Oaks Sweep Bearcats in Doubleheader, 5-1 and 12-9

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

SAN BRUNO, CALIF. -- Menlo College defeated Willamette University in both games of a doubleheader on Sunday, March 8, as the Oaks won 5-1 and 12-9 at Skyline College. The wins allowed Menlo to sweep the three-game weekend series.

All three games were played away from the Menlo campus due to wet grounds. On Saturday, the teams played a single game at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, Calif.

The Oaks are 4-7 overall. Willamette is 5-5 on the season.

Each game featured a big inning for Menlo. In the opener, the Oaks scored four runs in the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie. In the second game, Menlo trailed 3-1 after an inning and a half, but tallied seven runs in the bottom of the second. The Oaks added three runs in the third to take a commanding 11-3 lead.

WU starter Devin Grindy (So., RHP, Wasougal, WA/Camas HS) and Menlo starter Brian Priestley kept both teams off the scoreboard during the first four innings of the doubleheader. The only hit against Grindy was a two-out double by Ricky Grech in the third inning. Chris Mazza struck out, leaving Grech at second.

Priestley gave up back-to-back singles to Kyle Stalker (Sr., 1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) and Jack McGee (Sr., 3B/RHP, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) to start the fourth inning. Both runners advanced one base on a sacrifice bunt. Priestley got the Bearcats to hit into a pair of ground outs to end the inning.

Menlo's fourth-inning outburst featured five hits, including an RBI single by John Franco and an RBI double by Grech. Joel Hull also doubled, as he drove in Franco and Grech with the final runs of the inning.

The Oaks added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Hull singled to start the inning, and later scored on a base hit by Shane Parsons. Willamette scored its only run of the game on a solo home run by Max Stepan (So., C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) with one out in the ninth inning.

Willamette managed just five hits in the first game, while Menlo accumulated 12 hits. McGee went 2 for 3 for the Bearcats and hit one double, while Grech was 2 for 3 with two doubles for the Oaks. Hull had two RBIs and scored once for Menlo, while going 2 for 4 at the plate.

The second game featured five home runs and seven doubles. Willamette smacked four of the five homers and connected on four of the seven doubles, but couldn't overcome Menlo's seven-run second inning. The Oaks also claimed an 18-13 advantage in total hits.

Menlo took an early lead when Parsons homered in the bottom of the first inning. WU responded with three runs in the top of the second stanza. McGee drove in one run with a solo homer. After Stepan walked, Michael Rierson (Jr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) brought in two more runs with a homer of his own.

In the bottom of the second, Menlo quickly hit into a pop-up and a ground out, but a single and two walks loaded the bases. Mazza was hit by a pitch to forced in a run. The Oaks added three more singles and a double, as they continued to avoid the third out. Relief pitcher Scott Martin (Jr., RHP, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) picked off a runner at first to end the inning with MC in front, 8-3.

Mazza hit a two-run double in the third inning. Hull added an RBI single, as Menlo increased its lead to a margin of eight runs.

Andrew Wyman (So., RHP, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) went to the mound for WU during the third stanza. After giving up Hull's single, Wyman forced a double play to end the threat. He threw a total of 3 2/3 innings for the 'Cats and did not allow a run.

Willamette cut the lead to 11-5 with two runs in the fifth inning and eventually reduced the difference to three runs at 11-8. The fifth inning rally featured a double by Stalker and McGee's second homer, which drove in both runs. In the eighth, Mitchell Rowan (Fr., LF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) blasted a two-run homer. Stalker added a sacrifice fly to bring home pinch-hitter Tim Schilf (Fr., INF, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School), who singled earlier in the inning.

The Oaks plated one run in the eighth when Franco hit into a sacrifice fly. WU scored the game's final run in the top of the ninth, as Rierson hit a double and later scored on a double by Schilf.

Matt Simpson threw seven inning for Menlo to record the win. He allowed eight hits and four walks, while striking out four Bearcats. Paisley received the loss and fell to 1-2 on the season.

McGee finished the game 2 for 5 with two runs and three RBIs for the Bearcats. He was 4 for 8 during the doubleheader. Rowan went 3 for 5 with a run and two RBIs in the second game, while Rierson finished 2 for 3 with three runs and two RBIs. Schilf was 2 for 2 and Stalker was 2 for 4.

Hull, Parsons and von Sonn each registered three hits for Menlo in Game #2. Hull also drove in three runs. Mazza went 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

Willamette will host George Fox University in a Northwest Conference series at John Lewis Field in Salem, Ore., on Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15. The teams will play two 9-inning games on Saturday, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT). On Sunday, the schedule calls for two 7-inning games, also starting at 12 p.m. Last year, Willamette and the Bruins split a four-game series.

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE
Menlo College 5
Willamette University 1
GAME #2 - BOX SCORE
Menlo College 12
Willamette University 9
Jack McGee hit two home runs in the final game of the series against Menlo.

Jack McGee hit two home runs in the final game of the series against Menlo.