Kakugawa, Backes, and the Loggers walk off with two wins

Kakugawa, Backes, and the Loggers walk off with two wins

TACOMA, WashingtonTroy Kakugawa and Nathan Backes each hit walk-off home runs as the Puget Sound baseball team won both games of Saturday's home doubleheader against Whitman.

Puget Sound 4, Whitman 3

The Loggers (12-11, 10-5 NWC) trailed 3-2 in bottom on the ninth inning and were down to their final out when Nick Funyak (1-for-4, 2B, R), who had been held hitless in his first three at-bats, stepped into the batter's box and ripped a double down the right-field line. Troy Kakugawa (1-for-4, HR), who was also hitless in his first three at-bats, followed with a deep fly ball to center that eluded the Missionarie's outfielders and allowed the speedy shortstop to round the bases for a walk-off, inside-the-park home run.

Puget Sound took a brief 1-0 lead in the second inning thanks to Bobby Hosmer's RBI double that scored Nathan Backes (2-for-3, 2B, 2R), but Whitman (4-18, 3-11 NWC) quickly evened the score in the third inning. The Missionaries grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fourth, but the Loggers responded in the bottom of the frame when Hosmer once again knocked in Backes, this time with a sac fly.

Whitman's run in the top of the eighth inning put the Loggers in a 3-2 hole, but it yielded a remarkable come-from-behind win for Puget Sound. Logger starting pitcher Collin Maier tossed 7.1 strong innings by allowing just three runs while striking out eight.

Puget Sound 4, Whitman 3 (12 inn.)

Nathan Backes didn't have to sprint around the bases as Troy Kakugawa did in Saturday's game-one walk-off win. Instead, the Puget Sound first-baseman delivered a towering solo shot that easily cleared the left-field wall and gave the Loggers a walk-off, 4-3 victory in 12 innings.

The heroic homer was Backes' second of the game. He also hit a solo blast in the top of the fourth inning to give Puget Sound a 3-0 lead. The Loggers grabbed a 2-0 edge in the first inning after Chris Zerio came through with an RBI double that plated Nickolas Alarcio, and Backes scored later in the inning on a throwing error by the Whitman shortstop.

The Missionaries evened the score, 3-3, with a run in the fifth inning and two more in the seventh. Puget Sound proceeded to win its first extra-innings games of the season. Entering this weekend, the Loggers hadn't won a one-run game this season. The won two run-games against Whitman on Saturday.

Puget Sound starting pitcher Steve Wagar allowed just two runs through 6.1 innings and struck out six. Relievers Zak Holcomb, Alex Wojtysiak, and Joshua Zavisubin (win) combined to hold the Missionaries to only three hits through 5.2 innings.

The Loggers will try for the series sweep on Sunday, March 29, at 12 p.m.



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