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Bruins bounced from conference tennis tournament


George Fox round-up — Fox's quest for a conference title halted by 5-1 loss to rival Pacific

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Avenging a loss to George Fox in the 2011 Northwest Conference semifinals, Pacific eliminated the Bruins with a 5-1 victory Friday at Whitman College.

This year marked the third straight appearance in the tournament for GFU, but its first exit in the semifinals after head coach Neal Ninteman’s squad ousted Pacific Lutheran a year ago before bowing out against the Missionaries in the final for the second consecutive season.

The Boxers took control early by rolling to a sweep in doubles, losing just seven combined games in three matches.

Troy Zuroske and Giancarlo Battaglia powered past Justin McClain and Chris Lilley 8-2 at No. 1, with Brennan Faith and Grayson Frazier defeating Preston Mann and Chace Stalcup 8-1 at No. 2, and Josh Bernstein and Clark Wininger doubling up Nick Grafton and Mitchell Miyashiro 8-4 at No. 3.

Battaglia edged Lilley 7-5, 6-4 at No. 2 singles to give the Boxers a 4-0 lead and the match was clinched when the two teams split at Nos. 3 and 4 singles, which finished almost simultaneously.

Bernstein prevailed at No. 4 over Grafton 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 for Pacific, with Mann delivering the Bruins’s lone victory in a tight 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 decision over Faith at No. 3.

The final two singles matches, at Nos. 5 and 6, were not started with the result already determined.

With GFU’s third consecutive winning season (11-5), Ninteman is now over .500 in his five years at the school (47-44).

The Bruins (9-3) also placed third behind the Boxers in the regular season.

Whitman, which is ranked No. 14 nationally, summarily dispatched Pacific 5-0 in the final to earn the NWC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

McClain, who has been the Bruins’ top singles player for the majority of the season, and Lilley were both named to the all-NWC first team, with Mann earning second-team accolades.


George Fox 7, Corban 2 — Bruins ace Clay Gartner went eight innings, allowing nine hits with three strikeouts and one walk, to earn his NCAA Division III-leading 10th win over the season in Newberg April 24. A five-run fifth inning against relievers Micah Ropp and Daniel Gober gave Gartner plenty of breathing room, but GFU managed just nine hits for the game. Derek Dixon and Josh Rapacz drove in two runs apiece.

George Fox 3, Corban 2 — The Bruins waited until the last possible moment to rally pass the Warriors, erasing a 2-0 deficit with two outs in the ninth inning of the opener of a twinbill Saturday in Salem. George Fox scored on a wild pitch for its first run, then tied it on a Zach Rapacz double.

Corban did the Bruins another favor, committing a two-base throwing error that allowed Rapacz to score. Sam Morland (2-1) picked up the win in relief of starter Tom Zarosinksi.

Corban 6, George Fox 2 — Connor Harris (0-3) took the loss despite allowing just two earned runs in six innings, as three Bruin errors accounted for three runs.

The Warriors (28-24) limited George Fox (27-11) to eight hits, including two by Danny Clifford.

Head coach Marty’s Hunter’s team will wrap up its regular season with two non-conference games against Linfield College Friday in McMinnville and Sunday in Newberg.

Men’s golf

NWC Tournament — The Bruins finished ninth at the conference championship tournament Saturday and Sunday at the OGA Golf Course in Woodburn.

GFU, which concluded its first season under head coach Branden Thompson, recorded rounds of 337 and 346 to finish at 683, 27 shots adrift of eighth-place Pacific.

Pax Magaway turned in George Fox’s low score, finishing 32nd at 165 after carding a 78 and an 87. Dylan Harris shot matching rounds of 83 to finish one stroke back in a tie for 33rd, with Tyler Smith (179), Nick Karish (177) and Kyle Kirwan (180).

Pacific Lutheran won the event with a score of 602 to win by 10 strokes of both Puget Sound and Whitworth.