Willamette Rallies with Seven Runs in Sixth Inning to Defeat Whitman, 9-6, in First Game

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University rallied from a four-run deficit to win the opener, then blasted five home runs in the second game, as the Bearcats swept a doubleheader from visiting Whitman College, 9-6 and 8-4, at John Lewis Field on Sunday, April 6. Willamette won all four games in the Northwest Conference weekend series.

The Bearcats improved to 15-14 overall, including 11-9 in the NWC. Whitman dropped to 2-26, 0-20 in conference.

In Sunday's first game, Willamette trailed 6-2 after 4 1/2 innings, but the Bearcats rallied with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn the win. Willamette's big hit was a towering three-run homer by T.C. Lee (Fr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) over the left field power alley to break a 6-6 tie. It was Lee's seventh homer of the year.

Earlier in the inning, Colin Young (Sr., DH/RF, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) hit a sacrifice line drive to left field to pull WU within 6-3 and Michael Rierson (Fr., RF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) followed with an RBI single. Kyle Stalker (Jr., 1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) scored on the sacrifice and Sean Anderson (Sr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) scored on Rierson's hit.

Three batters later, David Tufo (Jr., 2B/3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) received a pinch-hit walk to load the bases. Doug Bloom (Fr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) tied the game with a two-run, two-out single, before Lee provided the go-ahead hit with his three-run homer.

Sean Anderson (Sr., CF, Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) of Willamette hit the game's only other homer to lead off the fourth inning. He finished the game 1 for 2 with an RBI and two runs scored. Bloom was 2 for 3.

Whitman scored once in the third inning and four times in the fourth to build a 5-0 lead. Micah Babbitt doubled and scored in the third. Mike Rathwell drove in two runs with a double in the fourth. After WU cut the lead to 5-2, Whitman added another run when Luke Marshall crossed the plate on a single by Dan White in the fifth inning.

The Missionaries received strong pitching in the first game from starter Pete Stadmeyer, who held the Bearcats scoreless until the fourth and allowed only four hits during the first five innings of play. Stadmeyer (0-7) stayed on the mound until Bloom's game-tying single and was credited with the loss.

Bearcat relief pitcher Jimmy Meuel (Sr., RHP, Redwood City, CA/Palo Alto, HS) picked up the win to improve to 1-1. Jack McGee (Jr., RHP/3B, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) threw the seventh inning for WU and faced just three batters to record his third save of the year.

Willamette hit five home runs to win the final game of the series. The list of home run hitters for the Bearcats included Stalker, who recorded his 16th of the season, Young with his eighth of the year, and Rierson with his second.

WU also received a homer from McGee (Jr., RHP/3B, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS), who started the game at third base and finished on the mound. He hit the first home run of his career in the bottom of the sixth inning to drive in two insurance runs after WU entered the half-inning with a 5-4 lead. Freshman shortstop Doug Bloom (Salem, OR/South Salem HS) hit his first collegiate homer immediately following McGee's two-run shot.

McGee threw 1 2/3 innings to finish the game, as he faced just five batters. He recorded his fourth save of the season and his second save of the doubleheader. In two appearances on Sunday, he allowed no base runners, while lowering his ERA to 1.29 for the season.

Jarrid Summers (Jr., RHP, Boise, ID/Boise HS) went 5 1/3 innings on the mound for Willamette and improved to 3-2 with the win. Whitman starter Joe Rodhouse (0-4) also threw 5 1/3 innings

Whitman received a solo home run from Matt Morris-Rosenfeld in the top of the second inning for a 1-0 lead. The Bearcats tied the game with Young's homer to right center in the bottom of the inning, then moved in front for good with three runs in the third. Bloom singled and later scored the go-ahead run, while two runs reached home on Stalker's blast to center field. It was the 30th home run of Stalker's career.

Bloom, Stalker and Rierson each produced two hits in the second game for Willamette. The Missionaries received two hits apiece from White and Marshall.

The Bearcats will play four games at the University of Puget Sound next weekend. The NWC doubleheaders are slated for Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT) each day.

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE

Willamette University 9, Whitman College 6

GAME #2 - BOX SCORE

Willamette University 8, Whitman College 4

Jack McGee recorded two saves against Whitman on April 6. In the second game, he also hit a two-run homer.

Jack McGee recorded two saves against Whitman on April 6. In the second game, he also hit a two-run homer.