Lee Earns Four Hits as Bearcats Overcome Loggers, 8-6

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Junior left fielder T.C. Lee (Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) went 4 for 4 at the plate and Parker Johnson (Fr., RHP, Carlsbad, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) threw 4 2/3 innings of quality relief, leading Willamette University to an 8-6 victory over the University of Puget Sound on Sunday, May 2. With the win, the Bearcats concluded the season at 12-12 in the Northwest Conference, as WU tied UPS for fourth place.

Willamette trailed 5-3 after five innings, but scored four runs in the sixth to move in front for good. Lee had a two-RBI double to drive in the go-ahead runs.

Derek Collins (Fr., 1B, Yorba Linda, CA/Esperanza HS/Fullerton Coll.) added an insurance run in the eighth with a solo homer to center field. The Loggers tallied one run with two outs in the ninth, but couldn't complete the rally.

Johnson entered the game in the fifth inning with two runs already across the plate for UPS and the Loggers leading 5-3. When he took over, there was a runner at first base with one out, but Johnson forced Will Mentor to hit into a double play to end the inning.

Puget Sound was held off the scoreboard by Johnson in the sixth, seventh and eighth. Back-to-back singles gave the Loggers a pair of runners with two outs in the sixth, but a fly ball to center ended the threat. Johnson faced the minimum of three batters in the seventh and three more in the eighth.

He also caused UPS to hit into a pop-up and a fly out to start the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Matt Cox hit a double, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on an infield single by Mark Rockey. Johnson got Casey Coberly to ground out to second base to end the game.

UPS took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Three consecutive singles resulted in the first run. Afterward, a sacrifice bunt by Coberly put runners at second and third. Doug Cox reached base on an infield error, allowing Matt Cox and Rockey to scored the second and third runs.

The Bearcats scored twice in the second inning to cut the lead to one run. Sky Kelley (Fr., RF, Canby, OR/Jesuit HS) walked with one out and Lee followed with a single to left field.

Both runners moved up a base on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Max Stepan (Jr. C/DH, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) doubled near the left field line to bring home both runs.

WU tied the game at 3-3 when Mitchell Rowan (So., DH/RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) walked, stole second and later scored on a single by Lee in the fifth inning. Puget Sound regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run homer by Coberly.

In the top of the sixth, Willamette pounded out five hits and scored four runs. Eli Kass (Fr., 2B, Santa Cruz, CA/Santa Cruz HS) singled to open the stanza and Tyson Giza (Fr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) sent an RBI double down the line in left. Doug Bloom (Jr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) singled to right center. Rowan added an infield hit near third to load the bases.

Collins provided a sacrifice fly that advanced all three runners. Giza scored, Bloom went to third and Rowan advanced to second. After UPS recorded the second out, Lee belted a two-RBI double to right center to break the 5-5 tie.

In addition to Lee's 4-for-4 effort, the Bearcats received two hits apiece from Giza (2 for 5) and Stepan (2 for 5). Seven Willamette players scored during the game, with Rowan crossing the plate twice. Lee finished with three RBIs, while Collins and Stepan each drove in two runs.

Matt Cox was 2 for 4 and scored three times for Puget Sound. Rockey went 2 for 4 with a run and two RBIs, while Dakota Resnik finished 2 for 4 with one run. Andrew Grady also went 2 for 4.

Johnson picked up his first pitching win against three losses. Reliever Cameron Duvall, who allowed five runs in 3 1/3 innings, fell to 0-3 for UPS.

Willamette ended the year with a 16-22 overall record. Puget Sound completed the season at 19-21.

Willamette University 8
University of Puget Sound 6
Parker Johnson allowed just one run in 4 2/3 innings of relief to earn the win.

Parker Johnson allowed just one run in 4 2/3 innings of relief to earn the win.

Derek Collins smacked his fifth home run of the season in the eighth inning.

Derek Collins smacked his fifth home run of the season in the eighth inning.