Bearcats Earn 20 Hits, Steamroll Occidental, 17-2

Stepan Belts Three Homers and a Double, Drives in Six Runs

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

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- Max Stepan (Sr., DH/C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) smacked three homers and a double, leading an offensive barrage by the Bearcats, as Willamette University routed Occidental College, 17-2, in a non-conference game on Sunday, Feb. 27. Willamette split its weekend trip to California with a 2-2 record, while improving to 5-3 overall. Occidental dropped to 5-6.

Stepan was 5 for 6 during the game, with four runs and six RBIs. His efforts helped Willamette amass 20 hits, as the Bearcats scored in six of the nine innings.

Four additional Willamette players earned multiple hits against the Tigers.

Doug Bloom (Sr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) went 3 for 4 with two doubles and scored four runs. T.C. Lee (Sr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) earned 2 hits in 3 at bats, including a double, while scoring twice and driving in two runs. Sky Kelley (So., RF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) was 2 for 4 and scored one run. Tosh Semlacher (Fr., 3B, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) finished 2 for 6 with a double and four RBIs.

Also contributing a double for Willamette were Tommy Kawamura (Fr., 2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) and Tim Schilf (Jr., 3B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School). The Bearcats blasted a total of seven doubles against the Tigers.

WU hit four home runs with the three by Stepan plus a two-run homer by Dylan Summers (Sr., C, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS).

Starting pitcher Chris Torgerson (Sr., RHP, Sacramento, CA/Jesuit HS) earned the win for Willamette and improved to 2-0 on the season. He allowed just three singles and no runs in six innings.

Three relievers each tossed one inning to complete the game. Ross Pomerantz, who lasted two innings as the starter for Occidental, fell to 2-2 with the loss.

Willamette plated three runs in the top of the first inning to move in front. Lee hit a sacrifice fly and Stepan provided an RBI double. Semlacher drove in the third run on a single. Crossing the plate were Tyson Giza (So., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS), Bloom and Kawamura.

Five runs in the third inning and four more in the fourth extended WU's lead to 11-0.

The third inning featured the two-run homer by Summers, as well as an RBI ground out by Semlacher and a run-scoring single by Kyle Kirwan (So., 1B, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS). One run reached home on an error. The fourth inning began with doubles by Bloom and Lee, followed by a two-run homer from Stepan.

Willamette continued to pull away. The Bearcats pushed across one run in the sixth on a leadoff homer by Stepan and added three runs in the seventh for a 15-0 advantage. Semlacher drove in two of the runs in the seventh with a double to left field.

Occidental tallied both of its runs in the eighth inning. Jacob Coleman drove in Van Fudge with the first run. The second run was scored by Pedro Aldape when Alec Strain reached first base on an error. The Tigers earned four of their seven hits during the inning.

Stepan completed his stellar day by hitting a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth. Bloom, who walked with one out, scored on the play.

The Bearcats will turn their attention to Northwest Conference action next weekend with a three-game series at Lewis & Clark College. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 5, starting at 11 a.m. (PST) and will end the series with one game on Sunday, March 6 at 1 p.m.

Willamette University 17
Occidental College 2
Max Stepan blasted three home runs and a double while going 5 for 6 at the plate.

Max Stepan blasted three home runs and a double while going 5 for 6 at the plate.