Rasmussen Goes 4 for 4 with Two Doubles, as Bearcats Defeat Whitman, 6-2

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

(BASEBALL) WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Senior shortstop Matt Rasmussen (Sandy, UT/Bingham HS) went 4 for4 with two doubles and the Bearcats scored two runs in each of the final two innings, as Willamette University defeated Whitman College, 6-2, in a Northwest Conference game on Sunday, March 18. Willamette, which took two of three games from the Missionaries, improved to 8-10 overall, 2-6 in the NWC. The Bearcats have won five of their last six games. Whitman dropped to 1-14 on the season, 1-8 in the NWC.

Rasmussen scored twice and drove in another run. He tied the game at 2-2 when he doubled, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a ground out by David Tufo (So., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) in the fourth inning. Later, he doubled with one out in the eighth inning and eventually scored the go-ahead run on a single by Zach Kimball (Fr., C, Phoenix, AZ/Dobson HS). Ty Eriksen (Sr., LF, Vancouver, WA/La Salle HS) reached on an error and also scored in the eighth inning, giving WU a 4-2 lead.

In the ninth inning, Ellis Webster (So., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito HS) singled with one out, then scored on a triple to right field by Grant Yamaguchi (Sr., 1B, Aiea, HI/Mid Pacific Institute). Rasmussen followed with a single, allowing Yamaguchi to score from third base, as the Bearcats achieved the final 6-2 margin.

Willamette relief pitcher Jimmy Meuel (So., RHP, Palo Alto, CA/Palo Alto HS) threw the final three innings after entering the game with the scored tied 2-2. He faced just 11 batters and allowed only one hit and one walk. He retired the Missionaries in order in the bottom of the ninth. Meuel, 1-0, lowered his season earned run average to 1.64 in 11 innings pitched. WU starter Jarrid Summers (So., RHP, Boise, ID/Boise HS) gave up two runs and five hits in six innings pitched.

Sean Day suffered the loss for Whitman. It was his first decision of the season. Whitman's starter, Pete Stameyer, allowed five hits, two walks and two runs in six innings on the mound.

Rasmussen's 4-for-4 performance led all players on either team. Yamaguchi went 2 for 5 at the plate for Willamette, while Mike Minckler was 2 of 3 for Whitman. The Bearcats outhit the Missionaries, 11-6.

Whitman took a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the second stanza. Minckler opened the inning with a single. One out later, Brian Kitamura was hit by a pitch. Minckler was thrown out at third base when Micah Babbitt hit into a fielder's choice. Calvin Davis walked to load the bases, setting up shortstop Adam Knappe, who drove in two runs with a single to left field. The threat ended when clean-up hitter Austin Shackelford flied out to center field.

The Bearcats cut the lead to 2-1 when Kimball scored on a sacrifice line drive to right field by Webster. WU tied the score with Rasmussen's run in the fourth inning.

Willamette will host Whitworth College in a three-game NWC series next weekend at John Lewis Field. The teams will play two games on Saturday, March 24, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT). The series is scheduled to conclude with one game on Sunday March 25, also at 12 p.m. (PDT).

Willamette University 6, Whitman College 2 - Box Score

Jimmy Meuel threw three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win over Whitman on March 18.

Jimmy Meuel threw three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win over Whitman on March 18.