George Fox Rallies Past Bearcats for 14-10 Win

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University led George Fox University into the eighth inning, but the Bruins tallied eight runs in their final two at bats to defeat the Bearcats, 14-10, in a Northwest Conference game at John Lewis Field on Friday, March 13. Left fielder Matt Wyckoff of GFU hit three home runs, including a grand slam in the fourth inning.

George Fox improved to 12-3 on the season, 9-0 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 5-6 overall, including 3-2 in the NWC

The Bearcats led 8-6 after David Tufo (Sr., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) singled home Mitchell Rowan (Fr., RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) with two outs in the seventh inning. GFU responded with five runs in the top of the eight inning, including a two-run homer by Wyckoff that tied the score. The go-ahead run was recorded by Pat Bailey, who followed Wyckoff with a double and scored on a single by Dan Winterstein.

Relief pitcher Chad Jones, who threw the fourth through eighth innings for the Bruins, improved to 2-0 with the win. David Stott (So., RHP, Gervais, OR/Gervais HS), 0-1, took the loss for Willamette.

Wyckoff earned eight RBIs for the Bruins -- seven on his three homers and one on a single in the ninth inning. He finished the game 5 for 5 at the plate, while scoring five runs. Seth Anderson also hit a homer for GFU.

Willamette smacked a total of three home runs. Tufo blasted a three-run homer that gave WU a 6-2 lead in the third inning. T.C. Lee (So., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) hit a solo homer in the eighth inning and Michael Rierson (Jr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) added a solo shot in the ninth.

The 'Cats surged out to a 2-1 lead in the first inning. Wyckoff earned a base hit and later scored for GFU in the top of the inning. Doug Bloom (So., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem, HS) singled to open the bottom of the stanza.

Two outs later, with Bloom at second, Kyle Stalker (Sr., 1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) hit an RBI single to right field. Jack McGee (Sr., RHP/DH, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) and Rowan provided back-to-back singles through the infield to drive Stalker around the bases with the second run.

Wyckoff's solo homer in the third inning pulled the Bruins into a 2-2- tie. In the bottom of the third, WU used a leadoff walk to Stalker, plus two singles, a sacrifice fly and Tufo's three-run homer to tally four runs. Rierson and Rowan registered the singles to load the bases. Dan Maslanik (Sr., C, Boulder, CO/Fairview HS) hit the sacrifice fly that scored Stalker from third.

The Bruins tied the game a second time with four unearned runs in the top of the fourth. All of the runs were scored with two outs. Brent Trask walked and Taylor Hunter singled. Kyle Kuenzi reached base on a fielding error and Wyckoff drove in all four runs with a grand slam to right field.

In the bottom of the fourth, Michael Dearborn (So., LF, Solana Beach, CA/Torrey Pines HS) doubled for the Bearcats. Stalker followed with an RBI single to left, allowing Dearborn to give WU a 5-4 lead. Stalker advanced to second on a balk with one out, but the 'Cats were unable to score again during the inning.

Willamette added an insurance run when the Bearcats took advantage of an error by GFU third baseman Pat Bailey in the seventh inning. Rowan reached first base on the error and later stole second base. With two outs, Tufo drove in Rierson with a single to center field.

George Fox sent eight batters to the plate in the top of the eighth. With one out, Kuenzi doubled to center. Wyckoff knotted the game at 6-6 with his third homer of the afternoon. Pinch-hitter Cody Curtin lined out to Ellis Webster (Sr., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito Academy) for the second out, but Bailey doubled and later scored on Winterstein's single. Seth Anderson brought in two runs with a homer to left field.

Kuenzi was 3 for 6 at the plate for GFU. He also scored three runs. Bailey and Anderson each recorded two hits for the Bruins.

Four Bearcats registered two hits apiece. Dearborn and Stalker went 2 for 4. Stalker scored twice and had two RBIs. Rowan and Rierson each provided a 2-for-5 performance with two runs and an RBI.

The teams will continue the series on Saturday, March 14 with a doubleheader. The first game on Saturday, scheduled for nine innings, will start at 12 p.m. (PDT). The second game, set for seven innings, will follow. WU and GFU will conclude the series with a single 7-inning game on Sunday, March 15.

George Fox University 14
Willamette University 10
David Tufo hit a three-run homer for Willamette in the third inning.

David Tufo hit a three-run homer for Willamette in the third inning.