Linfield Defeats Bearcats, 13-7, in First Game of NWC Series

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Linfield College scored six runs in the top of the eighth inning to extend a 6-2 lead and the Wildcats went on to defeat Willamette University, 13-7, in the first game of a four-game Northwest Conference series, Saturday, April 19 at John Lewis Field. Linfield improved to 26-7 overall, 21-4 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 18-16 on the season, 14-11 in the conference.

The second game of the doubleheader was suspended due to hail and impending darkness in the top of the sixth inning. Linfield held a 6-5 lead when the game stopped. The teams will resume the game at 12 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday, April 20 prior to the scheduled doubleheader.

Linfield starting pitcher Brian Clark and Willamette starter Clint Moran (Sr., Mission Viejo, CA/Capistrano Valley HS) were engaged in a pitcher's duel for the first five innings. The Wildcats plated two runs in the first inning when Drew Van Cleave hit a single with two outs and runners at second and third. Willamette brought in a run of its own in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run by Sean Anderson (Sr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS).

The Wildcats continued to hold a 2-1 lead until the top of the sixth, when Linfield tallied three runs. Stew Davis opened the stanza with a homer to right center. A double by Van Cleave, plus two Willamette errors and an RBI single by Cory Ellis, allowed Linfield to record two unearned runs.

Doug Bloom (Fr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) doubled in the bottom of the sixth and later moved to third on a balk. He scored when Kyle Stalker (Jr., 1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) grounded out.

Linfield increased its lead to 6-2 with a run in the seventh, then scored six runs on four hits in the eighth inning. Ty Stanley pounded a double to bring home the first two runs in the eighth inning and Van Cleave added a grand slam home run.

The Bearcats reduced the Wildcats' lead to 12-6 when Stalker blasted a grand slam for Willamette. T.C. Lee (Fr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS), Ellis Webster (Jr., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito HS) and Dan Maslanik (Jr., C, Boulder, CO/Fairview HS) also scored on the play. It was Stalker's 21st home run of the season.

Each team plated one run in the ninth inning to complete the scoring. Linfield finished the game with 15 hits, while the Bearcats were held to eight hits.

Clark, now 9-0 on the season, picked up the victory for LC. Moran fell to 5-3 with the loss.

Stalker went 2 for 4 with five RBIs for the Bearcats. Anderson was 2 for 4 and Maslanik went 1 for 3 with two runs scored.

Van Cleave totaled three hits in four at bats for Linfield. He scored twice and registered a game-high six RBIs. Ellis went 3 for 5 and Davis was 2 for 3 with two walks and three runs scored.

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE

Linfield College 13, Willamette University 7

GAME #2 - Suspended in Top of 6th Inning

Linfield College 6, Willamette University 5

Kyle Stalker hit a grand slam against Linfield for his 21st home run of the season.

Kyle Stalker hit a grand slam against Linfield for his 21st home run of the season.