Lewis & Clark Outscores Bearcats, 15-10

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Lewis & Clark College broke a 10-10 tie with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and shut down Willamette University in the top of the ninth, as the Pioneers defeated the Bearcats, 15-10, on Wednesday, March 31. The Northwest Conference rivals were playing a rare non-conference match-up. L&C improved to 9-13 overall, while Willamette moved to 7-14 on the season.

Willamette rallied from deficits of 9-2 and 10-6 to tie the game with four runs in the top of the eighth. L&C responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning on a double and two singles. The Pioneers also took advantage of four walks during the stanza -- the only walks allowed by Willamette during the game.

Parker Dane walked to start the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tucker Laurence. Dane stole third base, and then scored the go-ahead run on a double by Nate Grisham. A wild pitch moved Grisham to third.

After Jim Bray walked, Grisham scored on a single by Andrew Frisina. The next two batters walked to force in the third run of the inning. Guiseppe Baffaro completed the rally by driving in two runs with a single to right field.

It was the second big inning of the game for the Pioneers, who plated seven runs in the fifth to break a 2-2 tie. L&C recorded the seven runs on eight hits, including a leadoff double by Roland Greene, a two-RBI double by Grisham and a two-run homer by Bray. It was Bray's second homer of the game after he tied the score with a solo shot in the fourth inning.

Willamette batters walked 12 times and the Bearcats supplemented the free passes with six hits. T.C. Lee (Jr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) walked and later scored the game's first run on a sacrifice fly by Galen Duff (Fr., 2B, Spokane, WA/Gonzaga Prep) in the second inning.

The Bearcats took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning after Mitchell Rowan (Jr., DH/RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) walked, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Rowan crossed the plate two batters later when Max Stepan (Jr., C, Pueblo, CA/Pueblo County HS) hit into a fielder's choice.

After L&C took a 9-2 lead, Willamette battled back. Sky Kelley (Fr., RF, Canby, OR/Jesuit HS) singled and eventually scored in the sixth inning.

With one out in the seventh, Doug Bloom (Jr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) was hit by a pitch and stole second. Rowan walked and went to second on a double steal. Bloom scored on a ground out by Derek Collins (Fr., 1B, Yorba Linda, CA/Esperanza HS/Fullerton College) and Rowan came home when Stepan reached base on an error. Kelley completed the three-run inning with an RBI single, as WU pulled within 9-6.

Greene drove in a run for L&C with a double in the bottom of the seventh, but the Bearcats countered with four runs to tie the score in the top of the eighth.

Lee singled, Duff walked, and Bloom was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Rowan drove in all three runs with a double to center field. Rowan went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Stepan.

Lewis & Clark's five-run eighth inning helped the Pioneers finish with 16 hits. Greene led the way by going 4 for 4 at the plate. He scored twice and drove in two runs.

Baffaro was 3 for 4 with a run and three RBIs. Bray went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Grisham also drove in three runs, as he went 2 for 5 and scored twice.

For Willamette, Rowan's double was his only hit in three at bats, but he walked twice, scored three times and earned three RBIs. Stepan also had just one hit, but walked once and earned three RBIs. Lee was 2 for 4 and scored two runs, while Kelley went 2 for 5 with a run and an RBI. Collins led all players with four walks.

Relief pitcher Ad Rager was the winning pitcher. He moved to 1-4 on the season. Parker Johnson (Fr., RHP, Carlsbad, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) took the loss for Willamette and fell to 0-2.

The Bearcats will host a three-game Northwest Conference series with Pacific University on Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3. On Friday, the teams are scheduled to play one game at 3 p.m. (PDT). On Saturday, the Bearcats and the Boxers will play a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE
Lewis & Clark College 15
Willamette University 10
Mitchell Rowan smacked a bases-loaded double to center field in the top of the eighth.

Mitchell Rowan smacked a bases-loaded double to center field in the top of the eighth.