The University of Puget Sound rugby team finished its season by competing at the PacWest Region Championship in Wayne, Neb. for the “Sweet 16” of the Division III tournament.
The Loggers, which won the Pacific Northwest League this year with a 9-1 record, fell on April 14 to eventual regional champ Cal-Maritime 18-3, having missed some golden opportunities. Junior Cole McIlvaine – who coach Tobin Ropes dubbed the Loggers’ player of the tournament – provided the Loggers’ only points on a penalty kick.
“Our guys didn’t give up, and they played 80 minutes,” said Ropes, who coaches the Loggers along with Mark Sullivan. “We missed three free kicks and had three tries (similar to touchdowns) called back for infractions. In the end, the score is the score.”
The Loggers rebounded for a 33-11 win over the University of Texas-Dallas on April 15, claiming third place at the regionals.
“We took a pounding on Saturday,” Ropes said. “These boys have never played two games in a row like that, so I didn’t know what to expect.”
Trailing 11-10 with 20 minutes to go, the Loggers rattled off 23 unanswered points, getting two tries from senior Mike Hammer in the match and one each by fellow seniors Gavin Beaudry and Sam “Bones” Wolf. Sophomore Sam Egan and freshman Nick Butterfield also notched tries for the Loggers.
“(Butterfield) made so many amazing, crushing tackles to keep them from scoring,” Ropes added. “The guy was all over the field for two days straight, didn’t come off the field.”
Ropes credits the senior class of Wolf, Hammer, Beaudry, Alex Kaminstein and Peter Topolski along with fellow seniors Blake Beavers and Bryce Rogers – who weren’t able to make the trip to Nebraska – for getting the Loggers to new heights since Ropes and Sullivan took over two years ago.
“I was really proud of all of them, and they represented the university so well,” said Ropes, adding that the team should finish in the Top 10 in all of Division III and should return around 30 players next fall. The Loggers compete against the likes of Gonzaga, Seattle University, Willamette and Whitman in conference play, and Ropes is already looking forward to next year’s season. “We’re going to bring a championship back to Tacoma.”
By Jeremy Helling
Sophomore pitcher Matt Bell fired a no-hitter in a 1-0 win at Skagit Valley in the opener of a doubleheader on April 15, helping Tacoma Community College take three of four from the Cardinals last weekend.
Bell – who now owns a 0.61 ERA on the year – allowing no walks with four strikeouts and facing just one hitter over the minimum, with the only blemish being a hit batter. The Titans’ Ben Circeo delivered the game’s only run with a double to score Jordon Woodring in the fourth inning.
The Titans won game two 6-5 behind Stephan Adams, who was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs, and Seth Heck, who was 4-for-6 with a double and a run scored.
TCC split against the Cardinals at home on April 13, as Tim Dean pitched eight and two-thirds shutout innings to lead a 4-0 win in the opener. Dean allowed four hits and walked four while striking out five batters, and J.J. Nazzaro walked four times in the leadoff spot and scored two runs while also adding a double.
The Titans managed just three hits in game two, falling 4-1. Jeff Larabee relieved Tayler Saucedo in the first inning and pitched six and one-third innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits, with one walk and two strikeouts.
The Pacific Lutheran baseball team won two of three against George Fox on April 14-15 to stay in the hunt in the Northwest Conference, sitting in fourth place.
The Loggers opened with an 8-6 loss in 11 innings on April 14 despite the top five batters in the order combining for 11 hits. Trailing 6-2, the Lutes scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth, including Curtis Wildung’s two-run double to tie the score. Wildung finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs, but George Fox scored twice in the 11th to win it.
PLU came back for an 8-2 win in game two, as Brock Gates was 2-for-4 with a homer, two runs scored and three RBIs, Corey Moore was 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI and Collin Nilson added a two-run double. Trevor Lubking struck out 13 batters in seven and one-third innings, allowing two runs on two hits, with two walks.
The Lutes finished off the weekend with a 10-6 win on April 15, as Gates was 4-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI and Wildung hit a two-run homer in the first.
The Lutes – at 20-11 overall and 12-6 in conference play – have a golden opportunity to gain more ground when they travel to meet last-place Lewis & Clark in a doubleheader at noon on April 21 and a single game on April 22 at noon.
The Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran crew teams took to the water for the 49th annual Meyer-Lamberth Regatta on April 14. The Lute men won the Meyer Cup but the Logger women captured the Lamberth Cup. The Lutes ended a string of 10 straight Puget Sound wins in the Meyer Cup race, easily defeating the Loggers in windy conditions and choppy water. The Lutes crossed the finish line in 7 minutes and 5.38 seconds, with the Loggers well back at 7 minutes and 50.98 seconds. The Lamberth win came as the Loggers’ WV8 beat out their rivals from PLU by less than a boat length. The Loggers and Lutes will face some more tough competition On April 21 at the NCRC Championships at Dexter Lake in Lowell, Ore.
Seniors Grace Reid and Kristine Morris scored five goals apiece on Senior Day, and junior Julia Schulman added five more to lead Puget Sound’s lacrosse team to a 21-10 season-ending win over Linfield on April 15.
The match went back-and-forth over the first 18 minutes as the Wildcats and Loggers were tied at 4-4 with just over 13 minutes remaining. However, the Loggers went on a 7-0 run over the next seven minutes to blow the game open. Schulman sparked the run with a goal at the 8:15 mark, and then Reid and Morris struck on back-to-back free position goals to give the Loggers a 7-4 lead. Caroline Cook scored one of her four goals in the match with just under two minutes left, and Reid and Morris each drove in a goal in the last minute to push the lead to 11-4. The Loggers season came to a close with a 3-11 record on Sunday but ended on a high note as they beat Northwest rivals Pacific and Linfield in consecutive matches to end the year.