George Fox Uses One Big Inning in each Game to Sweep Bearcats

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

(BASEBALL) SALEM, ORE. -- George Fox University produced one big inning in each game, as the Bruins swept a Northwest Conference doubleheader from Willamette University, 9-1 and 10-4, on Sunday, March 4 at John Lewis Field. The Bruins, who tallied six runs in the fourth inning of the opener and achieved five runs in the eighth inning of the second game, improved to 8-0 on the season, 2-0 in the NWC. Willamette led 1-0 after three innings in the first game and held a 4-3 lead after six innings in the nightcap, but fell to 3-8 overall, 0-4 in the NWC.

Willamette will complete its three-game home series against George Fox on Monday, March 5. Game time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (PST). George Fox is the defending NWC champion.

In the opener, Grant Yamaguchi (Sr., 1B, Aiea, HI/Mid Pacific Institute) led Willamette with three hits and an RBI in four at bats. David Tufo (So., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) was 2 for 4 with a run scored, while Ellis Webster (So., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito HS) went 2 for 3 for the Bearcats.

Willamette led 1-0 after Yamaguchi singled home Tufo with a bases-loaded single in the third inning. Tufo began the rally by hitting an infield single with one out, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. GFU starter Nick Bratney walked Kyle Stalker (So., DB/1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) and Sean Anderson (Jr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) to load the bases, before giving up the run-scoring single to Yamaguchi. A fly out and a fielder’s choice allowed Bratney to get out of the inning.

George Fox trailed for only a short time, as the Bruins tallied six runs in their next at bat. The offensive surge in the top of the fourth included an RBI double by Ryan Fobert and a two-RBI single by Bo Thunell. The Bruins earned five hits during the inning.

GFU increased its lead by scoring once in the eighth inning and twice in the ninth inning. Pat Bailey drove in the run in the eighth with a two-out double down the left field line. Designated hitter Matt Wyckoff scored on the play. Right fielder Dan Wentzell drove in the final two runs in the ninth inning with a home run
to right field.

Bratney remained in the game through the first six innings and allowed just one run on eight hits. He gave way to three GFU pitchers, who each threw one inning to complete the contest. Bratney received the pitching victory and improved to 3-0 on the season. Ty Sundlee (Jr., RHP, Yakima, WA/West Valley HS), who gave up the Bruins’ first six runs, received the loss, as he dropped to 2-1 on the season.

Drew Johnson paced the GFU offense with three hits in five a bats. Thunell, Fobert and Bailey each went 2 for 4 during the contest. The Bruins ended the game with 13 hits. Willamette pounded out 10 hits, but the Bearcats left 10 runners on base.

In the second game, George Fox took a 2-0 lead with a two-out rally in the first inning. Thunell singled, Wentzell doubled and Daniel Downs hit a 2-RBI single to produce the pair of runs. Willamette did not score until the third inning, but eventually took a 4-3 lead. Zach Kimball (Fr., C, Phoenix, AZ/Dobson HS) walked and later scored on a single by Kelly Gilmore (Sr., RF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) in the third stanza. In the fifth inning, Kimball launched a solo home run to left field to tie the game.

After Josh Burch doubled and scored for GFU in the top of the sixth, the Bearcats moved in front with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Matt Rasmussen (Sr., SS, Sandy UT/Bingham HS) drove in one run with a ground out. The second run was scored by Sean Anderson (Jr., CF, Klamath Fall, OR/Klamath Union HS) who walked and later reached home on a single by Ty Eriksen (Sr., 1B, Vancouver, WA/La Salle HS).

The Bruins edged back in front, 5-4, with two runs in the top of the seventh. Downs drove in both runs with a homer to left field. Wentzell, who walked with two outs, also scored on the play.

George Fox pulled away by scoring five times during the eighth inning. Wentzell provided a two-run single during the stanza. He also completed the scoring by heading home from third base when Nic Chapin reached on a dropped third strike and a throwing error by Kimball. Downs hit a sacrifice fly to bring in one run.
The other run was scored on a double steal with runners on first and third.

The Bearcats received another strong effort from Yamaguchi in the second game, as he earned two hits in four at bats to finish the doubleheader 5 for 8 at the plate. Four other Bearcats recorded one hit apiece, with Kimball blasting a home run and Gilmore, Stalker and Eriksen each contributing a single.

GFU amassed 14 hits during the game. Drew Johnson was 3 for 5 and Bryan Donohue was 3 for 6. Wentzell finished 2 for 3 with three runs, two RBI and a walk. Downs was 2 for 4 with five RBIs and a run scored. Burch went 2 for 5 and scored twice.

Chris Albrecht, who pitched the first seven innings for George Fox, was the winning pitcher, as his record went to 3-0 on the season. Willamette starter Jarrid Summers (So., RHP, Boise, ID/Boise HS) took the loss for the Bearcats and fell to 1-2, after allowing five runs in 6 2/3 innings. Albrecht and Summers each struck out three batters and allowed two walks.

Game #1 - Box Score; Game #2 - Box Score