Pacific Lutheran Defeats Bearcats in Two Games on Saturday

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

PARKLAND, WASH. -- Pacific Lutheran University swept a doubleheader from Willamette University on Saturday, March 27 to improve to 16-5 overall, 7-1 in the Northwest Conference. In the opener, the Lutes scored eight runs in the second inning to build a 10-1 lead on their way to a 24-4 win. In the second game, the Lutes plated four runs in the fifth inning to extend a 6-3 lead and went on to a 13-4 victory.

Willamette fell to 6-13 on the season and to 3-8 in the NWC. The teams will complete their weekend series with a game on Sunday, March 28 starting at 12 p.m. (PDT).

The Bearcats took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the first game. Tyson Giza (Fr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) started the inning with a double down the left field line. Giza scored one out later when Mitchell Rowan (So., RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) doubled to left center.

PLU took a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the inning. Both runs scored with two outs on a single up the middle by Ryan Aratani.

The Lutes added eight runs on five hits and two errors in the second inning to take control of the game. Dan Johansen had the big hit of the inning, a bases-loaded double that drove in three runs for a 7-1 lead. Johansen and two other runners scored later in the inning.

Pacific Lutheran finished the game with 23 hits, but had only two extra-base hits -- one double each by Johansen and Elliott Shum. Willamette earned 10 hits during the game.

Aratani led the Lutes in Game #1 by going 5 for 6 with four runs and five RBIs. Six other Lutes chipped in two hits apiece. PLU's starting pitcher, Trey Watt, allowed six hits and two runs in six inning on the mound, while improving to 5-0 on the season.

Doug Bloom (Jr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) of Willamette was 2 for 4 and scored twice. Derek Collins (Fr., 1B, Yorba Linda, CA/Esperanza HS/Fullerton College) also went 2 for 4 and earned one RBI for the Bearcats. WU starter Devin Grindy (Jr., RHP, Washougal, WA/Camas HS) fell to 2-3 with the loss.

In the second game, Pacific Lutheran plated two runs in the second inning. Aratani and Brock Gates scored the runs on a two-out single up the middle by Ethan Ottemiller. The Lutes tacked on two runs in the third inning to claim a 4-0 lead. Gates earned both RBIs with a double to center field.

WU cut the margin in half by scoring two runs of its own in the top of the fourth.

Rowan singled with one out. With two outs, T.C. Lee (Jr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) achieved a base hit and Tim Schilf (So., 3B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Dylan Summers (So., C, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS) brought home Rowan and Lee with a single up the middle.

Designated hitter Jaron Iwakami of PLU hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to extend the Lutes' advantage to 6-2. WU got back one of the runs in the top of the fifth, as Giza singled, stole second and third, and scored on a ground out by Bloom.

The Lutes pulled away with four runs in the bottom of the fifth and three more in the eighth. In the fifth, Gates drove in two runs with a triple and PLU added two runs on sacrifice flies. In the eighth, Moore hit a two-RBI double and the Lutes scored their final run on a sacrifice fly by Ottemiller.

Summers walked and later scored for the Bearcats in the ninth inning. The Bearcats finished with 12 hits, while PLU earned 16 hits.

Giza led Willamette with a 3-for-4 performance plus a run and two stolen bases. Summers was 2 for 3 with a run and two RBIs. Lee also went 2 for 3 and scored once.

For PLU, Gates was 3 for 4 with three runs and four RBIs. Johansen produced three hits and three runs in five at bats, while Aratani was 2 for 2 and tallied four runs.

Robert Bleeker allowed eight hits and struck out five Bearcats to record the win and improve to 4-1. Nathan Eisenhauer registered a save.

Starter Jake Jones (Fr., RHP, Wilsonville, OR/Wilsonville HS) of Willamette pitched 3 1/3 innings and fell to 0-1 with the loss. Blake Paisley (So., RHP, Saratoga, CA/Saratoga HS), the third of four pitchers for WU during the game, tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits.

Pacific Lutheran University 24
Willamette University 4
Pacific Lutheran University 13
Willamette University 4
Doug Bloom went 2 for 4 with two runs scored for Willamette in the first game.

Doug Bloom went 2 for 4 with two runs scored for Willamette in the first game.