Bearcats Lose to PLU: Drop to Second in NWC

TACOMA, Wash. — A ninth inning rally fell just short as the Willamette University baseball team lost a 7-5 decision to Pacific Lutheran, dropping the Bearcats out of a first-place tie in the Northwest Conference.

The Lutes, now 8-5 overall and 5-1 in NWC games, took sole possession of first place in the conference with the win. Willamette (8-6, 4-2) was tied with PLU for the conference lead entering today's game.

The Lutes took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. With two outs, David Fox hit a check-swing dribbler down the first base line. Willamette pitcher Jeff Jensen fielded the ball and attempted to tag Fox. However, Fox was able to legally sidestep the tag. Jensen's throw to first baseman John Cox sailed high and Fox ended up on second base. Andrews followed with an RBI single to center field.

PLU plated three runs in the fourth for a 5-0 lead. Justin Whitehall singled and advanced to third on a Fox base hit. Whitehall scored when Andrews again singled to center field. Both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch and scored on Stevenson's single up the middle.

Willamette answered with three runs in the top of the fifth. Dane Woldseth's double drove in the first run and Sean Anderson plated the other two runs with a two-out single.

Stevenson led off the seventh with a single and scored on a double play for a 6-3 Lute lead. T.J. Cafferty scored the final PLU run in the eighth, when he tripled and came across on a wild pitch.

The Bearcats rallied in the ninth. Cox led off with a home run and the visitors plated another run on a sacrifice fly. An error put runners on first and third with two outs and the winnng run at the plate, but the Lutes got the final out on a fielder's choice.

Anderson and Woldseth each had two hits for Willamette. Jeff Jensen gave up five earned runs and 12 hits in six innings of work. Tye Sundlee pitched the final two innings, giving up one run.