Bearcats Take Two of Three From Menlo; Stalker, Johnson Key Six-Run Ninth to Win Game One

ATHERTON, CA — Keyed by Kyle Stalker’s two-run home run and Matt Johnson’s two-run single, the Willamette University men’s baseball team scored six times in the ninth inning to win the first of a three-game series with Menlo by a 10-7 score.

Menlo won game two of the series, 8-2, before the Bearcats rebounded to take game three, 7-5 behind another 2-RBI performance from Johnson and three hits from Sean Anderson as they raised their season record to 5-1.

In what turned out to be a pivotal game in the series, the Bearcats trailed 5-4 until Johnson led off the ninth with a walk and came around to score on Stalker’s (picturedleft) two-run dinger to give the Bearcats the lead.

The Bearcats sent 11 men to the plate in the inning, using three hits and four straight walks after Stalker's HR to score four more runs, all with two outs, to give Jarrid Summers his first win as a Bearcat.

Summers pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief of starter Tye Sundlee. Sundlee went seven innings, striking out five and allowing five runs. Summers gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth before Matt Bicocca came on to record his first collegiate save.

Matt Johnson and Stalker each had two hits and two RBI. Steve Johnson had three hits as the Bearcats pounded out nine hits in the win.

In game two, Menlo’s four pitchers combined to limit the Bearcats to five hits in the 8-2 victory, giving Willamette its first loss of the season. The Oaks used a pair of Bearcat errors to score four runs in the first five innings, two of them unearned, to hand Clint Moran his first loss of the season. Moran pitched six innings, allowing six hits, two earned runs and recorded nine strikeouts.

The Bearcats earned the series win on Sunday as the Bearcats jumped out to a 5-0 lead, using five pitchers to hold off Menlo’s comeback attempt. The Bearcats jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Anderson singled and Kelly Gilmore followed with an RBI double. The Bearcats added another un in the second when Grant Yamaguchi drove home Lee Ecklund with a sacrifice fly.

Willamette made it 3-0 in the third when Steve Johnson singled in Matt Johnson, then Johnson drive in a pair of runs in the fourth, driving home Adam Holden and Anderson for a 5-0 Bearcat lead.

Drew Herbert, Kelsey Nakata, Nic Nottingham, Adam Beebe and Bicocca all pitched in the win, with Nakata (2-0) getting the victory and Bicocca recording his second save.

Anderson again had three hits and scored twice for the Bearcats. Gilmore was 2-4 with an RBI and run scored and Johnson was 2-5 with one run scored and two RBI. Yamaguchi also had two hits, a run scored and an RBI.