Willamette Wins Suspended Game, 9-7 on Stalker's 11th-Inning Homer

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

ATHERTON, CALIF. -- An extra-inning home run won the first game and a walk-off home run decided the second game, as Willamette University and Menlo College each recorded a victory on Sunday, Feb. 17 at Cartan Field. Willamette won the continuation of Saturday's suspended game, 9-7, in 11 innings. Menlo won the regularly scheduled game that followed, 14-11.

Willamette scored the winning runs in the first game on a two-out, two-run homer by Kyle Stalker (Jr., 1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) in the top of the second extra inning. Doug Bloom (Fr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem, HS), who singled immediately prior to Stalker's at bat, also scored on the play. The decisive runs were scored in the first inning played on Sunday, after the game was suspended due to darkness at the end of 10 innings on Saturday.

Clint Moran (Sr., LHP, Mission Viejo, CA/Capistrano Valley HS) of Willamette gave up a single to start the bottom of the 11th, but forced Menlo into a double play followed by a ground out to record a save. Jack McGee (Jr., P/3B, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) earned the win for Willamette after throwing 2 1/3 innings, with one run allowed, no hits and two strikeouts.

In the second game, WU rallied with five runs in the eighth inning to take an 11-10 lead. Menlo tied the score with a run in the bottom of the eighth, then won the game with a two-out, three-run homer by Robert McDonald in the bottom of the ninth. McDonald was 2 for 4 with two walks during the game.

On Saturday, Willamette lost the first game of the series, 20-5. The Bearcats never trailed in the second game, which ultimately was suspended. The Bearcats scored five runs in the first four innings to build a 5-1 lead, but were later tied by the Oaks, 6-6, after Menlo plated three runs in the eighth inning. Each team scored once in the 10th stanza, before the sky was too dark to continue the action.

The Bearcats concluded the suspended game with nine hits, including four home runs and a triple. Stalker finished with two homers and WU also received long balls from Jake Atwell-Scrivner (Jr., SS, Bellevue, WA/Newport HS) and Colin Young (Sr., RF, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS).

Atwell-Scrivner's homer was hit down the left field line and was recorded just one batter into the game. The leadoff hitter, senior center fielder Sean Anderson (Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS), singled through the left side of the infield, then scored on Scrivner's blast. Menlo tallied one run in the bottom of the inning.

The first homer for Stalker was in the third inning. Anderson tripled to center field with one out, and Atwell-Scrivner was put out on a grounder. Stalker batted next and sent the ball over the right field fence to give Willamette a 4-1 lead. Young tacked on a homer to right center to open the fifth inning, as WU increased its advantage to four runs.

Menlo scored twice in the bottom of the fourth inning and the 'Cats plated one run in the seventh, leaving Willamette with a 6-3 lead. The Oaks tied the game in the eighth with three runs on one hit and two errors. Chris Budelli drove in two runs with a single and the third run scored on an error.

Willamette edged back in front in the top of the 10th. Bloom was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, then stole second base. Stalker struck out, but Bloom stole third. He scored with two outs, when Young hit into an error by second baseman Will McLoughlin. The Bearcats loaded the bases, but Menlo relief pitcher Sam Minsu Chang recorded a strikeout to end the threat.

In the bottom of the 10th, Menlo scored an unearned run. Pinch-hitter Kyle Wilkerson batted for Chang and reached base on an infield error. Joe Hull ran for Wilkerson, was sacrificed to second by Ricky Grech, and moved to thrid on a ground out by Matt Simpson. Hull scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Matt Medina grounded out to end Saturday's portion of the game.

Stalker was 2 for 6 in the 11-inning game, with two runs and four RBIs. Anderson finished 2 for 6 and scored three times. Atwell-Scrivner was 2 for 4 with a run and three RBIs. Budelli led Menlo with a 3-for-5 performance, two runs and four RBIs.

Sunday's scheduled game featured 25 runs and 28 hits. The Oaks pounded out 15 hits during the game,while the Bearcats achieved 13 hits.

WU struck early, scoring four times in the first inning. Anderson singled and stole second to begin the game, then scored when Bloom reached on an error by McDonald at third base.

The error proved even more costly, as the next two batters were put out on pop-ups, but six additional batters went to the plate. Young drove in the second run on a single down the right field line and Stephen Lane (So., C, Rowland Heights, CA/Rowland Heights HS) brought home the next two runs with a single up the middle.

With one out in the top of the second inning, Stalker singled and T.C. Lee (Fr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) powered a homer to left center for a 6-0 Willamette lead. Menlo countered with four runs in the bottom of the second, which featured an RBI double by Brennen Facchini and a two-RBI double by Budelli. The Oaks cut the lead to a single run when Rob Monderine scored on a sacrifice fly by Medina.

In the sixth inning, Menlo tied the game when Medina walked, stole second, went to third on a single by McLoughlin, then scored on a double steal. The Oaks surged out to a 10-6 lead in the seventh, as four runners crossed the plate. Three of the runs scored on a double by Budelli.

Willamette responded with a lengthy inning of its own in the top of the eighth. The Bearcats scored five times, with Andrew Ross (So., DH, Petaluma, CA/Petaluma HS) driving in two runs on a triple down the right field line. Young and McGee also registered RBIs during the inning.

Pinch-hitter Nick Von Sonn walked to start the bottom of the eighth. One out later, Dwayne Haakma ran for Von Sonn. He stole second base, then scored on a single by William Sikes, as the Oaks tied the game at 11-11. The three-run homer by McDonald one inning later ended the game.

McDonald was 2 for 4 in the game and also walked twice. McLoughlin finished 4 for 6 and scored three runs for Meno. Budelli went 3 for 6 with one run and a game-high five RBIs.

Ross was 3 for 4 with a pair of runs and two RBIs for the Bearcats. Anderson, Young, McGee and Lane each registered two hits, with Young and Lane also driving in two runs.

The Bearcats travel to Orlando, Fla., next weekend for one game each day between Saturday, Feb. 23 and Monday, Feb. 25. Willamette will play St. John Fisher (N.Y.), St. Vincent (Pa.) and Hanover (Ind.).


Game 1 - Willamette University 9, Menlo College 7 (11 innings; completion of suspended game)


Game 2 - Menlo College 14, Willamette University 11

Kyle Stalker blasted a two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning to give WU a 9-7 win over Menlo.

Kyle Stalker blasted a two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning to give WU a 9-7 win over Menlo.