Bloom Goes 4 for 5, as Bearcats Down East Bay in Opener, 12-4

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

HAYWARD, CALIF. -- Doug Bloom (So., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) went 4 for 5 and scored five runs, as Willamette University opened the season with a 12-4 victory over California State University-East Bay on Friday, Feb. 20. WU led 6-4 after six innings, then pulled way with six runs in the final three frames. The Bearcats are 1-0 on the season. CSU-East Bay is 3-7.

Ryan Hood-Taylor (So., RHP, Scio, OR/Scio HS) recorded the win, after allowing four runs -- three earned -- in six innings. Colin Clark (Sr., RHP/OF, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) and Andrew Wyman (So., RHP, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) combined for three innings of scoreless relief.

Max Stepan (So., DH/C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) of Willamette was 3 for 4 at the plate, including a double and a triple. He also scored twice, hit a sacrifice fly and drove in two runs.

Ellis Webster, (Sr., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito HS) went 3 for 5 with two RBIs for Willamette. Jack McGee (Sr., RF/P, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) added a 2-for-4 performance with a double and two runs scored. Kyle Stalker (Sr., 1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) was 2 for with one run and two RBIs.

Willamette pounded out 17 hits and limited the Pioneers to just six hits during the game. Chris Romo, who went 2 for 4 and hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to pull CSU-East Bay within 5-4, was the only Pioneer with more than one hit. Romo's second hit was a double in the eighth.

The Bearcats took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. After Stepan doubled with one out, McGee was hit by a pitch. Dan Maslanik (Sr., C, Boulder, CO/Fairview HS) line out to right field, but Stepan advanced to third on the play. Webster followed with a single, allowing Stepan to cross home plate. Bloom also singled, driving in McGee with the second run.

WU's added a run in the top of the third. Stalker reached first base on a single, moved to second when T.C. Lee (So., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) was hit by a pitch and reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Rierson (So., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS). Stalker scored on a sacrifice fly by Stepan.

CSU-East Bay tallied its first run in the bottom of the third, with Chad Masters scoring on a single by Devin Grigg. The 'Cats answered with a two-out run in the fourth, as Bloom singled, stole second base, and scored on a single by David Tufo (Sr., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS).

The Pioneers plated one run in the bottom of the inning. WU was in front 4-2 at the start of the fifth inning.

WU made East Bay pay for a fielding mistake in the top of the fifth, when Lee reached first and second base on an error by third baseman Mark Marelich. Lee scored when Rierson followed with a single. Romo hit his two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 5-4, but it was the last time a Pioneer crossed the plate.

Bloom scored on a single by Stalker in the sixth inning to give WU a two-run lead. The Bearcats tacked on two runs in the seventh, one in the eighth and three more in the ninth to pull away. WU scored at least one run in each of the final eight innings.

It was a solid first game for Willamette's pitching staff. Hood-Taylor, Clark and Wyman combined on the six-hitter and walked just two batters. WU and East Bay each committed just one error.

Four CSU-East Bay pitchers amassed a total of seven strikeouts, but also walked three batters and hit three batters. Kenneth Cedillo took the loss for the Pioneers and fell to 2-1 on the season.

The three-game series will conclude with a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 21. Action in the first game of the twinbill is set for 10 a.m. (PST).

Willamette University 12
Cal State-East Bay 4
Doug Bloom earned four hits and stole two bases against East Bay.

Doug Bloom earned four hits and stole two bases against East Bay.