Dearborn Hits Three-Run Homer in 6-5 Win over Puget Sound

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Michael Dearborn (So., CF, Solana Beach, CA/Torrey Pines HS) of Willamette University smacked a three-run homer in the fourth inning to give WU a 3-0 lead, and the Bearcats went on to defeat the University of Puget Sound, 6-5, in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday, April 10 at John Lewis Field. Puget Sound scored five runs in the first inning of the second game and defeated the Bearcats, 20-5, to split the twinbill.

Willamette is 14-12 overall, 11-8 in the Northwest Conference. Puget Sound is 10-15 on the season, 7-10 in the NWC.

WU and UPS will play another doubleheader on Saturday, April 11, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT). Both games are scheduled for seven innings. The teams played two 9-inning games on Friday.

Dearborn's homer broke a scoreless deadlock. All three runners who reached home on the play batted with two outs. David Tufo (Sr., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) was hit by a pitch. Ellis Webster (Sr., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito Academy) reached base on an error by shortstop Andrew Grady. Dearborn sent the ball over the left field fence. It was his second homer of the season.

WU starting pitcher Kelsey Nakata (Sr., RHP, Mililani, CA/Mililani HS) did not give up a run until the sixth inning, when Will Mentor hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Travis Hernandez. In the seventh inning, Nakata gave up a single to Doug Cox, who advanced to third on a wild throw in a pick-off play. David Thirlby doubled to bring home Cox.

Colin Clark replaced Nakata on the mound. After allowing Thirlby to reach third on a wild pitch, Clark got Grady to fly out, but Gregg Ringold followed with a sacrifice fly to right field. Thirlby scored to tie the game. Dakota Resnik grounded out to end the stanza.

Nakata gave up just one hit in the first five innings. Overall, he allowed four hits, two walks and three runs in six-plus innings. He registered two strikeouts.

Willamette pulled back into the lead with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Walks issued to Dearborn and Doug Bloom (So., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS), plus a single by Jack McGee (Sr., DH/RHP, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) loaded the bases with one out.

Kyle Stalker (Sr., 1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) sent a ground ball to Hernandez at second base. The Loggers had a chance for a double play, and began the attempt by throwing out McGee on his way to second. The relay throw by Grady was wide of first base.

Stalker reached first base and also went to second on the play. He received an RBI for Dearborn's run. Bloom also scored. Stalker crossed the plate for a 6-3 lead when Mitchell Rowan (Fr., RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) hit a single to right field.

Puget Sound pulled within one run by scoring twice in the top of the eighth. Hernandez singled to right center to start the inning and catcher Mark Rockey homered to left field. McGee moved from designated hitter to the mound and ended the inning four batters later without allowing the tying run. He earned two strikeouts in the inning.

In the top of the ninth, McGee struck out Casey Coberly to start the inning. Ringold singled, but Resnik hit a line drive to Bloom at shortstop that resulted in a double play to end the game.

Clark (2-1) recorded the win for Willamette. McGee struck out three batters in two innings and achieved his third save of the season. Tim Fogarty of UPS fell to 3-2 with the loss.

McGee was 2 for 5 at the plate. Dearborn went 1 for 2 with two runs and three RBIs. Rockey was 2 for 4 with a run and two RBIs for Puget Sound.

The Loggers struck for five runs with two outs in the first inning of the second game. Rockey connected for his second homer of the day to start the rally. After three consecutive walks, Jason Powell cleared the bases with a double down the left field line. Grady added an RBI single.

UPS tacked on three runs in the top of the second, before Willamette earned two runs in the bottom of the inning. All three runs for the Loggers scored on a homer by Matt Cox. For WU, Rowan was hit by a pitch and T.C. Lee (So., Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) belted a home run to center field.

Both teams scored three times in the third inning, leaving Puget Sound with an 11-5 advantage. Willamette's runs were registered on RBI singles by Stalker and Lee, plus an RBI fielder's choice by Tufo.

Puget Sound pulled away with six runs in the sixth inning, two in the seventh, and one in the ninth. Powell was 4 for 5 with three runs and seven RBIs in the game. Mentor was 3 for 5 and scored four times. Grady was 3 for 5 with three RBIs.

Lee led WU with two hits in three at bats. He scored one run and drove in two. Bloom was 1 for 3 with a double.

James Lane threw the first seven innings for UPS and improved to 2-1. Starter Chris Torgerson of Willamette moved to 1-2 with the loss.

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE
Willamette University 6
University of Puget Sound 5
GAME #2 - BOX SCORE
University of Puget Sound 20
Willamette University 5
Michael Dearborn scored twice and drove in three runs as the Bearcats won the first game.

Michael Dearborn scored twice and drove in three runs as the Bearcats won the first game.

Colin Clark was the winning pitcher for Willamette in Game #1.

Colin Clark was the winning pitcher for Willamette in Game #1.