Bearcats Fall to Top-Ranked Warriors, 10-3

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Lewis-Clark State College scored four runs on four hits in the seventh inning to pull away from Willamette University in a 10-3 victory over the Bearcats on Sunday, April 11. The Warriors, ranked #1 in the NAIA, used the big inning to turn a 5-2 lead into a seven-run advantage, helping LCSC improve to 31-2 on the season. Willamette ended the day at 9-18 overall.

T.C. Lee (Jr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) went 3 for 4 at the plate for Willamette. Mitchell Rowan (So., DH/RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) blasted a solo home run for the Bearcats and finished 1 for 3 with a run and two RBIs.

Trent Bridges and Josh Ashenbrenner led the way for Lewis-Clark State. Bridges went 3 for 5, scored two runs and earned one RBI. Ashenbrenner, who gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead with a homer to right field in the first inning, was 2 for 4, with three RBIs and two runs scored.

LCSC added another run in the first inning on a two-out solo home run by Brian Burke. It was Burke's 14th home run of the season.

Willamette pulled within 3-1 in the bottom of the first. Tyson Giza (Fr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) smacked an opposite-field double down the left field line to start the inning. Bloom supplied a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher, as Giza went to third. Derek Collins (Fr., Yorba Linda, CA/Esperanca HS/Fullerton College) drove in Giza by hitting a single through the right side of the infield.

The next two runs were tallied by Lewis-Clark in the fourth inning. Gino Casini opened the stanza with a single. He stole second, reached third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. Will Thorp followed with a single and scored later in the inning on a single by Bridges.

Lee put up WU's second run by placing a single down the left field line and eventually working his way around the bases in the bottom of the fourth. Lee stole second, reached third on a balk and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Oliver (So., 3B, Seattle, WA/West Seattle HS).

LCSC continued to lead 5-2 as neither team scored in the fifth or the sixth. The Warriors pieced together their big inning in the seventh to built a 9-2 advantage. Andy Matthews and Kawika Emsley-Pai each hit an RBI single during the inning. Kevin Lovelace drove in the last two runs of the inning on a single to left center.

Each team plated one run in the eighth to complete the scoring. Lewis-Clark's run was scored by Thorp, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning and scored two outs and five batters later on a single by Danny Anguiano. Willamette's run was contributed by Rowan with his team-leading seventh homer to lead off the bottom of the stanza.

Lewis-Clark went with a pre-arranged pitching schedule, which resulted in starter Colby Hawk (5-0) earning the win. Hawk struck out two batters, allowed three hits and gave up one run in two innings. A total of five Warriors pitched during the game.

Chris Torgerson (Jr., RHP, Sacramento, CA/Jesuit HS), who started on the mound for WU, went five complete innings and allowed seven hits and five runs. He moved to 4-3 with the loss.

Four relievers pitched for the Bearcats, including Blake Paisley (So., RHP, Saratoga, CA/Saratoga HS), who held LCSC without a hit or a run in the sixth inning. Parker Johnson (Fr., RHP, Carlsbad, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) allowed one hit and no runs in the ninth.

Willamette will play nearby rival Corban College on Tuesday, April 13. Game time on the Corban campus is set for 4 p.m. (PDT). The Bearcats will take on Northwest Conference rival Whitman College in a three-game series in Walla Walla, Wash., on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25.

Lewis-Clark State College 10
Willamette University 3
T.C. Lee achieved three hits in four at bats on Sunday. He is batting .352 for the season.

T.C. Lee achieved three hits in four at bats on Sunday. He is batting .352 for the season.