Bearcats Sweep Doubleheader from Menlo, 3-0 and 4-3

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

(BASEBALL) SALEM, ORE. -- Senior first baseman Grant Yamaguchi (Aiea, HI/Mid Pacific Institute) hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to drive in Kelly Gilmore (Sr., RF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) with the winning run, as Willamette defeated Menlo College, 4-3, in the second game of a double-header sweep on Saturday, March 10 at John Lewis Field. The Bearcats won the first game 3-0, as Jimmy Meuel (So., RHP, Palo Alto, CA/Palo Alto HS) and Jarrid Summers (So., RHP, Boise, ID/Boise HS) combined on a seven-hit shutout.

Willamette swept the three-game series from the Oaks, including a 6-4 win on Friday, March 9. The two victories on Saturday improved the Bearcats to 6-9 on the season, while Menlo dropped to 5-10.

In the first game, Willamette broke open a 0-0 game with two runs in the fifth inning. The Bearcats scored the runs without a hit, but took advantage of three walks, a wild pitch, a sacrifice bunt, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly. David Tufo (So., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) walked to open the inning and later scored on the wild pitch. The second run was scored by Zach Kimball (Fr., C, Phoeniz, AZ/Dobson HS) on a sacrifice fly by Gilmore.

The Bearcats added an insurance run in the eighth innning. Ty Eriksen (Sr., 1B, Vancouver, WA/La Salle HS) singled to start the inning. Matt Rasmussen (Sr., SS, Sandy UT/Bingham HS) sacrifice bunted Erksen to second base, then Colin Clark (So., LF, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) brought Eriksen home with a single through the left side of the infield.

Summers, who improved to 2-2 with the win, struck out four batters, gave up five hits and allowed no walks, while throwing the final seven innings for Willamette. Meuel, who started for WU, pitched two innings and allowed two hits and no walks. Starting pitcher Ben Hicks of Menlo fell to 2-2 with the loss.

In the second game, Menlo led 1-0 after the first half-inning, but Willamette countered with two runs in the bottom of the stanza and never trailed again. Yamaguchi drove in both of Willamette's runs in the opening stanza with a double to right field. Yamaguchi finished the game 2 for 3 with two doubles and three RBIs.

Menlo tied the score at 2-2 with a run in the second inning. The Bearcats moved back in front, 3-2, in the fifth inning, when Gilmore doubled, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tufo and scored on a sacrifice fly by Sean Anderson (Jr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS).
The Oaks tied the game again in the top of the sixth inning, as Ricky Grech scored on a double by Ronnie Glensor.

In addition to a 2-for-3 performance from Yamaguchi, the Bearcats also received a 3-for-5 effort from Tufo during the second game. Anderson added two hits in three at bats, while Gilmore tacked on two hits and two runs in four at bats.

Menlo's offense in Game #2 was led by Glensor, Will McLoughlin and Jeff Brown, each with two hits. Brown was 2 for 2, Glensor went 2 for 3 and McLoughlin finished the game 2 for 4.

The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday, March 17 with a Northwest Conference double-header at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT). Willamette and Whitworth will complete the three-game series with a single nine-inning contest on Sunday, March 18, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT).

Game #1 - Willamette University 3, Menlo College 0 - Box Score
Game #2 - Willamette University 4, Menlo College 3 - Box Score

Grant Yamaguchi drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning of the second game.

Grant Yamaguchi drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning of the second game.