Bearcats earn split at Linfield

McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Linfield forged a split with Northwest Conference front-runner Willamette Sunday. The two teams complete the rain-delayed three-game set Monday at Linfield's Roy Helser Field starting at 3 p.m.

Willamette (13-8, 9-2 NWC) broke a 7-7 tie in the seventh inning of Game 1 and went on for a 10-7 victory. RBIs by Drew Ecklund, Colin Griffin and Travis Shull carried the Bearcats to the win.

WU starter Zach Vande Griend (4-4) picked up the victory on the mound, giving up 10 hits through seven innings with three strikeouts and three walks.

Ecklund went 4 for 5 with three runs scored and two RBI. Griffin and Matt Johnson also had a pair of hits as the Bearcats piled up a dozen hits on three Linfield pitchers.

Brant Shilliam struck out five Bearcats through the first 4 1/3 innings before giving way to eventual loser Alex Justus (4-1).

In the nightcap, Chuck Banta went 3 for 4 and scored twice while Kaleo Saiki, Greg Rainka, Tommy Paterson and Greg Roberts all added two RBIs to pace a 12-hit Linfield attack. Rainka launched his third home run of the season
and Paterson clubbed his first round-tripper in a Linfield uniform.

Freshman hurler Jordan Rasmussen (2-1) earned the win, going seven innings on the hill before giving way to reliever Jimmy McCary.

Bearcats starter Jeff Jensen (1-2) took the loss. Jensen struck out six Linfield batters but also walked six and gave up eight hits in five innings of action. Shull was the only Willamette player with multiple hits, going 2 for 4 with a run scored.