Yamaguchi Leads Bearcats To 6-5 Win Over PLU: Lutes Rebound in Game Two for 9-2 Win

SALEM, OR — Grant Yamaguchi homered twice to lead the Bearcats to a 6-5 win in the first game Sunday over Pacific Lutheran University. But the Lutes came back to salvage a win in the final game of the three-game set as pitcher Joe DiPietro hurled a complete game, six-hitter to lead PLU to a 9-2 win in the nightcap.
The split gives the Bearcats an 11-5 record, 6-3 NWC. PLU is now 9-6 overall, 4-2 NWC.

GAME 1:

Willamette 6, PLU 5

Grant Yamaguchi homered twice, driving in two runs, as the Willamette University baseball team defeated PLU 6-5 in the second of a three-game series Sunday afternoon at John Lewis Field.

Tye Sundlee got the victory, going six innings and allowing three runs. Matt Bicocca picked up his fourth save of the season with one hitless inning of relief.

Willamette jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on Yamaguchi’s third home run of the season to left field. PLU tied it in the top of the third without a hit. A pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt set the stage for Justin Whitehall’s sacrifice fly, driving in Matt Wolford.

The Bearcats made it 4-1 in the bottom of the third. David Tufo led off with a single and came around to score on Steve Johnson’s RBI single. A balk brought home Matt Johnson, who had previously walked. Matt Rasmussen drove home Steve Johnson with a base hit.

PLU scored twice in the sixth inning to make it 4-3. After Eric Stanczyk was hit by a pitch, David Fox hit a two-run home run.

Willamette got one of those back in the bottom of the inning when Adam Holden doubled and came around to score on Sean Anderson’s base hit. Yamaguchi made it 6-3 with his second home run in the 7th inning.

PLU scored twice in the eight to make it interesting. Bobby Benes homered to lead off the inning. Fox then doubled to left and came around to score on Logan Andrew’s RBI single.

But Bicocca shut the door in the ninth, giving the Bearcats their sixth conference win of the season against two losses. PLU is now 3-2 in conference.

GAME 2:

PLU 9, Willamette 2

DiPietro stymied the Bearcats until the 9th inning and the Lutes David Fox finished off a stellar afternoon, going 3-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Chris Bowen added a pair of hits and two RBI as the Lutes scored twice in the second, fourth, six and ninth innings to take the easy win.

Fox started two rallies with base hits early in the game, drove home a run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth, then blasted a two-run home run for the Lutes final two runs in the top of the ninth.

Yamaguchi got the Bearcats first RBI in the bottom of the ninth, driving home Gilmore. Matt Rasmussen got the other Bearcat RBI.

Drew Herbert took the loss for Willamette, allowing four earned runs in his five innings of work.

Grant Yamaguchi

Grant Yamaguchi