TACOMA, Washington – Nathan Backes was in need of hit, the Loggers were in need of a win, and the senior third baseman delivered. Backes launched a three-run homer to give the Puget Sound baseball team a 7-4 lead over Lewis & Clark in the eighth inning, and Kia Kurokawa shut the door on the Pioneers with a perfect ninth inning.
Layne Croney and Chris Zerio led off the eighth inning with consecutive singles. Nick Funyak hit into a fielder's choice, but he moved to second base on the play as Croney stayed on third base. Backes belted an offering from Lewis & Clark (5-4, 2-1 NWC) reliever Holden Jones over the left field fence, snapping the Loggers' four-game losing streak. Backes had been held hitless in his previous eight at-bats.
Puget Sound (3-7, 1-2 NWC) relief pitcher David Follett earned his first win of the season after pitching out of a jam to keep the Pioneers off the board in the top of the eighth inning.
Lewis & Clark grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Loggers pushed two runs across the plate in the third. James Dejesus hit a one-out double, and Cal Muramaru followed with a double of his own to score Dejesus. Muramaru stole third base and scored on a passed ball to give the Loggers a 2-1 lead.
The Pioneers scored three runs in top of the third, but Dejesus and Muramaru struck again. This time the pair reached home plate in the fifth inning to tie the game, 4-4.
The Loggers head to No. 14 Linfield for a three-game series starting on Saturday, Feb. 27.
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