Linfield Wins Suspended Game, Sweeps Doubleheader

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Linfield College leads the Northwest Conference in pitching by a large margin and the Wildcats lived up to their stats on Sunday, April 20, holding Willamette scoreless in the final four innings of a suspended game, then allowing a total of three runs in a pair of seven-inning games. The Wildcats were victorious in the suspended game, 6-5, and registered wins of 9-1 and 19-2 in the scheduled doubleheader.

Willamette fell to 18-19 overall, 14-14 in the NWC. Linfield, which sits atop the NWC standings, improved to 29-7 on the season, 24-4 in the conference.

Entering the weekend, Linfield owned a 2.62 earned run average. George Fox University ranked second on the pitching statistics at 4.21. Willamette scored 12 runs (11 earned) against the Wildcats in the first 12 innings of the series, but managed only three runs (all earned) in the final 20 innings.

WU built a 5-1 lead in the first three innings of the second game of the series, which was suspended in the top of the sixth inning on Saturday due to the weather.

Max Stepan (Fr., C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) blasted a three-run homer in the bottom of the second inning to give WU a 3-0 lead. After Linfield tallied a run in the top of the third inning, Michael Rierson (So., RF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) connected on a two-run homer to left field.

The Wildcats tied the game, 5-5, with four runs in the top of the fourth. Two of the runs were unearned, as WU committed two errors during the inning. Brian Kerr drove in the first run with a double to center field. Kerr scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.

Linfield moved ahead with what proved to be the game's final run in the fifth inning. With one out, Stew Davis doubled to right field. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single up the middle by Drew Van Cleave.

Relief pitchers Cameron Larson of Linfield and Ryan Hood-Taylor (Fr., RHP, Scio, OR/Scio HS) of Willamette shut down both teams when the game resumed on Sunday. Larson held Willamette without a hit in the final four innings, while Hood-Taylor gave up just one hit in 3 2/3 innings.

Garrett Dorn (8-1), who struck out five batters in the first five innings, recorded the win for Linfield. Larson received a save. WU starter Tye Sundlee (Sr., RHP, Yakima, WA/West Valley HS) took the loss and fell to 1-6.

Five Willamette players registered two hits apiece during the game. The Bearcats outhit the Wildcats 11-7, but WU committed four errors.

Larson and Hood-Taylor returned to the mound for the start of Sunday's first regularly scheduled game. Larson threw an additional five innings and limited the Bearcats to one run and three hits. Hood-Taylor pitched two more inning and allowed three runs.

The Wildcats took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Two of the runs scored on a single by Smith. Willamette picked up one run in the third stanza when Doug Bloom (Fr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) scored on a two-out single by Stalker.

Linfield pulled away with four runs in the fifth inning and two runs in the sixth. Kevin Mills smacked a two-run homer in the fifth and Van Cleave provided a two-run single in the sixth.

Willamette earned just four hits during the game. Sean Anderson (Sr., DH/CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) recorded WU's only extra-base hit, a double in the sixth inning. He also walked once.

The Wildcats were led by Van Cleave, who went 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs. Smith went 3 for 3 and had two RBIs, while Ty Stanley finished 2 for 4 and scored twice.

In the second regularly scheduled game on Sunday, the Bearcats fell behind early and were unable to score until the final inning. Linfield put up six runs in the opening stanza, added three in the second inning and plated four in the third.

For the game, the Wildcats amassed 19 runs on 17 hits. Linfield players combined for three home runs, one each by Davis, Mills and Shannon Chung.

Three Linfield pitchers held Willamette to five hits during the game. Anderson pounded out another double for the Beasrcats' only extra-base hit.

WU starter Jarrid Summers (Jr., RHP, Boise, ID/Boise HS) went just 2/3 of an inning and took the loss. His record fell to 4-3 on the season. Willamette used another six pitchers before the game ended.

Reese McCulley of Linfield pitched the first five innings. He registered four strikeouts and allowed just two hits, while improving to 6-0 on the season.

Willamette will complete its schedule next weekend (April 26-27) in a Northwest Conference series at Pacific University. First pitch in Forest Grove, Ore., is set for 12 p.m. (PDT) both days.

BOX SCORE - SUSPENDED GAME

Completion of games suspended at John Lewis Field on Saturday due to the weather:

Linfield College 6, Willamette University 5

Sunday's Scheduled Doubleheader:

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE

Linfield College 9, Willamette University 1

GAME #2 - BOX SCORE

Linfield College 19, Willamette University 2

Sean Anderson hit .462 in the four-game series with Linfield, including two doubles and a home run.

Sean Anderson hit .462 in the four-game series with Linfield, including two doubles and a home run.