Willamette and Puget Sound Split NWC Doubleheader

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

(BASEBALL) TACOMA, WASH -- Willamette University won the first game of its three-game Northwest Conference series at the University of Puget Sound, as the Bearcats claimed a 6-3 victory to start a doubleheader on Saturday, March 31. Puget Sound won the second game, 4-1. Willamette and UPS are scheduled to play the third game of the series on Sunday, April 1 at 12 p.m. (PDT).

In the opener, Willamette broke a 1-1 tie by scoring three runs in the top of the fifth inning. All three runs scored on a bases-loaded double by Kelly Gilmore (Sr., RF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) with one out. Gilmore went to third on a error at the end of the play, but was later thrown out at home on a pitchout during a squeeze play.

Joe Newland of Puget Sound hit a leadoff homer in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut Willamette's lead to 4-2. Each time added one run in the sixth.

Willamette's Tye Sundlee (Jr., RHP, Yakima, WA/West Valley HS) threw five innings of middle relief for the win in the first game. He struck out three batters, allowed five walks and gave up three hits.

Sundlee allowed two runs, but WU led 5-3 when he left the game at the end of the seventh inning. The Bearcats added an insurance run in the eighth on a solo homer by Sean Anderson (Jr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS), then Kelsey Nakata (So., RHP, Mililani, HI/Mililani HS) and Matt Bicocca (Jr., RHP, San Andreas, CA/Calaveras HS) each threw an inning of scoreless relief. Evan Scandling threw all nine innings for UPS and fell to 2-3 on the season.

Gilmore was 2 for 5 with four RBIs for Willamette in the first game. Jordan Roberts (So., LF, Portland, OR/Grant HS) went 3 for 4 and scored twice, while Anderson went 2 for 4 with his homer and two runs scored. Tim Steggall and Gregorio Beck each went 2 for 4 for the Loggers.

The starter for UPS in the second game, Ryan Gustafson, allowed just six hits and one run in eight innings. Reliever Jarvis Nohara faced just three Bearcats in the ninth inning to record his first save of the season. Gustafson improved to 4-1. The Loggers received home runs from Tim Steggall and Pete Marcek during the game.

Steggall opened the bottom of the first inning with his home run down the left field line. The Loggers increased their lead to 2-0 in the third, when Sean Bayha scored on a single by Michael Olsen. UPS edged out to a 3-0 lead when Marcek doubled and scored on a single by Bayha in the sixth.

Willamette tallied its only run in the top of the eighth. Gilmore singled to left center with one out. He moved to third on a double by David Tufo (So., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS). Gilmore scored and Tufo advanced to third on a ground out by Ryan Peterson (Sr., DH/2B, Grangeville, ID/Grangeville HS). Anderson followed with another ground out to end the inning. Marcek's homer for UPS in the bottom of the eighth completed the scoring.

Steggall, Marcek, Olsen and Bayha each recorded two hits in the second game for UPS, as the Loggers outhit Willamette 8-6. WU was led by Tufo, who went 2 for 3. Ryan Smith (Jr., RHP, Felton, CA/San Lorenzo Valley HS), who threw the first two innings for Willamette and gave up one run, took the loss to fall to 0-1 on the season.

Game #1 - Willamette University 6, University of Puget Sound 3 - Box Score
Game #2 - University of Puget Sound 4, Willamette University 1 - Box Score