Ranta Throws Complete Game for GFU, as Bruins Defeat WU, 14-0

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

SALEM, ORE. -- George Fox University pitcher Brian Ranta allowed just five hits while throwing a complete game, as the Bruins downed the Bearcats, 14-0, on Sunday, March 21 at John Lewis Field. The victory allowed GFU to win the Northwest Conference series two games to one.

The Bruins upped their overall record to 12-9, including 5-4 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 6-11 overall, 3-6 in conference play.

Ranta recorded six strikeouts and allowed two walks. He gave up two hits in the bottom of the first inning and one in the second, but limited the Bearcats to two additional hits the rest of the way.

Willamette fell behind early when George Fox plated five unearned runs in the first inning. Josh Burch singled to start the game. Michael Woo hit into an error at shortstop, giving the Bruins runners at first and third. Burch was thrown out at the plate when Sam Stahl hit into a fielder's choice toward third base. Seth Anderson batted next and lined out to right field.

The Bearcats needed an out to end the inning with the game still scoreless, but Jason Brown singled to bring home Woo from second base. Brent Trask added a two-RBI double, and Eric Gantenbein hit a two-run single down the right field line, to complete the five-run inning.

WU threatened to score in the bottom of the first, but was unable to push a run across the plate.

Doug Bloom (Jr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) hit a leadoff single, but was thrown out between first and second after a pick-off move by Ranta. Mitchell Rowan (So., RF/DH, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) followed with another single, while Derek Collins (Fr., 1B, Yorba Linda, CA/Esperanza HS/Fullerton College) received a base on balls.

A fly ball resulted in the second out, and then Max Stepan (Jr., DH/C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) walked to load the bases. Ranta struck out Dylan Summers (So., C, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS) to end the stanza.

GFU tacked on an unearned run in the second inning and Trask homered in the third, as the Bruins increased the lead to 7-0. George Fox plated four runs in the fourth inning on a pair of two-run singles by Gantenbein and Burch. The Bruins added two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth.

For GFU, Brown finished the game 4 for 6 at the plate with two runs and two RBIs. Trask was 2 for 3 with a homer and a double, plus three runs and three RBIs. Burch and Gantenbein each went 3 for 4. GFU earned 17 hits overall.

Five Willamette players registered one hit apiece. Stepan recorded WU's only extra-base tally, a double with two outs in the sixth inning. The double put runners at second at third, but Ranta used a strikeout to keep the shutout intact.

Ranta moved to 3-2 on the season. Willamette's starting pitcher, Jerris Van Hess (Jr., RHP, Aumsville, OR/Cascade HS/Coll. of the Siskiyous) fell to 0-3 with the loss. He threw two innings and gave up six hits, but did not allow a walk or an earned run. Later in the game, Cameron DeLasantos (Fr., LHP, Salinas, CA/Palma HS) of Willamette tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Bearcats return to action next weekend with three games at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 27, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT). WU and PLU will complete the series with one game on Sunday, March 28.

George Fox University 14
Willamette University 0
Max Stepan hit a double against the Bruins on Sunday.

Max Stepan hit a double against the Bruins on Sunday.