Willamette, Pacific split hard-fought twinbill

SALEM — Willamette scored the winning run on a bases-loaded walk with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday to earn a 6-5 victory over Pacific and a doubleheader split with the Boxers at John Lewis Field. Pacific won the opener, 7-5, in 10 innings.

The split kept the Bearcats (15-10, 11-4 NWC) in second place in the Northwest Conference, while Pacific (17-11, 9-6 NWC) remained in the hunt for the conference title with three weekends remaining to be played.

In the opener, Pacific scored two unearned runs in the top of the 10th off WU reliever Chris Murrell (2-1). The Bearcats committed two infield errors in the inning after two were out.

Ryan Joy led the Boxer offense by going 3 for 4 with two runs scored, and Matt Lengwenus and Joe Wilbur each added a pair of hits for the winners.

Pacific’s Scott Braun (1-0) earned the win in relief, despite allowing three earned runs over five innings.

Willamette had four players finish with two hits: Colin Griffin, Travis Shull, Jason Chatterton and Andy Bartels. One of Shull’s hits was a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning.

In the ninth inning of the second game, the Bearcats loaded the bases after Shull singled and Brian Gilmore and Drew Ecklund were each hit by a pitch. After Chatterton struck out swinging for the second out, Bartels drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch from reliever Derek Haner.

The result made a winner out of WU reliever Brian Gilmore (2-0), who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Bearcat starter Mike Allen pitched eight innings, allowing 12 hits and a walk while striking out five. None of the five runs scored against him were earned.

Allen also went 4 for 4 at the plate for the Bearcats, while Griffin, Chatterton and Matt Drahn each contributed two hits.

Lengwenus went 4 for 5 with a run and an RBI for the Boxers.

Pacific won Saturday’s first game in the series, 7-6, in 10 innings.