Boxers Edge Bearcats, 6-5, in Non-Conference Game

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Pacific University scored two runs in the seventh inning to pull into the lead, then held Willamette University scoreless in the final two innings, as the Boxers defeated the Bearcats, 6-5, on Wednesday, April 28 at Chuck Bafaro Stadium. The game was non-conference action for the two Northwest Conference teams, as Pacific moved to 15-24 on the season, while Willamette dropped to 14-21.

Willamette held a 2-0 advantage after one inning and led 3-1 heading into the bottom of the third. Later, the teams recorded three lead changes between the fifth inning and the seventh inning.

Tyson Giza (Fr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) and Doug Bloom (Jr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) opened the game with back-to-back hits. Mitchell Rowan (So., DH/RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) walked to load the bases.

Giza scored on a sacrifice fly by Derek Collins (Fr., 1B, Yorba Linda, CA/Esperanza HS/Fullerton Coll.), while Bloom advanced to third base on the play. Bloom tallied WU's second run when Sky Kelley (Fr., RF, Canby, OR/Jesuit HS) grounded out to shortstop.

Jeremy Probert of Pacific doubled to start the bottom of the second. He cut the lead to 2-1 when he scored later in the inning on a single by catcher Scott Rowland.

WU went up by two runs in the top of the third. Giza hit an infield single to start the inning. He stole second base and eventually stole third base. He scored when Rowan sent a ground ball to second base for the second out of the inning.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the fifth, when the Pacific scored three times to move into the lead.All of the damage came after the first two batters in the inning flied out. Kaeo Lau Hee and Mike Nagamine connected for singles. Probert followed with a double, driving in pinch-runner Josh Schlegel and Nagamine to tie the game.

Trux French pinch-ran for Probert and reached home on a double by Nate Rasmussen. The run gave Pacific a 4-3 lead.

Willamette answered back with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to regain the advantage, 5-4. Bloom smacked a single to right center to begin the stanza. One out later, he went to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a stolen base. Collins brought Bloom in with a double to center field, and went on to score when Kelley also doubled.

The Boxers took the lead for good by scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh. Pacific started the inning with three consecutive singles to load the bases. Anson Arakaki crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by French and Schlegel scored with two outs on a single by Logan Moen. Rowland walked to reload the bases, but Jeff Bethke grounded out to Bloom at shortstop to end the inning.

Dan Wolfe pitched the final two innings for Pacific to earn his fourth save of the season. He faced just four batters in the eighth, giving up only a single to Rowan. In the ninth, Wolfe faced just three batters to secure the win for the Boxers.

Reliever Corby Makin, who pitched the seventh inning for Pacific, improved to 3-0 with the win. Chris Torgerson (Jr., RHP, Sacramento, CA/Jesuit HS) took the loss for Willamette and fell to 6-4 on the season.

Probert went 3 for 3 at the plate, while earning two RBIs and scoring one run for Pacific. Schlegel finished 2 for 2 with two runs scored. The Boxers outhit the Bearcats, 15-8.

Giza and Bloom each went 2 for 4 with two runs scored for the Bearcats. Giza also stole two bases, while Bloom and Rowan recorded one stolen base apiece. Collins and Kelley both drove in two runs for Willamette.

The Bearcats will close out the season with a three-game Northwest Conference series this weekend at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, May 1, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT)> WU and UPS will complete the series with one game on Sunday, May 2, also at 12 p.m.

BOX SCORE
Pacific University 6
Willamette University 5
Tyson Giza went 2 for 4 against Pacific, while stealing two bases and scoring two runs.

Tyson Giza went 2 for 4 against Pacific, while stealing two bases and scoring two runs.

Doug Bloom is congratulated earlier this season for his efforts on defense.

Doug Bloom is congratulated earlier this season for his efforts on defense.