Bearcats Split Doubleheader with Missionaries

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110 and
Ryan Borde, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110, rborde@willamette.edu

(BASEBALL) WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Willamette University pitchers Clint Moran (Jr., LHP, Mission Viejo, CA/Capistrano Valley HS) and Ryan Smith (Jr., RHP, Felton, CA/San Lorenzo Valley HS) combined on a three-hitter, leading the Bearcats to a 6-1 victory over Whitman College in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, March 17. Whitman won the first game, 7-6, after rallying from a 6-1 deficit after eight and a half innings. Willamette ended the doubleheader with a 7-10 overall record, including 1-6 in the Northwest Conference. The Missionaries, who recorded their first win of the season in the first game, improved to 1-13 overall, 1-7 in the NWC.

In their 6-1 win, Willamette struck first when David Tufo (So., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) singled home Ryan Peterson (Sr., 2B, Grangeville, ID/Grangeville HS) in the third inning to put WU up 1-0. The Bearcats tacked on another run in the sixth inning after Grant Yamaguchi (Sr., IF, Aiea, HI/Mid Pacific Institute) hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Sean Anderson (Jr., OF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS), who had doubled to lead off the inning and then stolen third base.

Whitman countered with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth to pull within a run at 2-1. But Willamette scored two runs in the top of the seventh, and then added two more in the top of the ninth to earn the win.

The Bearcats pounded out 13 hits in the game, led by Tufo’s 3 for 5 performance. One of Tufo’s hits was an RBI triple in the ninth inning, as he finished the game with two RBIs. Anderson hit 2 for 4 with an RBI, Yamaguchi was 2 for 5 with two RBIs, and Peterson went 2 for 3 with one RBI. Anderson, Matt Rasmussen (Sr., SS, Sandy, UT/Bingham HS), and Dan Maslanik (So., C, Boulder, CO/Fairview HS) each had a double for WU.

Moran pitched the first six innings for Willamette, allowing just one unearned run and three hits to pick up his first win of the year (1-3). The senior southpaw struck out nine and walked six. Smith pitched the final three innings, and didn’t give up a hit or run, while striking out two and walking three Whitman hitters.

In the opener, the Bearcats held a 6-1 lead after eight and a half innings, but Whitman scored four runs in the eighth inning, and then scored the winning runs in the bottom of the ninth when Austin Shackelford drove home two runs with a single to rightfield.

Kelsey Nakata (So., RHP, Mililani, HI/Mililani HS) took the loss in relief for Willamette after relieving starter Tye Sundlee (Jr., RHP, Yakima, WA/West Valley HS) midway through the eighth inning. Sundlee pitched seven innings, giving up five earned runs and eight hits, while striking out four and walking four.

Tufo led the WU offense in the first game as well, going 3 for 3 with an RBI and two doubles. Peterson went 2 for 4 with one RBI, while catcher Zach Kimball (Fr., Mesa, AZ/Dobson HS) hit 2 for 5 with a pair of RBIs. The Bearcats managed eight hits in the game, but stranded 16 runners on base.

The teams will complete the three-game NWC series on Sunday, March 18, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT).

Game #1 - Whitman College 7, Willamette University 6 - Box Score
Game #2 - Willamette University 6, Whitman College 1 - Box Score