two and walking one, in posting his second complete-game victory of the season.
After Pacific Lutheran scored two runs on three hits in the first inning, Weeks blanked the Lutes the rest of the way. They had the sacks loaded in the fifth, courtesy of a single, hit-batter and base on balls, but Weeks got the third out of the inning on a fly ball to left field.
Whitman mounted a mini-threat in the seventh when Minnick rapped his eighth double of the season down the right-field line. A fly ball to right and ground ball to second ended that threat.
The Lutes also got a complete-game effort out of Beatty, who gave up seven hits and walked two while striking out six.
Korsmo had two Whitman's seven hits in the opener.
Pacific Lutheran, now 6-5 in conference and 10-11 on the season, struck early in game two, taking a 2-0 lead in the first on a Brock Gates two-run home run.
The Lutes ballooned their lead to 5-0 in the second with three unearned runs. A double, sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly ball then pushed the home team's lead to 6-0 in the third.
Whitman stranded two runners in the top of the third. With two outs, Madden was hit by a pitch and Richards singled. But Pacific Lutheran starter Dan Johansen fanned the next hitter - one of 11 strike-outs he registered in posting his complete-game shutout.
Whitman threatened again in the eighth inning when a single by freshman Kyle Moyes and Madden's double put runners on second and third with two outs. A Johansen strike-out ended what was Whitman's last scoring opportunity.
Whitman 000 000 040 - 4 7 0
Pacific Lutheran 200 000 000 - 2 8 0
Weeks and Madden. Beatty and Halverson.
HR - none
Hits - Whitman: Madden, Young, Minnick, Korsmo 2, Cohen, Andrews. Pacific Lutheran: Hoffman 2, Moore, Gates, Aratani, Boyles, Johansen, Halverson.
Whitman 000 000 000 - 0 3 1
Pacific Lutheran 000 000 000 - 7 10 1
Nelson, Gavin (6) and Madden. Johansen and Halverson.
HR - Pacific Lutheran: Gates.
Hits - Whitman: Madden, Richards, Moyes. Pacific Lutheran: Hoffman, Johansen, Moore, Gates 2, Aratani 3, Pearson 2.