Bloom's Single on Squeeze Bunt Scores Winning Run in 6-5 Victory over East Bay

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Doug Bloom (Fr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) hit a bunt single partway down the third base line with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to bring home Colin Young (Sr., RF, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) with the go-ahead run, helping Willamette University defeat California State University-East Bay, 6-5, on Sunday, March 9 at John Lewis Field. The Bearcats improved to 7-6 with the non-conference win, while CSU-East Bay dropped to 11-5.

WU starting pitcher Jarrid Summers (Jr., RHP, Boise, ID/Boise HS) threw 8 2/3 innings to record the win, while Jack McGee (Jr., RHP/3B, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) faced just one batter to record his second save.

The game featured five lead changes, with Young's run in the seventh inning providing the Bearcats with the lead for good. Even so, the final two innings were exciting.

CSU-East Bay had runners at first and second with two outs in the eighth, but WU's Jordan Roberts (Sr., CF, Portland, OR/Grant HS) made a stellar catch in center field to prevent Joey Luoma from driving in at least the tying run. In the top of the ninth inning, Summers quickly registered two ground outs to get within one out of a complete game effort for the Bearcats.

Lamonte Toney kept the ninth inning alive for East Bay with a single through the left side that barely eluded a diving David Tufo (Jr., 3B/DH, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS). Clean-up hitter Michael Thomasson followed with a blast to left field that hit the fence. Toney advanced to third and Thomasson stopped at second. McGee replaced Summers and forced Jesus Muela to ground out to shortstop to end the game.

The Pioneers struck first with one run in the second inning. Thomasson singled through the right side to open the stanza, then moved to third base on a single by Muela. Young, playing in right field, threw out Muela at second base as he tried to stretch the hit into a double. Toney scored when Jacob Haberman reached base on an error by Tufo.

WU countered with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. The first run was scored by T.C. Lee (Fr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS), who walked with two outs and rounded the rest of the bases on a triple by Young. Catcher Max Stepan (Fr., Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) followed with a single through the infield, sending Young across the plate.

In the fifth inning, Tony provided East Bay with an RBI single and Thomasson drove in a run on a fielder's choice. The pair of runs moved the Pioneers back in front, 3-2.

Willamette regained the lead, 4-3, with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Bloom singled to start the inning and advanced to third on a single by Roberts. Sean Anderson (Sr., DH/CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) hit into a fielder's choice to score Bloom. Tufo supplied an RBI single later in the inning, allowing Anderson to score.

The lead changes continued in the top of the sixth stanza. East Bay scored twice in the inning, with both runs crossing home plate on a single to right center by Marco Cartagena.

WU tied the score at 5-5 with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth. Webster reached first and second base on a throwing error by shortstop Mark Marelich. Bloom hit a single to drive in Webster. Roberts and Anderson also singled during the inning, but relief pitcher Kyle Dunn forced a ground ball to end the threat.

Lee singled to right field with one out in Willamette's half of the seventh inning. Young reached on a fielder's choice, as Lee was thrown out at second base. Stepan followed with a walk, moving Young to second. A passed ball allowed both runners to advance. Webster walked to load the bases. Bloom batted next and provided the game-winning bunt single.

Roberts batted after Bloom and tried to bring in two insurance runs with a hard ground ball up the middle. Marelich made a diving catch and tossed the ball to Luoma at second base for the third out.

Summers improved to 1-1 with the victory for the Bearcats. He threw 148 pitches, with 91 registering as strikes. Dunn fell to 0-1 with the loss.

Bloom went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored for Willamette. He also recorded three putouts and five assists on defense. Roberts was 2 for 4 and Tufo went 2 for 5. Young was 1 for 4, but scored twice and earned an RBI.

For East Bay, Toney and Luoma each went 2 for 4. Thomasson earned two hits, one run and one RBI in five at bats. Both teams achieved a total of 12 hits during the game.

Willamette will travel to nearby Newberg, Ore., next weekend for a four-game series with NWC rival George Fox University. The teams will play two nine-inning games on Saturday, March 15 and will conclude the series with two seven-inning games on Sunday, March 16. Each doubleheader is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 6, California State University-East Bay 5
Doug Bloom drove in the winning run and was 3 for 3 against CSU-East Bay on March 9.

Doug Bloom drove in the winning run and was 3 for 3 against CSU-East Bay on March 9.