Stalker Blasts Two Homers in 5-2 Win over Corban

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University first baseman Kyle Stalker (Sr., Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) hit two home runs, and five pitchers combined to hold Corban College to two runs and eight hits, as the Bearcats defeated the Warriors, 5-2, at John Lewis Field on Tuesday, April 7. Stalker blasted a solo homer to center field in the fifth inning and smacked another ball over the center field fence for a solo home run in the eighth inning.

The Bearcats improved to 13-11 with the win over their cross-town rivals. Corban fell to 9-23 on the season.

Stalker finished the game 3 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. He drove in WU's first run with a single in the bottom of the first inning.

His two home runs gave him nine for the season and increased his WU career record to 45. He also extended his school record for RBIs to 145 in his career.

Head Coach Aaron Swick of Willamette planned to use several pitchers during the mid-week game. Starter Scott Martin (Jr., RHP, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) threw the first six innings, allowed just three hits and left the game with a 2-0 lead. Martin received the win and is 1-0 on the season.

David Stott (So., RHP, Gervais, OR/Gervais HS) threw the next three innings for WU, then Casey Spink (Fr., RHP, Eagle River, AK/Chugiak HS) and Colin Clark (Sr., RHP, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) each pitched one inning. Jack McGee (Sr., RHP/3B, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) tossed the ninth inning and faced just three batters to record his second save of the season.

Doug Bloom (Fr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) made several outstanding plays moving to his left and right to stop ground balls. He finished the game with seven assists and five putouts. Tony Salamone of Corban recorded a diving catch in left field for the Warriors.

WU took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Michael Dearborn (So., CF, Solana Beach, CA/Torrey Pines HS) led off with a single up the middle. One out later, he stole second base. McGee, who was the designated hitter until called upon to pitch in the ninth inning, received a walk. Stalker drove in Dearborn with a single to right center.

A wild pitch allowed McGee to move to third and Stalker to advance to second. Mitchell Rowan (Fr., RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) sent a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in McGee with the second run.

Corban cut the margin to 2-1 with a run in the top of the fifth. Cameron Meier singled to left field with one out. Josh Warner powered a double into the left field corner, allowing Meier to score. WU increased the lead to 3-1 on Stalker's first homer in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the seventh, the Warriors again reduced the deficit to a single run. Warner sent a double into left field with two outs. Trevor Winsor added an RBI single to right field, driving Warner across the plate.

WU added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Stalker opened the stanza with his second homer of the game. One out later, lee singled to center field. He moved to third on a double by Max Stepan (So., C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) and scored when David Tufo (Sr., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) hit a sacrifice fly to left field.

Stalker's three hits led all players. Lee finished the game 2 for 4 at the plate with a run scored for Willamette. Five other Bearcats recorded one hit apiece. For Corban, Warner led the way with a 2-for-5 effort. He belted two doubles, scored one run and achieved one RBI.

The Bearcats will host their Northwest Conference rivals from the University of Puget Sound in a four-game series this weekend. The teams will play two 9-inning games on Friday, April 10, followed by two 7-inning games on Saturday, April 11. Action is set to get underway at 12 p.m. (PDT) each day.

Willamette University 5
Corban College 2
Kyle Stalker has 45 career home runs after hitting two solo shots in Willamette's win over Corban.

Kyle Stalker has 45 career home runs after hitting two solo shots in Willamette's win over Corban.