Bearcats Hold Off Warriors for 5-4 Win in Crosstown Rivalry

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Jack McGee (So., SS, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) put Willamette University in the lead for good with a two-RBI double in the fifth inning and Jimmy Meuel (So., RHP, Palo Alto, CA/Palo Alto HS) earned a save by facing just four batters to record the final four outs, as the Bearcats defeated crosstown rival Corban College, 5-4, on Tuesday, April 3 at Warrior Field. Willamette moved above .500 at 13-12 with the win. The Bearcats, who have won 10 of their last 13 games, lead the season series with the Warriors, 2-0. Corban dropped to 10-18-1.

It was a typical mid-week game, with both teams using more than half of their respective rosters. Willamette played a total of 23 players, including eight pitchers. The Warriors used 20 players, including six pitchers.

Willamette took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. With one out, Kirk Struble (So., 1B, Bozeman, MT/Bozeman HS) singled through the left side of the infield. James Perez (Fr., RF, Petaluma, CA/Petaluma HS) followed with another single. Both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Roberts (So., CF, Portland, OR/Grant HS). Struble scored on a wild pitch and Zach Kimball (Fr., C, Phoenix, AZ/Dobson HS) walked, but the Bearcats were unable to add to the single tally.

Corban plated two runs in the fourth inning to take the lead. Jeremy Frantz doubled with one out and later scored on a single by Josh Warner. Darren Johnson, who also singled during the inning, scored a ground out by Scott Flux.

The Bearcats retook the lead in the next half inning. Kyle Stalker (So., DH/1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) singled to start the rally. One out later, Colin Clark (So., LF, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) doubled down he left field line, as Stalker advanced to third. With two outs and runners still at the corners, McGee doubled to left field to give WU a 3-2 lead.

Willamette held the lead the rest of the way. The Bearcats added an insurance run in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Stalker, but the Warriors cut the lead to 4-3 when Zach James scored on a fielder's choice by Frantz in the bottom of the seventh. WU regained a two-run lead in the eighth inning, when Sean Anderson (Jr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the eighth, Matt Schmidt singled to start the inning for Corban. After several pitches to the next batter, Bicocca picked off Schmidt at first base. The Warriors went on to score once in the inning by taking advantage of a walk and two more hits.

Meuel went to the mound for Willamette with two outs in the eighth inning and runners at first and second. He got Justin Trammell to ground out to end the threat. He faced just three batters in the ninth inning, as Brett Timmerman flied out to center field, Frantz fouled out near the first base dugout and Johnson struck out. It was Meuel's first save of the year.

Stephen Lane (Fr., LHP, Rowland Heights, CA/Rowland Heights HS) went to 1-0 with the win for the Bearcats. He was the fourth of WU's eight pitchers. Zeke Clayton of Corban fell to 0-1 with the loss.

For the Bearcats, Stalker was 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI. McGee also finished 2 for 4 and earned two RBIs. Perez went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Corban players with more than one hit were James (2 for 2), Josh Warner (2 for 3), Frantz (2 for 5) and Jamie McGraw (2 for 5). Willamette outhit Corban, 13-12. Each team committed one error.

The Bearcats will host Pacific Lutheran University in a three-game Northwest Conference series on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7. On Friday, the Bearcats and the Lutes will play a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. (PDT). On Saturday, the teams will play a single game at 12 p.m. (PDT).

Willamette University 5, Corban College 4 - Box Score

Jack McGee earned the game-winning hit in Willamette's 5-4 win over Corban.

Jack McGee earned the game-winning hit in Willamette's 5-4 win over Corban.