Pacific upends Bearcats in 10th inning

SALEM — Matt Lengwenus scored the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice in the top of the 10th inning Saturday as Pacific upended Willamette 7-6 in a Northwest Conference game at John Lewis Field.

The decision kept Pacific (16-10, 8-5 NWC) in the hunt for the conference title, while Willamette dropped to 14-9 overall and 10-3 in the NWC.

The Bearcats began the day leading the conference. George Fox (19-7, 12-3 NWC), which began the day in second place, was scheduled to host Pacific Lutheran today in a doubleheader.

Pacific and Willamette complete their three-game series on Sunday with a twinbill scheduled to being at noon.

The Boxers appeared to be cruising to an easy win on Saturday as they went ahead 5-0 through against Willamette starter Jeff Jensen (1-3). However, the Bearcats tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh on a grand slam home run by Matt Drahn, and went ahead 6-5 later in the frame when Travis Shull scored on a ground out.

But Pacific forced extra innings with a single run in the top of the eighth. David Barney reach first on an error and later scored on a ground out, making the score 6-6.

Willamette threatened in the bottom of the ninth with two base runners and only one out, but reliever Damian Munoz (4-3) coaxed WU’s Andy Bartels into an inning-ending double play.

Jensen walked Lengwenus to open the 10th, and Bearcat reliever Brian Gilmore took over on the mound for Jensen. Ryan Joy laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Lenwenus to second base. Joe Wilbur moved over Lengwenus to third on an infield single, and the latter scored moments later when Kyle Shimizu hit into a fielder’s choice.