Bloom Scores Winning Run in Seventh Inning, as Bearcats Defeat Boxers 12-11 in Game #1

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Doug Bloom (So., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) scored from second base on a single by Jack McGee (Sr., RHP/UTIL, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Willamette University defeated Pacific University, 12-11, in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, April 26. The Bearcats trailed 11-10 after Pacific's Joey Pulito hit a grand slam in the top of the seventh, but WU answered with two runs to win the game.

The Bearcats also won the second game, 16-9. Willamette hit four homers during the contest. Bloom provided two of the homers, including a grand slam.

WU swept the four-game series with the Boxers. The Bearcats concluded the season with a 21-17 overall record, including 18-13 (4th place) in the Northwest Conference. Willamette was 16-6 in its final 22 games. Pacific ended the year at 19-20 overall, 14-18 in the NWC.

In the first game, Willamette broke a 6-6 tie in the sixth inning when Colin Clark (Sr., OF/RHP, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) smacked a grand slam, but the Boxers countered with five runs in the next half inning. Kyle Barksdale drove in one run with a sacrifice fly and Pulito's home run completed the scoring for Pacific.

Ellis Webster (Sr., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito Academy) started Willamette's final at bat with a single through the left side. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Dearborn (So., CF, Solana Beach, CA/Torrey Pines HS) and scored when Bloom reached base on an error by second baseman Frankie Guros.

Relief pitcher Nate Rasmussen, who started the seventh inning for the Boxers, intentionally walked Kyle Stalker (Sr., 1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS), moving Bloom to second. McGee followed with the game-wining single.

The opener featured 15 hits for Willamette and 13 by Pacific. The teams combined to blast six home runs during the game.

In addition to the grand slam by Clark, the Bearcats also benefited from two homers by Stalker and one homer from T.C. Lee (So., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS). Stalker's first home run was the 50th of his career and the second was his 15th of the season. In addition to Pulito's grand slam, the Boxers also received a home run from Rasmussen.

Pacific held leads of 4-1 and 6-3 in the first game, but WU rallied each time. Two runs in the bottom of the third inning on homers by Stalker and Lee, pulled the 'Cats to within 4-3. One inning later, Willamette plated three runs for a 6-6 tie. Stalker drove in two of the runs with a homer to right field and Clark drove in the other run with a double.

Stalker was 3 for 4 during the game with three runs and three RBIs. McGee went 3 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Webster was 2 for 2 with a walk and Lee went 2 for 3. Kevin Schwartz paced Pacific by going 3 for 4 with three runs and a pair of RBIs.

Willamette continued to pound the ball in Game #2. Bloom led the way with a three-run homer down the right field line during a six-run second inning, plus his grand slam in the fourth stanza. He was 2 for 5 with three runs and seven RBIs.

Dearborn added a solo homer to score the last run of the second inning, as WU took a 7-1 lead. Bloom's grand slam gave the Bearcats an 11-3 advantage.

Pacific scored twice in the top of the fifth, with both runs crossing the plate on a single by Nick McNeely. WU responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning, on an RBI single by McGee and a three-run homer by Clark, as the 'Cats claimed a 15-5 lead. The Boxers plated three runs in the sixth -- two on a single by Rasmussen, but it wasn't enough to catch Willamette.

WU accumulated 16 hits in the second game. Bloom was joined by six other Bearcats with two hits apiece.

In addition to seven RBIs from Bloom, the Bearcats also received multiple RBIs from Clark with three, and Dearborn and Webster with two. Webster finished the doubleheader 4 for 4 with three runs, three RBIs and three walks.

For Pacific in the second game, Rasmussen and McNeely were 3 for 4. Rasmussen tallied three runs to go with two RBIs. McNeely scored once and drove in three runs.

Willamette's nine seniors were honored prior to the doubleheader: Clark, McGee, Stalker, Webster, Jake Atwell-Scrivner (IF, Bellevue, WA/Newport HS), Dan Maslanik (C, Boulder, CO/Fairview HS), Kelsey Nakata (RHP, Mililani, HI/Mililani HS), Kirk Struble (IF, Bozeman, MT/Bozeman HS) and David Tufo (IF, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS).

All of the seniors were included in the starting lineup for the opener. They combined to go 12 of 23 in the first game and 21 of 40 (.525) during the doubleheader.

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE
Willamette University 12
Pacific University 11
GAME #2 - BOX SCORE
Willamette University 16
Pacific University 9
Doug Bloom scored the winning run in Game #1 and then hit two homers, including a grand slam, in Game #2.

Doug Bloom scored the winning run in Game #1 and then hit two homers, including a grand slam, in Game #2.

Colin Clark hit a grand slam in the opener and a three-run homer in the second game.

Colin Clark hit a grand slam in the opener and a three-run homer in the second game.

Kyle Stalker smacked two homers in the first game to finish his career with 51 home runs.

Kyle Stalker smacked two homers in the first game to finish his career with 51 home runs.

Ellis Webster was 4 for 4 on offense during the doubleheader.

Ellis Webster was 4 for 4 on offense during the doubleheader.