Linfield's Hot Bats Spell Doubleheader Defeat for Bearcats

McMINNVILLE - Linfield continued stoking the offensive fires it ignited last weekend and right-hander Brian Clark remained unbeaten (6-0) as the Wildcats swept a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader from Willamette 8-1 and 18-9 Saturday at Helser Field.

Linfield improved to 8-3 in the NWC, and Willamette fell to 8-9.

The teams finish their annual series with a single game on Sunday at noon (Daylight Savings Time).

Light sprinkles of rain pelted much of the first game and some of the second, as the downpour of Linfield runs continued.

In their last five games, the Wildcats have amassed 87 runs and 99 hits.

Clark allowed seven hits - all singles. The Willamette run was unearned, and Clark's earned run average dropped from 4.57 to 3.77. He walked three, struck out seven - including two in the ninth inning - and threw 147 pitches.

Clark allowed singles to the first three Willamette batters and only four hits the rest of the game.

Linfield scored first. With two outs in second, Don Bard singled, Drew Van Cleave walked, and No. 9 hitter Bachofner lined a single that nicked pitcher Clint Moran on his left (pitching) arm as it went into center field. Bard beat the throw home for 1-0.

Linfield increased its lead to 2-0 in the third when Brett Glover singled to drive in John Dailey, who reached on a failed double play and advanced when Brian Baker (Sr., Haines, Ore.) walked.

The Bearcats broke Clark's shutout in the seventh. Linfield's Jonny Anderson made a spectacular catch nearly at the left field fence on a drive by Willamette's Sean Anderson, reducing it from a sure double to a sacrifice fly that plated Ellis Webster.

Matt Johnson got two hits for Willamette.

Linfield scored in each of the first three innings to take a 5-0 lead and then blew it open with nine runs in the fourth and fifth for a 14-2 lead.

Dailey (2-0), in his second pitching start after recovering from a sore back, allowed four hits, two earned runs, walked two and struck out four in five innings to get the win.

Jordan Rhoads, who entered the game as a pinch hitter, went 4-for-4 while Davis got three hits and four RBIs. Jonny Anderson also had four RBIs. He, Bard and Bachofner each got two hits.

The Wildcats scored single runs in the first and third and three in the second, when the ingredients were hard-hit doubles by Kevin Mills Bard and Ty Stanley and a sacrifice fly by Jonny Anderson.

Willamette got to Dailey for two runs in the fifth in a rally featured by Adam Holden's long double to left-center and Matt Johnson's two-out single. A good play behind the base by second baseman Bachofner ended the inning.

In the Linfield fifth, two walks and Bachofner's fifth single of the day loaded the bases with nobody out. Jonny Anderson then drilled two-run single up the middle and Davis followed with a two-run double off the left-field fence near the 355-foot sign. Davis scored on a ground ball for the fifth run of the inning and 14-2.

Willamette scored five times in the eighth to close to 18-9 in a rally featuring four singles, two walks, an error, a two-run double by Colin Young and a passed ball.

Kyle Stalker got two hits for the Bearcats. Colin Young drove in a pair of runs, going 1-2 with a run scored. Johnson had two RBI and Colin Clark drove in the a run and scored once.

Willamette reliever Ryan Smith finally got Linfield out without scoring in the sixth, but pinch hitter Caleb Kearns hit a three-run, 350-foot double to the left field fence in the seventh as the Wildcats pushed their lead to 18-4.

Linfield's overall record is 14-9; Willamette is 13-12.