Baseball Splits Season Opener Against Western Baptist

SALEM, OR—The Willamette University baseball team split its season opener against Western Baptist College Saturday afternoon, winning the first game of a double header, 4-3, and dropping the second, 14-8.

Matt Rasmussen’s two RBI gave the Bearcats a come-from-behind win in the first game.

Both the Bearcats and the Warriors left today with an overall record of 1-1.

Left fielder Chad Harms started Western Baptist off in the first game when he connected with a shot down the left side for a double. Teammate Brian Nelson singled to center, bringing Harms in to give the Warriors an early
1-0 lead.

After the Warriors scored twice more in the top of the third, Bearcats Lee Eklund and Ken Halpin sparked a Bearcat rally to close within one. Halpin and Dane Woldseth had RBI hits in the inning.

The Bearcats rallied again in the fifth inning. Lead off hitter Kelly Gilmore walked, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Woldseth. Matt Johnson walked after a Willamette pop-up, giving the Bearcats one out with runners on first and second.

Senior Brian Gilmore loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch. All three advanced on a single by Matt Rassmussen. Rassmussen’s two RBI put
the Bearcats up 4-3.

Senior Jeff Jensen came in to close the game, allowing only two hits in three innings to pick up his first win of the season. VandeGriend gave up three runs in four innings.

Halpin (2-4) and Brian Gilmore (1-2) led the Bearcats to the opening day
win.

In the second game, the Bearcats led 6-2 in the second inning. Matt Johnson’s two run single broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Bearcats a brief lead.

Western Baptist’s John Hagensen (2-4, 3 runs scored) homered over the
right field fence in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 6-4. Then the Warriors erupted for ten runs in the fifth inning, helped out by a pair of Bearcat errors.

Brian Nelson had a 2-run single to lead the rally.

For the Bearcats, Matt Johnson went 3-5 with 3 RBI. Center fielder Sean Anderson had 3 hits and scored twice in four at bats.

Clint Moran picked up the loss, allowing five runs in his only inning of pitching. Jordan Emery picked up the win for Western Baptist.

The Bearcats travel to California to play California State University Hayward, February 26 and 27.

Matt Rasmussen

Matt Rasmussen