Willamette Defeats Pacific 11-10 in 10 Innings in First Game

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University rallied from a 9-3 deficit after 2 1/2 innings and went on to defeat Pacific University 11-10 in 10 innings, in the first game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader at John Lewis Field on Saturday, April 25. Willamette won the second game 8-1 to sweep the doubleheader.

Willamette improved to 19-17 overall, 16-13 in the NWC. Pacific dropped to 19-18 overall, 14-16 in the NWC.

In the first game, Michael Rierson (Jr., OF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the 10th inning. Rierson moved to second on a wild pitch and scored the winning run on a single through the right side of the infield by Michael Dearborn (Solana Beach, CA/Torrey Pines HS) with no outs.

The Boxers had their offense rolling in the first three innings, as they earned nine runs on eight hits. Pacific scored three times in the top of the first, with two of the runs scoring on a single by Brandon Kon.

WU pulled within 3-2 in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Kyle Stalker (Sr., 1B, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) was hit by a pitch and Jack McGee (Sr., DH/3B, Hillsborough, CA/St. Ignatius HS) smacked a double to right center. Stalker scored on a wild pitch and McGee reached home on a single by Mitchell Rowan (Fr., RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS).

A solo homer by Joey Pulito in the second inning gave Pacific a 4-2 edge. Max Stepan (So., C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) of Willamette singled to right in the bottom of the second and later scored on an error to cut the lead to one.

Pacific extended the led to 9-3 with five runs in the top of the third. Nate Rasmussen blasted a two-run homer to start the outburst. Later in the inning, Jeramy Probert hit an RBI double to bring in the final run.

David Stott (So., RHP, Gervais, OR/Gervais HS) went to the mound for WU during the third inning. He pitched five innings overall, and did not allow a run in the fourth, fifth or sixth innings.

Willamette quickly reduced the Boxers' lead in the bottom of the third. The 'Cats plated four runs during the stanza. Stalker drove in the first run with a double. Rowan added another RBI double and Stepan provided an RBI single. T.C. Lee (So., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) walked, moved to second on the hit by Stepan, stole third and scored on a throwing error when the Boxers tried to catch him stealing.

Rowan connected for a two-run double in the fourth to tie the game. David Tufo (Sr., 3B, San Bruno, CA/Burlingame HS) belted a solo homer with one out in the fifth to give WU the lead, 10-9.

Pacific pushed across the tying run in the seventh. Kon singled and was sacrificed to second by Kyle Barksdale. Kon scored on a double by Kevin Schwartz. Stott forced back-to-back outs to end the inning, then gave way to colin Clark (Sr., RHP, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) who pitched the final three innings.

When the 'Cats broke the tie with Rierson's run in the 10th, Clark became the winning pitcher. He struck out two batters, allowed just one hit and improved to 4-1 on the season. Pacific reliever Dan Wolfe dropped to 1-7.

Top hitters for WU in the opener were Dearborn and Rowan. Dearborn went 3 for 5 with one run and one RBI. Rowan was 3 for 5 with a run and four RBIs. McGee, Lee and Stepan each had two hits.

Willamette surged out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning of Game #2 and led 8-0 before Pacific tallied its lone run in the top of the ninth. Andrew Wyman (So., RHP, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) earned the win after throwing five scoreless innings of middle relief. He is 1-1 on the season.

Dan Maslanik (Sr., C, Boulder, CO/Fairview HS) and McGee blasted home runs for WU in the second game. Dearborn and Doug Bloom (So., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) each hit a double during the contest.

Rierson drove in WU's first two runs in the second inning with a single through the left side. Maslanik provided the next two runs with a homer down the right field line. The lead reached 5-0 in the third inning, when Stalker singled, moved to second on a balk and scored on a base hit by Rowan.

Wyman entered the game in the top of the fourth inning and cruised through his five innings by striking out three batters and allowing just two hits and two walks.

Pacific starter Blaine Knuth kept Willamette scoreless in four consecutive innings, until the 'Cats scored three runs on four hits in the eighth. Bloom doubled to right center, Stalker walked and McGee homered to produce the three runs before an out was recorded. Knuth avoided additional damage, but WU's lead was 8-0.

McGee, Rowan and Rierson each went 2 for 4 in Game #2 for Willamette. Pulito was 2 for 3 at the plate for Pacific. His solo homer in the ninth scored the only run for the Boxers. Kaeo Lau Hee went 2 for 4

The Bearcats and Boxers will complete the four-game series with a doubleheader on Sunday, April 26. Action at John Lewis Field is set to begin at 12 p.m. (PDT).

Willamette University 11
Pacific University 10
10 innings
Willamette University 8
Pacific University 1
Michael Rierson scored the winning run in WU's 11-10, extra-inning victory in Game #1.

Michael Rierson scored the winning run in WU's 11-10, extra-inning victory in Game #1.

Mitchell Rowan was 5 for 9 with five RBIs during the doubleheader.

Mitchell Rowan was 5 for 9 with five RBIs during the doubleheader.

Dan Maslanik hit a two-run homer in the second inning of Game #2.

Dan Maslanik hit a two-run homer in the second inning of Game #2.