Bearcats Beat Boxers, 11-5

Forest Grove - Willamette broke open what was a close game in the sixth, igniting for seven runs in the frame to beat Pacific, 11-5, in Northwest Conference baseball action at Lincoln Park.

The Bearcats broke a 5-5 tie in the game, scoring on four hits and a pair of bases loaded walks to improve to 14-13 overall and 7-7 in NWC action. Pacific drops to 12-16 overall, 4-9 NWC.

Matt Johnson and Brian Gilmore each went 3 for 5 to lead Willamette, which included a lead-off home run by Johnson in the fifth. Joe Wilbur (Sr., Anacortes, Wash.) led the Boxers offensively, going 3 for 5 and just missed hitting for the cycle. Wilbur doubled in the first, singled in the fourth and stretched for a triple in the sixth.

After trailing 3-1, Willamette tied the game in the fourth on a RBI single by Gilmore and the Boxers' lone fielding error of the day. Pacific took both runs back in the home half of the inning when Travis Wiles (Jr., Spokane, Wash.) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, followed by a sacrifice fly by Aaron Svarthumle (Jr., Fall City, Wash.) that plated Adam Azril (So., Albany, Ore.). Johnson's homer in the fifth brought the Bearcats within one at 5-4.

Gilmore opened the fifth with a single before Pacific starter Scott Hicks (Sr., Anacortes, Wash.) loaded the bases on a walk and a hit batsmen. Hicks issued a walk to Colin Griffin to score the tying run. Reliever Kyle Oroku (Sr., Mililani, Hawaii) followed by issuing the second free pass to Andrew Bartels for a 6-5 lead. John Cox then stroked a long single to center field, scoring Ken Halpin and Griffin. The next batter, Travis Shull, doubled to left center, scoring two more, and Gilmore hit his second single of the inning to plate Shull and close scoring.

Hicks took the loss for the Boxers to drop to 3-3 on the year. Hicks gave up seven earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out eight. Brandon Larson (Fr., Beaverton, Ore.) was effective in 3.1 innings of relief to close out the affair, allowing only one run and one walk.

Scott Vande Griend earned the win for Willamette, improving to 5-2 in his third complete game of the year. He allowed two earned runs on eight hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

The Boxers and Bearcats will finish up their three-game series Saturday, facing off in a 12 noon doubleheader at Bond Field.