Bearcats Split NWC Doubleheader against Whitworth

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

(BASEBALL) SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University jumped out to a 6-0 lead after six innings of play, then held on for a 7-4 victory over visiting Whitworth College in the second game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Sunday, March 25 at John Lewis Field. Whitworth, behind the pitching of Ryan Snell, won the first game, 9-3. Willamette is now 9-11 overall and 3-7 in NWC action, while Whitworth is 7-13 overall, 5-6 in NWC play.

In its 7-4 win, Willamette scored a single run in the first, second, and fifth innings before breaking things open with a three-run sixth. Sean Anderson (Jr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) doubled home Ellis Webster (So., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Deiguito HS) to get the Bearcats their first run of the sixth inning.

Grant Yamaguchi (Sr., 1B, Aiea, HI/Mid Pacific Institute) followed Anderson’s double by singling home Kyle Stalker (So., 1B/DH, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS). Anderson, who advanced to third base on Yamaguchi’s hit, later scored on a wild pitch to put Willamette up 6-0.

After Whitworth scored three runs in the top of the seventh, and added one more run in the eighth to make the score 6-4, the Bearcats added an insurance run in their half of the eighth. With two outs, Colin Young (Jr., OF, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) singled home Anderson for what proved to be the final margin, 7-4.

Whitworth’s Ryne Webb, who hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning, led off the ninth with a single to right field. But WU’s Kelsey Nakata (So., RHP, Mililani, HI/Mililani HS) got Van Lierman to ground into a double play, before inducing Dan Ramsay into a ground ball out to second base for the final out of the game.

Nakata entered the game with no outs in the eighth inning and runners on first and second, but managed to get the Pirates' next three hitters out to preserve Willamette’s lead. Nakata pitched two innings in relief, allowing just Webb’s single in the ninth inning, to earn his second save of the season.

Ryan Smith (Jr., RHP, Felton, CA/San Lorenzo Valley HS) pitched the first two innings for WU, and allowed three hits, while striking out one. Clint Moran, who came on in the top of third inning, received the win to improve to 2-3 on the year. Moran allowed four runs, only one of which was earned, gave up seven hits, walked three and struck out six.

Offensively for Willamette, Young and Anderson both went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, while Zach Kimball (Fr., C, Phoenix, AZ/Dobson HS) was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Webster and Yamaguchi were both 1 for 3. Yamaguchi drove in one run, as did Jack McGee (So., SS, Hillsborough, CA/Saint Ignatius HS).

For the Pirates, Webb was 3 for 5 with two RBIs. Mitch Ramsay and Alex Scarpelli both had two hits in four at-bats.

In game one, Snell allowed just five hits in 7 2/3 innings of work as Whitworth won 9-3. Snell gave up three runs, two of which were earned, walked four and struck out 10 Bearcat hitters. Lierman was 3 for 3 and scored twice for Whitworth. Joel Tampien went 3 for 5 with a run and an RBI.

The Pirates trailed 1-0 after the Bearcats scored in the second inning, but surged in front with six runs in the fourth. Scarpelli drove in two of the runs with a single down the left field line. The Pirates took advantage of five singles and two errors during the inning. Whitworth added a run in the fifth and two more in the seventh, before Willamette closed out the scoring with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth.

Yamaguchi and Webster went 1 for 3 at the plate for WU. Also for the Bearcats, David Tufo had an RBI single in the eighth inning and Stalker doubled in the fourth inning.

Tye Sundlee (Jr., RHP, Yakima, WA/West Valley HS) took the loss for Willamette. Sundlee entered the game in the third inning and gave up nine earned runs, 10 hits, and two walks, while striking out three Pirate hitters. Jimmy Meuel (So., RHP, Palo Alto, CA/Palo Alto HS) pitched the first two innings, allowing just one hit, walking one and striking out three Whitworth batters.

The two teams will complete their three-game series tomorrow, with the first pitch set for 12 p.m. (PDT). Originally, WU and Whitworth were scheduled to play a doubleheader yesterday and a single game today, but weather forced the games to be played Sunday and Monday.

Game #1 - Whitworth College 9, Willamette University 3 - Box Score
Game #2 - Willamette University 7, Whitworth College 4 - Box Score