Willamette Sweeps Lewis & Clark, 5-0 and 14-4, to Open NWC Play

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Willamette University opened the Northwest Conference baseball season on Saturday, Feb. 28, with a doubleheader sweep against Lewis & Clark College. The Bearcats won 5-0 in the first game and 14-4 in the second game, which ended after eight innings. Willamette is now 4-1 on the season, 2-0 in the Northwest Conference. L&C dropped to 0-6 overall, 0-2 in the NWC.

Ryan Hood-Taylor (So., RHP, Scio, OR/Scio HS) threw six scoreless innings to earn the pitching victory in the first game. He struck out five batters, allowed three walks and gave up just four hits. Grindy is now 2-0 on the season. David Stott (So., RHP, Gervais, OR/Gervais HS) pitched the final three innings for Willamette and received a save after allowing no runs and two hits. He registered two strikeouts.

WU took an early lead with two runs in the top of the first. David Tufo (Sr., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) singled with one out and T.C. Lee (So., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) singled one out later. Tufo scored when Max Stepan (So., DH/C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) reached base on an error. Lee scored on a single by Michael Rierson (Jr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS).

Tufo, who went 3 for 5 during the game, drove in WU's next run in the top of the third inning. His double to right center brought home Ellis Webster (Sr., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito HS). Stepan blasted a two-out homer in the fifth inning to score the final run of the opener.

Willamette outhit L&C, 9-6, in the first game. Tufo's three hits led the way, while Webster went 2 for 4. Ryan Kostecka led the Pioneers with two hits in four at bats.

In the second game, the Bearcats received six innings from starting pitcher Devin Grindy (So., RHP, Wasougal, WA/Seaside HS). He gave up 11 hits and four runs, while allowing just one walk. He received solid offensive support and Willamette held a 10-4 lead when he left the game. Grindy is now 1-0 on the season.

Lewis & Clark took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Jordan Wlodarczyk tripled to start the stanza, then scored on a ground out by A.J. Brown. Kevin Condon provided an RBI single and Parker Dane drove in the other run with a double to right center.

Willamette surged in front by scoring two runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth. Kyle Stalker (Sr., 1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) and Lee each brought in a run with a single in the third inning. Michael Dearborn (So., RF/3B, Solana Beach, CA/Torrey Pines HS) and Webster each sent RBI doubles to center field in the fourth inning.

The Bearcats took charge of the game with five runs in the fifth inning for a 9-3 advantage. Dearborn and Webster each recorded another RBI double to lead the scoring outburst, while Rierson drove in a run with a single to left field. Two runs scored when Mitchell Rowan (Fr., DH/OF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) reached first base on an error. L&C tallied one run in the bottom of the inning, when Michael Ball and Sami Morgan hit back-to-back doubles.

Extra-base hits contributed to scoring by Willamette in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. In the sixth stanza, Lee doubled, moved to third on a balk and scored on a double by Rierson. In the seventh, WU scored three runs, all on a bases-clearing double by Lee. In the eighth, Dearborn tripled to start the inning and scored when Rowan followed with a ground out to shortstop.

Lee was 4 for 5 with four RBIs, two doubles and two runs scored. Dearborn went 3 for 5 with three runs, two doubles, a triple and two RBIs. Rierson finished the game 3 for 5 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs. Webster also belted two doubles to go 2 for 4 with two runs and a pair of runs batted in.

Dane topped L&C's offensive efforts with three hits and an RBI in five at bats. Morgan, Wlodarczyk, and Condon recorded two hits apiece for the Pioneers.

The game featured a total of 13 extra-base hits, including nine by the Bearcats. Willamette outhit Lewis & Clark 15-13 overall.

Willamette and the Pioneers are scheduled to play two more games on Sunday, March 1. Game time for the first contest is set for 11 a.m. (PST).


Willamette University 5
Lewis & Clark College 0

Willamette University 14
Lewis & Clark College 4
8 innings, run rule
T.C. Lee was 4 for 5 with two runs and four RBIs in the second game of the doubleheader.

T.C. Lee was 4 for 5 with two runs and four RBIs in the second game of the doubleheader.

Max Stepan hit a solo home run in the fifth inning of the first game.

Max Stepan hit a solo home run in the fifth inning of the first game.