Webster Hits Two-RBI Double to Break Tie in Three-Run Ninth Inning, as Bearcats Defeat CSU-San Marcos, 9-6

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

(BASEBALL) SAN DIEGO, CALIF. -- Willamette University sophomore second baseman Ellis Webster (Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito HS), playing less than 30 miles from his hometown, hit a two-run double with one out in the top of the ninth inning to break a 6-6 tie and send the Bearcats on their way to a 9-6 victory over California State University-San Marcos on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Mission Bay High School. Willamette upped its record to 2-4 overall, while CSU-San Marcos dropped to 3-10.

Webster was the offensive leader for Willamette as he collected three hits in five at bats. He also scored twice, as Willamette rallied from an early 4-0 deficit. The Bearcats went on to hold leads of 5-4 in the sixth and 6-5 in the seventh, before scoring three runs on two hits in the ninth.

The ninth-inning rally started with a pinch-hit double by Andrew Ross (Fr., 3B, Petaluma, CA/Petaluma HS). Matthew Rasmussen (Sr., SS, Sandy, UT/Bingham HS) placed a sacrifice bunt to advance pinch-runner James Perez (Fr., OF, Petaluman, CA/Petaluma HS) to second. Ty Eriksen (Sr., LF, Vancouver, WA/La Salle HS) was hit by a pitch, then Dan Maslanik (So., C, Boulder, CO/Fairview HS) walked to load the bases. Webster followed with his two-RBI double to give WU the lead, and David Tufo (So., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) added a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Maslanik with the final run.

CSU-San Marcos registered half of its offense -- six of 12 hits -- in the first inning, as the Courgars scored four runs. Adam Ricciardulli drove in the first two runs with a two-out double, while Matt Castro sent home the fourth run with another two-base hit. Tristan Gale singled for the other RBI.

Willamette answered with three runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth. Eriksen opened the fifth stanza with a solo homer to put WU’s first run on the scoreboard. Five more hits followed during the inning, including RBI singles by Tufo and Sean Anderson (Jr., OF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS). The three-run outburst also featured a double by Webster, who scored on Tufo’s single.

In the sixth, Maslanik and Webster singled with one out. Kelly Gilmore (Sr., RF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) doubled to score Maslanik, then Tufo hit a squeeze bunt to the pitcher, allowing Webster to cross the plate.

Ricciardulli smacked a solo home to start the bottom of the sixth, as CSU-San Marcos tied the score at 5-5. Willamette moved back in front in the top of the seventh, when Anderson doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Yamaguchi and scored on a sacrifice fly by Rasmussen. The Cougars tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, on a lead-off homer by Austin Way.

Webster’s two doubles and a single helped Willamette achieve 14 hits during the game. Anderson, Tufo and Gilmore each added a 2-for-4 performance. Tufo drove in three runs, while Gilmore and Anderson contributed one run and one RBI apiece. Eriksen hit WU’s only homer, but the Bearcats accumulated seven doubles during the contest.

Starting pitcher Jarrid Summers (So., RHP, Boise, ID/Boise HS) threw the first eight innings for Willamette. He allowed 11 hits and six runs, but also recorded four strikeouts and walked just one batter. Summers received the win for his first decision of the season. Joe Penkala held CSU-San Marcos scoreless in the bottom of the ninth to earn his first save. The Cougars did get the tying run to the plate with one out, but Penkala got Matt Jenkins to hit into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Willamette and CSU-San Marcos both played errorless defense. For Willamette, it was the Bearcats’ first game without an error this season. In their first five contests, the Bearcats committed a total of 15 errors.

The loss went to Gerald Casanada, who faced just one Bearcat in the ninth, but gave up the rally-starting double by Ross. Travis Zabel, the starter for San Marcos, threw 4 1/3 innings, before giving way to a total of six relievers. The Cougars’ pitching staff combined for six strikeouts and six walks.

Offensively, San Marcos was led by Ricciardulli, who went 2 for 4 with a homer, a double, three RBIs and two runs scored. Gale, Way and Cory Ventura each concluded the day 2 of 4 for the Cougars.

Willamette will return home to Salem, Ore., before departing again later in the week for three more games in California. The Bearcats will play all three games at California State University-East Bay, with a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24, following by a single game on Sunday, Feb. 25. First pitch in Hayward, Calif., is set for 11 a.m. (PST) on Saturday and for 12 p.m. (PST) on Sunday.