Linfield Sweeps Bearcats, 9-0 and 6-3

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Linfield starting pitcher Brian Clark threw a complete-game four-hitter in the opener and the Wildcats built a 5-0 lead in the first six innings of the second game for a doubleheader sweep of visiting Willamette University on Saturday, April 14 at Roy Helser Field. Linfield improved to 16-13 overall and to 11-6 in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats dropped to 13-18 on the season, 6-13 in the NWC.

In the opener Clark, limited the Bearcats to three singles and a double by Grant Yamaguchi (Sr., 1B, Aiea, HI/Mid Pacific Institute). Yamaguchi's double started the top of the seventh inning for the Bearcats, but he was stranded at third following three consecutive outs.

The game was scoreless until the Wildcats posted five runs in the third inning on seven hits and one error. Kevin Mills provided the only extra-base hit of the inning with an RBI double. LC added one run in the sixth inning and three runs in the eighth.

Clark struck out 12 Willamette batters and walked two Bearcats, while improving to 5-3 on the season. For Willamette, starter Tye Sundlee (Jr., RHP, Yakima, WA/West Valley HS) threw 7 2/3 innings and allowed all nine runs (seven earned). He registered three strikeouts and allowed two walks. Sundlee's record fell to 4-3.

In the second game, Linfield put two runs on the scoreboad in the fourth inning to break a scoreless deadlock. Both runs scored on a home run by Stew Davis. It was hit second home run of the season. LInfield tacked on three runs in the sixth inning, as the Wildcats took advantage of three singles, a passed ball and a balk. Willamette ended the inning with a 4-6-3 double play.

Willamette tallied all three of its runs in the top of the eighth. With two outs, Ellis Webster (So., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito HS) walked, then advanced to third on a double by Kelly Gilmore (Sr., Keizer, OR/McNary HS). David Tufo (So., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) followed with a three-run homer to left field. It was Tufo's first home run of the season.

Linfield held a 5-3 lead going into the bottom the eighth. The Wildcats added an insurance run when Davis doubled and later scored on a single by Don Bard to center field. Bard went 2 for 4 with two RBIs during the game, while Davis was 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs. David Bachofner added two hits and two runs in four at bats.

Gilmore, the leadoff batter for Willamette, was 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI. The next five batters in the WU lineup each recorded one hit in four at bats. In addition to Tufo's homer and Gilmore's double, the Bearcats also received a double from Matt Rasmussen (Sr., SS, Sandy , UT/Bingham HS).

Starter Cameron Larson of Linfield upped his record to 6-2 with the win. He struck out four batters and allowed six hits in eight innings. Matt McCollum struck out the first two batters in the top of the ninth, before giving up Rasmussen's double and a walk. With the tying run at the plate, McCollum forced Zach Kimball (Fr., C, Phoenix, AZ/Dobson HS) into a game-ending fly ball to right field. McCollum registered his third save of the year.

The teams are scheduled to conclude the NWC weekend series with a single game on Sunday, April 15. Game time is slated for 12 p.m. (PDT).

Game #1 - Linfield College 9, Willamette University 0 - Box Score
Game #2 - Linfield College 6, Willamette University 3 - Box Score