Bearcats Blast Missionaries, 20-1 and 25-3

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University batters walked 20 times in the first game and pounded out 27 hits in the second game, as the Bearcats routed Whitman College, 20-1 and 25-3, in a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 5 at John Lewis Field. The wins moved Willamette's overall record to 13-14, while improving the Bearcats to 9-9 in the NWC. Whitman fell to 2-24 overall, 0-18 in the conference.

Willamette recorded 14 hits in the opener, including a three-run homer by Colin Young (Sr., DH/RF/Portland, OR/Lincoln HS). In the second game, WU hit six homers, with Young belting another four-bagger and Max Stepan (Fr., C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) smacking two three-run shots.

Overall, the Bearcats totaled 45 runs, 42 hits and seven home runs during the doubleheader. Whitman managed just 14 hits on the day and had only one extra-base hit, a double by Nate Rankin in the second game.

Senior starter Clint Moran (LHP, Mission Viejo, CA/Capistrano Valley HS) threw seven innings and struck out five batters to win the opener. Kelsy Nakata (Jr., RHP, Mililani, HI/Mililani HS) started the second game and struck out three batters while pitching six innings to earn the win.

Moran (4-2) allowed one run and Nakata (2-1) gave up two runs, but all three were unearned. The Missionaries scored just four runs overall and plated their only earned run in the seventh inning of the second game.

In the opener, Willamette scored two runs in the second inning and two more in the third stanza for a 4-0 lead. The first two runs scored on a single by Doug Bloom (Fr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) and the next two runs crossed the plate on a double by Young.

WU doubled its score in the fourth inning, when the Bearcats plated four runs on two singles and five walks, plus a sacrifice fly and two wild pitches. An additional seven runs were created by the Bearcats in the fifth inning, which featured a double by Bloom and two-RBI single by Michael Rierson (So., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS). The big inning extended WU's lead to 15-0.

Whitman scored its only run of the first game in the sixth inning. Adam Knappe singled, stayed alive when an error allowed him to reach second base on a fielder's choice, and scored on a single by Dan White. Knappe was 2 for 4 during the game.

The Bearcats tallied the game's final five runs in the bottom of the eighth. Two runs scored on a single by Sean Anderson (Sr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) and three runs cleared reached the plate on Young's home run.

Five Willamette players achieved two hits apiece in the opener. Stalker, who led all players with four walks during the game, also led the 'Cats with four runs scored, while going 2 for 2 at the plate. Young drove in a game-high six runs and scored three times. Anderson scored twice and achieved four RBIs.

The Bearcats took charge of the second game in the early innings, as WU built a 15-0 lead after just three at bats. Willamette added four runs in the fifth inning, before the Missionaries got on the scoreboard with two unearned runs in the sixth. Whitman chalked up one run in the top of the seventh and Willamette plated the final six runs in the bottom of the inning.

Stepan led the way for the Bearcats in the nightcap, as he went 4 for 5 with two nine RBIs, three runs scored and a pair of home runs. Young hit his second home run of the doubleheader -- his seventh of the season -- and went 4 for 7 at the plate with four runs scored. Bloom went 4 for 7 and scored twice. Twelve Bearcats scored at least one run during the game.

WU's six homers in Game #2 also included a three-run blast by Anderson, a two-run shot by Lee and a solo homer by Webster. The Bearcats have pounded out 42 home runs this season.

Nakata and three relievers limited the Missionaries to just six hits in the nightcap. Meanwhile, Willamette handled Whitman's pitching by recording 27 hits in 54 official at bats for a .500 batting average.

The teams are scheduled to conclude the four-game NWC series with a doubleheader on Sunday, April 6. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE

Willamette University 20, Whitman College 1

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE

Willamette University 25, Whitman College 3

Kelsey Nakata struck out three batters and allowed just five hits and two unearned runs in six innings against Whitman.

Kelsey Nakata struck out three batters and allowed just five hits and two unearned runs in six innings against Whitman.