Bearcats Down Menlo, 6-4, to Start Three-Game Series

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

(BASEBALL) SALEM, ORE. -- Junior pitcher Tye Sundlee (RHP, Yakima, WA/West Valley HS) allowed just one run in seven innings of relief, as Willamette University held off Menlo College for a 6-4 victory on Friday, March 9 at John Lewis Field. Willamette improved to 4-9 with the non-conference win. Menlo dropped to 5-8.

Sundlee, who was the starter in each of his five previous appearances this season, entered the game in the third inning after Ryan Smith (Jr., RHP, Felton, CA/San Lorenzo Valley HS) threw the first two stanzas. Smith allowed three hits and three runs, but all three runs were unearned after WU committed two errors during Menlo's three-run second inning. Sundlee limited the Oaks to six hits over the final seven inning, but had to pitch out of a jam in the ninth to secure the win.

With Willamette leading 6-4, the Oaks' opened the ninth inning with pinch-hitter Aaron Lilly, who hit into a two-base throwing error. A single by Jeff Brown that went off the top of Sundlee's glove put runners at first and third. Two fly outs followed, then Brown stole second. Sundlee walked clean-up hitter Robert McDonald on a full-count pitch to load the bases, then got Bowman to fly out to Sean Anderson (Jr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) in center field to end the game.

Anderson gave Willamette an early 2-0 lead with a home run to center field in the bottom of the first inning. David Tufo (So., DH/3B, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS), who singled with one out in the inning, joined Anderson in scoring on the homer. It was Anderson's second homer of the season and second in as many games.

Willamette managed just seven hits, but benefited from 11 walks and three hit batsmen. Ty Eriksen (Sr., LF/1B, Vancouver, WA/La Salle HS) led the Bearcats with three hits in five at bats. Anderson, who brought in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the second inning, topped Willamette with three RBIs. Grant Yamaguchi (Sr., 1B, Aiea, HI/Mid Pacific Institute) went 1 for 2 and walked once in each of the first two innings. After Anderson's second-inning walk tied the game, Yamaguchi followed with another walk to give WU the lead for good.

Willamette added a run in the sixth inning, but Menlo pulled within 5-4 with a run in the top of the eighth. The Bearcats closed out the scoring when Yamaguchi singled and eventually scored in the bottom of the eighth.

Menlo ended the game with nine hits. The Oaks were led by first baseman Anthony Dickerson, who went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Brown added two hit in five at bats.

The Bearcats and the Oaks will conclude the series with a doubleheader on Saturday at John Lewis Field. Game time for the first game is set for 11 a.m. (PST).

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