George Fox Defeats Bearcats in NWC Doubleheader

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

SALEM, ORE. -- George Fox University, ranked #21 in NCAA Division III, improved to 26-7 on the season by sweeping a doubleheader from Willamette University, 15-1 and 16-1, on Tuesday, April 14 at John Lewis Field. The Bruins also upped their NWC record to 21-3.

Willamette fell to 15-15 overall, including 12-11 in the NWC. The doubleheader involved games that were originally scheduled for March 15, but were postponed due to the weather.

George Fox surged out to a 5-0 lead in the first game by tallying five runs in the top of the third inning. The Bruins recorded four hits during the stanza, including a two-RBI double by Seth Anderson. GFU added five additional runs in the fourth inning on five hits and one error.

Doug Bloom (So., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) put Willamette on the scoreboard by smacking a solo home run to right field with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. George Fox produced four runs in the sixth inning and tacked on one run in the seventh.

WU finished the game with six hits, including a 2-for-3 effort from Ellis Webster (Sr., 2B, Carlsbad, CA/San Dieguito HS). Jack McGee (Sr., 1B/3B, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) and Kyle Stalker (Sr., DH/1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) each went 1 for 2.

Stalker was intentionally walked with two outs in the second inning after McGee doubled to right field. GFU starter Nick Bratney forced Mitchell Rowan (Fr., RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) to fly out to end the inning, as the Bruins prevented the Bearcats from taking an early lead.

George Fox finished Game #1 with 17 hits. The Bruins were credited with seven doubles during the game. Catcher Brent Trask was 3 for 4 with a run and two RBIs. Anderson, Dan Winterstein and Taylor Hunter contributed two doubles apiece.

Chad Jones, who pitched the fourth inning, was the winner for GFU. He improved to 4-1 overall. Kyle Johnson threw the final three innings for the Bruins to earn his first save. Willamette starter Scott Martin (Jr., RHP, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) fell to 1-1 on the season.

The Bruins produced 11 runs in the first three innings of the second game. The first inning included five hits by George Fox, plus two Willamette errors, as GFU earned five runs. Anderson had the only extra-base hit of the inning, an RBI double through the left side of the infield.

In the bottom of the first, Rowan walked with two outs and McGee singled, but the 'Cats were unable to score.

After bringing in two runs in the second stanza, the Bruins plated four runs in the third. One run scored when Matt Wyckoff doubled down the right field line. Two runs crossed the plate on a home run by Bo Thunell and one run scored on a homer by Pat Bailey.

The Bruins added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, before plating three runs in the seventh. George Fox accumulated 18 hits during the game, including three homers.

Willamette's run was scored by Adam Reid (Fr., OF, San Jose, CA/Lynbrook HS) in the bottom of the seventh. He singled down the right field line, then moved to third when Ross Knutson (So., C, Warrenton, OR/Seaside HS) belted a double down the left field line with one out. Reid scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the inning.

WU connected for a total of seven hits in Game #2. Reid was 2 for 3 for the Bearcats, while Michael Rierson (Jr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) went 2 for 4. McGee was 1 for 2, as he completed the day 2 for 4 at the plate.

Winterstein was 4 for 5 with a homer, three runs and three RBIs for the Bruins. Kyle Kuenzi scored four runs for GFU, while Thunell registered three RBIs to go with two runs scored.

Middle reliever Travis Schroeder (5-2) was the winning pitcher for George Fox. Devin Grindy (So., RHP, Wasougal, WA/Camas HS) received the loss for Willamette and moved to 3-5 overall.

The Bearcats will play Linfield College in a four-game NWC series in McMinnville, Ore., this weekend. The teams will play two 9-inning games on Saturday, April 18, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT). They will conclude the series with two 7-inning games on Sunday, April 19, with first pitch slated for 12 p.m.

George Fox University 15
Willamette University 1
George Fox University 16
Willamette University 1
WU shortstop Doug Bloom blasted a solo home run in the first game.

WU shortstop Doug Bloom blasted a solo home run in the first game.

Jack McGee follows through on a swing. He is batting .407 for the season.

Jack McGee follows through on a swing. He is batting .407 for the season.