Bearcats Win First Game, 13-3, Drop Second Game to Whitman, 10-9

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

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Willamette University rolled past Whitman College, 13-3, in the first game of their Northwest Conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 17, but the Missionaries rallied with four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the second game, 10-9. Willamette ended the doubleheader with an 11-19 overall record, including 7-10 in the NWC. Whitman moved to 4-27 overall, 4-16 in the NWC.

In the first game, Willamette starting pitcher Devin Grindy (Jr., RHP, Washougal, WA/Camas HS) went eight innings for the Bearcats. He allowed just three runs and six hits, while recording five strikeouts and no walks.

Grindy improved to 3-4 on the season. He gave up only one extra-base hit, a double by Erik Korsmo in the fourth inning. Reliever Andrew Wyman (Jr., RHP Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) recorded one strikeout and forced two fly outs to close out the game in the bottom of the ninth.

While Grindy and Wyman were keeping the Missionaries in check, the WU offense was amassing 16 hits. The Bearcats finished the game with six doubles, including two by catcher Max Stepan (Jr., Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS).

Willamette tallied single runs in each of the first three innings to build a 3-0 advantage. Tyson Giza (Fr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) opened the game with a walk. He stole second base, advanced to third on throwing error by the catcher, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Doug Bloom (Jr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS).

In the second inning, Sky Kelley (Fr., RF, Canby, OR/Jesuit HS) singled and later scored on a double by T.C. Lee (Jr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS). Bloom singled with one out in the third, and eventually scored on a single by Derek Collins (Fr., 1B, Yorba Linda, CA/Esperanza HS/Fullerton College).

Whitman cut the lead to 3-1 when Mitch Hannoosh scored in the bottom of the third. With one out, Hannoosh singled. A base hit by Patrick Stauffer and a passed ball advanced Hannoosh to third. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Jay Richards.

The Bearcats took control of the game with five runs in the fourth inning, as WU's lead increased to 8-1. Willamette sent 10 batters to the plate during the stanza, as the 'Cats took advantage of three hits, three walks and a hit batsman.

Stepan doubled to left field to start the inning. Three consecutive walks -- issued to Lee, Michael Oliver (So., 3B, Seattle, WA/West Seattle HS) and Eli Kass (Fr., 2B, Santa Cruz, CA/Santa Cruz HS) -- drove in Stepan and left the bases loaded.

Giza singled to right to bring in Lee with the second run of the inning. Mitchell Rowan (So., DH/RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) recorded the next RBI on a fielder's choice. With two outs, Kelley hit a two-RBI single to left field to complete the rally.

The Missionaries scored twice in the bottom of the fourth, but the Bearcats plated two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to take a 12-3 lead. Bloom belted a double to left center to drive in both of Willamette's runs in the fifth. In the sixth, Collins doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch, while Oliver added an RBI single.

Kelley was 4 for 5 for WU. He scored three runs and registered two RBIs. Oliver went 2 for 3, had two RBIs and earned one run. Bloom finished 2 for 5 with three RBIs and a run scored, while Collins and Stepan recorded two hits apiece. No one had more than one hit for Whitman in the opener.

Each team put runs on the scoreboard in the first inning of Game #2, as Willamette took a 3-2 lead. Collins provided the Bearcats with an RBI single, while Dylan Summers (So., C, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS) pounded a triple to right center to power in the next two runs. Both of Whitman's runs scored on a two-RBI single by left fielder Jason Sease.

The Missionaries scored once in the second to tie the game until Willamette put across four runs in the fifth. Bloom singled, stole two bases and scored on a sacrifice fly by Collins. Kelley doubled with two outs and reached home on a single by Summers. Lee and Oliver also contributed RBI singles.

Whitman pulled within 7-6 by scoring three times in the bottom of the fifth. Sease supplied an RBI single for the Missionaries, who benefited from three hits, two walks and a hit batter during the stanza.

Lee tripled to start the ninth inning for WU. Oliver singled to drive in Lee. Mikey Lemon (Jr., UT, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS/Linfield College) pinch-ran for Oliver and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Giza.

The Missionaries overcame a 9-6 deficit with four runs in their final at bat of the day.

Joe Rodhouse doubled and Weeks followed with a home run to cut the lead to 9-8. With one out, Whitman used a single by Stauffer and a double by Richards to put runners at second and third. Eric Tolleson drove in Stauffer with a single to tie the game.

Korsmo walked to load the bases. Blaine Mercado earned the game-winning RBI with a single to left, as Richards crossed the plate.

John Nortz (2-0) received the win. He threw the final 4 1/3 innings for Whitman and gave up just two runs. WU reliever Parker Johnson (Fr., RHP, Carlsbad, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) fell to 0-3 with the loss.

Richards was 4 for 4 with two runs and an RBI for Whitman in Game #2. Weeks went 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs. Six Missionaries had two or more hits during the game.

Willamette also had six players with two or more hits. For the Bearcats, Oliver was 3 for 5 with two RBIs. Summers finished 2 for 5, drove in three runs and scored once. Lee and Kelley each achieved two hits and two runs.

The Bearcats and the Missionaries will conclude the series with one game on Sunday, April 18. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT).

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE

Whitman College 13
Willamette University 3

GAME #2 - BOX SCORE
Whitman College 10
Willamette University 9
Devin Grindy threw eight strong innings to help lead Willamette to a 13-3 win in the first game.

Devin Grindy threw eight strong innings to help lead Willamette to a 13-3 win in the first game.

Sky Kelley was 4 for 5 with three runs and two RBIs in the opener.

Sky Kelley was 4 for 5 with three runs and two RBIs in the opener.