Bearcats Open Season with Split against Oregon Tech

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

NAMPA, IDAHO -- Willamette University opened the 2010 baseball season with a split against the Oregon Institute of Technology as the Northwest Nazarene Tournament got underway on Friday, Feb. 19. The Bearcats won the first game, 9-5, but the Owls prevailed in the second game, 3-2.

The Bearcats, who compete in NCAA Division III are 1-1 on the season. Oregon Tech, which is a member of the NAIA, ended the day with a 4-10 overall record.

Willamette will take on Whitworth University on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. (MST)/9 a.m. (PST). WU will conclude the tournament against Northwest Nazarene University on Saturday at 7 p.m. (MST)/6 p.m. (PST).

Dylan Summers (So., C, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS) blasted two solo home runs in Willamette's victory in the first game. He went 2 for 4 and scored three runs. Sky Kelley (Fr., RF, Canby, OR/Jesuit HS) added a two-run homer to help the Bearcats earn the win.

Five Bearcats pounded out two hits apiece in the opener, helping Willamette outhit OIT 13-12. Joining Summers with two hits were T.C. Lee (Jr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS), Mitchell Rowan (So., DH/OF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS), Tim Schilf (So., 3B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) and Kyle Kirwan (Fr., 1B, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS).

Willamette fell behind 2-0 in the first inning of the doubleheader, as Oregon Tech received an RBI single from Colin Stock and an RBI triple from Cory Staniforth. The Bearcats cut the lead in half on a lead-off homer by Summers in the top of the second inning. WU tied the score in the third inning when Doug Bloom (Jr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) tripled and later crossed the plate on a single by Schilf.

Two runs in each of the next two innings gave WU a 6-2 advantage. In the fourth, Summers walked and eventually scored on an error, while Kirwan singled and later reached the plate on a sacrifice fly by Adam Reid (So., CF, San Jose, CA/Lynbrook HS). In the fifth, Lee doubled and scored two batters later on an RBI ground out by Schilf, while Summers smacked his second home run.

The Owls reduced the lead to 6-5 by tallying two runs in the bottom of the fifth and one run in the sixth. Staniforth drove in both of the runs in the fifth with a home run. Wade Elliot opened the bottom of the sixth with a pinch-hit solo home run.

Bloom scored an insurance run for Willamette in the seventh inning. He was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored with one out on a single to left field by Rowan. Kirwan singled to open the eighth stanza and Kelley followed with a two-run homer to complete the scoring.

Starting pitcher Devin Grindy (Jr., RHP, Washougal, WA/Camas HS) threw five innings in the opener and picked up the win. He struck out three batters. Neil Emerson, who started and threw five innings for the Owls, fell to 1-1 with the loss.

In the second game, OIT starter Matt Bellando improved to 1-3 with the win. Bellando and relief pitcher Jody Potter combined to hold Willamette to only four hits. WU reliever Blake Paisley (So., RHP, Saratoga, CA/Saratoga HS) allowed just one run in 1 2/3 innings, but took the loss. Oregon Tech had one hit off Paisley and six hits overall.

OIT plated the first run of Game #2 in the top of the second, when Ryson Mauricio doubled with one out and later scored on a single by Hayden Wolfe.

The Bearcats surged in front, 2-1, with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Galen Duff (Fr., 2B, Spokane, WA/Gonzaga Prep) drove in the first run with a single. Duff scored when Bloom doubled down the right field line.

The Owls put one run on the scoreboard in the fifth to tie the game and added one run in the sixth to take the lead.

Trent Smith doubled in the fifth, went to third on a ground out and scored on another grounder two batters later. In the sixth, Wolfe was hit by a pitch with one out. He stole second, moved to third when Elliot grounded out and crossed the plate on a single by Kory Locken.

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE
Willamette University 9
Oregon Institute of Technology 5
GAME #2 - BOX SCORE
Oregon Institute of Technology 3
Willamette University 2
Dylan Summers smacked two solo home runs and went 2 for 4 with three runs scored in the first game.

Dylan Summers smacked two solo home runs and went 2 for 4 with three runs scored in the first game.