Johnson's 7 RBI Lead Bearcats to Big Win Over Whitman, 17-5

WALLA, WALLA, WA -Matt Johnson drove in seven runs and Lee Eklund scored four times as the Willamette University baseball team thumped Whitman 17-5 in the final game of a Northwest Conference series Saturday afternoon in Walla, Walla.

Scoring in each of the first five innings, the Bearcats bolted to a 15-5 lead before tacking on two more runs in the 9th to make a winner of Tye Sundlee. Sundlee went eight strong innings, allowing eight hits, and four earned runs while striking out six. Kelsey Nakata pitched a scoreless 9th inning.

Johnson, who was 4-5 with two runs scored, got his first RBI when he drove home David Tufo in the first with a single. Tufo (2-3, 3 runs, 2 RBI) had singled and stole second base before scoring the Bearcat's first run.

The Bearcats tallied three times in the second on RBI singles from Kelly Gilmore and Johnson, and a bases loaded walk to Tufo.

Willamette tacked on five more in the third innings on RBI singles from Eklund, Tufo and Stalker sandwiched around Johnson's double, which drove home Tufo and Gilmore.

Johnson doubled home two more runs in the four-run fourth inning. Sean Anderson also doubled home a run as the Bearcats stretched their lead to 13-2.

In the fifth, Eklund and Johnson both drove home runs with sacrifice flys. Jordan Roberts drove home the final two runs of the game with a two-run single in the 9th.

Ellis Webster and Anderson each had three hits for the Bearcats. Gilmore, Tufo, Kyle Stalker and Eklund all had two hits as the Bearcats pounded out 20 in the game.

Willamette improves to 16-17 overall, 11-13 NWC and won two of the three games at Whitman.