Thompson homers, Brown closes the door as PLU wins conference

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 25, 2016

For the third time this college baseball season Anchorage's Tyler Thompson homered and Garrett Brown earned the save in the same game for Pacific Lutheran University.

This time, though, it helped the Lutes capture the Northwest Conference championship and punch their ticket to the NCAA D3 regional tournament in May.

Thompson crushed a two-out solo home run in the second inning that proved to be the game winner and Brown pitched the final two innings as PLU beat Whitworth 6-5 in Spokane, Washington.

“It’s funny because me and Garrett always talk about him getting a save and me getting a home run in a game, and it’s happened a few times,” Thompson told me. “We both just get pumped up for each other when we do well.”

Thompson, of Dimond Post 21 fame, ranks third in the Northwest Conference with a career-high eight home runs.

Brown, of Service Post 28 fame, leads the league with a career-high nine saves.

Together, they are a big reason why the Lutes have posted a 10-2 record this month and are red hot entering the regional playoffs.

Today, PLU opened the game by scoring five runs in the top of the first only to have Whitworth answer with five of their own to tie the game.

Thompson hit the go-ahead homer the next inning.

“My mentality for my at-bat was just to try and get a rally going,” he said. “The pitcher left the ball up and I put a good swing on it.”

From there, PLU pitchers threw nothing but goose eggs.

“Our pitching shut them down,” Thompson said. “It’s just an awesome feeling winning the conference tournament after all the ups and downs our team went through to get to this point.”

With 16 career homers, Thompson is the active leader among Alaskans playing college baseball. His latest dinger was memorable, but he hopes there are more to come.

“This moment means a lot to me, to come through for my team in that situation definitely got me going,” he said. “It was an awesome day for our team.”

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.