Double-Digit Seventh Inning Sends Bearcats Past Puget Sound, 17-11

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- An enormous 10-run seventh inning propelled Willamette University over the University of Puget Sound, 17-11, in the first game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Saturday, May 1. The Bearcats trailed 11-7 prior to the offensive explosion, but took the lead and shut down UPS over the final three innings. The Loggers won Game #2, 7-5.

Puget Sound ended the day at 19-20 overall, 12-11 in the NWC. The Loggers are in fourth place in the conference, one game in front of Willamette.

The Bearcats concluded the doubleheader with a 15-22 overall record, including 11-12 in the NWC. The teams will complete the series with a game on Sunday, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT).

Mitchell Rowan (So., DH/RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) went 4 for 6 with two runs and four RBIs in the opener for Willamette. T.C. Lee (Jr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) finished 3 for 4 and led all players with four runs scored.

Although the game featured 28 runs and 32 hits (19 by the Bearcats), it was the pitching of WU reliever Joseph Pelletier (Fr., LHP, La Habra Heights, CA/St. John Bosco HS) that closed out the win. Pelletier threw four innings in relief of starter Devin Grindy (Jr., RHP, Washougal, WA/Camas HS).

Pelletier gave up back-to-back singles and a walk to start the sixth inning, but gained momentum after he tagged out Matt Cox, who tried to steal home. Doug Cox drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to left field, giving UPS and 11-7 lead, but the Loggers never scored again.

James Lane, the second of four relief pitchers for Puget Sound, fell to 2-5. Pelletier improved to 1-1 on the season with the win.

Willamette took a 2-0 lead in Game #1 on a home run to right field by Rowan in the top of the first. It was Rowan's 12th homer of the season. The Bearcats led 3-1 midway through the second inning, but Dakota Resnick belted a grand slam for the Loggers in the bottom of the second to give Puget Sound a 5-3 advantage.

The Bearcats tied the game with a two-run double by Sky Kelley (Fr., RF, Canby, OR/Jesuit HS) in the third. WU moved in front 7-5 in the fifth.

Puget Sound plated five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to surge into a 10-7 lead. First baseman Mark Rockey smacked a two-run homer, while Jason Powell hit an RBI double.

Willamette sent 13 batters to the plate in the seventh. The 'Cats pounded out seven hits and took advantage of two errors.

Max Stepan (Jr., C/DH, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) earned two singles and scored twice during the inning. His second single drove in two runs. Rowan also provided a two-run single, while Derek Collins (Fr., 1B, Yorba Linda, CA/Esperanza HS/Fullerton Coll.) added an RBI double.

Rockey and Will Mentor each went 3 of 5 and scored twice for Puget Sound in the opener. Rockey also drove in three runs.

In the second game, UPS built a 7-0 lead before Willamette rallied in the final three innings to nearly overtake the Loggers. Willamette was limited to just two hits over the first six frames by Puget Sound starter Matt Robinson.

The Loggers took a 2-0 advantage in the first inning. Resnik opened the game by reaching base on an error and later scored on a single by Rockey. Casey Coberly added a sacrifice fly later in the inning.

UPS benefited from three hits and a misplay in the outfield to add four runs in the third for a 6-0 lead. Coberly drove in the first run with another sacrifice fly. The remaining three runs were unearned. In the bottom of the sixth, Puget Sound tacked on another unearned run.

Willamette cut the lead to 7-2 with a pair of runs against Matt Robinson in the seventh. Bloom and Rowan singled to put runners at first and third. Collins brought home Bloom with a base hit and Dylan Summers (So., C, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS) added a sacrifice fly. Reliever Colby Robinson faced just three WU batters in the eighth.

The Bearcats plated three runs in the ninth and had the go-ahead run at the plate when the game ended. Collins blasted a leadoff double and scored one out later on a double by Lee. Summers moved Lee to third with a single and Stepan earned an RBI with a single to right center. With two outs, Tyson Giza (Fr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) singled to right field to score Summers.

With Stepan at third and Giza at first, Cameron Duvall went to the mound for UPS. Duvall got Bloom to hit into a fielder's choice, as the Loggers put out Giza at second base for the last out.

Matt Robinson upped his record to 8-2 with the win. Duvall earned his second save. WU starter Jake Jones (Fr., RHP, Wilsonville, OR/Wilsonville HS) fell to 1-3 with the loss, but allowed just two earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Travis Hernandez paced the Loggers in Game #2 with a 3-for-3 performance. He also scored once and had one RBI. Rowan, Collins and Lee each registered two hits for Willamette.

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE

Willamette University 17
University of Puget Sound 11

GAME #2 - BOX SCORE
University of Puget Sound 7
Willamette University 5
Willamette left fielder T.C. Lee went 5 for 7 with five runs scored during the twinbill.

Willamette left fielder T.C. Lee went 5 for 7 with five runs scored during the twinbill.

Mitchell Rowan went 6 for 10 in the doubleheader, including his 12th homer of the year.

Mitchell Rowan went 6 for 10 in the doubleheader, including his 12th homer of the year.