Willamette Grabs Two Wins over Pioneers, 11-1 and 7-2

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Willamette University opened its Northwest Conference schedule with a doubleheader sweep of Lewis & Clark College on Saturday, March 5 at the Huston Sports Complex. The Bearcats defeated the Pioneers, 11-1 and 7-2.

The pair of wins upped Willamette's record to 7-3 on the season, 2-0 in the NWC. Lewis & Clark ended the day at 1-9 overall, 0-5 in the NWC.

In the first game, the Bearcats and the Pioneers were tied 1-1 after one inning. Willamette gradually pulled away, taking building a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning and turning the game into a rout with seven runs in the final three stanzas.

T.C. Lee (Sr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) paced the WU attack by going 3 for 4 at the plate, including two home runs. His first homer was a leadoff shot in the fifth inning. He added a two-run blast to to center field in the eighth inning. Lee was involved in seven of Willamette's runs, as he crossed the plate four times and earned three RBIs.

Lee's homer in the eighth occurred immediately after Doug Bloom (Sr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) tripled down the right field line with two outs in the inning. Bloom finished the game 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI.

Sky Kelley (So., RF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) went 3 for 5 with a double, one run scored and two RBIs. Tyson Giza (So., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) added a 2-for-5 performance with a run scored. Michael Oliver (Jr., 1B, Seattle, WA/West Seattle HS) contributed a double in four at bats.

WU starting pitcher Brandon Simon (So., RHP, Los Angeles, CA/Pacific Hills HS) threw seven innings and improved to 2-0 with the win. He earned two strikeouts and allowed one walk. He held L&C to six hits and one run before turning over the mound to Nate Bender (Sr., RHP, Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS). Bender struck out two batters and did not allow a hit in two innings of work.

Eliot Smith took the loss for the Pioneers as he fell to 0-3 on the season. He was credited with seven runs -- six earned. He struck out six batters, but also allowed six walks.

Roland Greene went 2 for 3 for L&C in the opener. Tucker Laurence was 2 for 4 with an RBI. Michael Ball hit a double and scored once in four at bats.

WU trailed 2-0 in the second game after the Pioneers tallied two runs in the second inning. The Bearcats responded with five runs in the top of the third inning to move into the lead. The Bearcats added one run in the fifth inning and completed the scoring with one run in the ninth.

All of the scoring by Willamette in the big third inning was achieved with two outs. A run-scoring double by Lee brought in Galen Duff (So., IF/DH, Spokane, WA/Gonzaga Prep) with the first run.

Tommy Kawamura (Fr., 2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS), who walked earlier in the inning, reached third on Lee's double. He scored the next run after Max Stepan (Sr., C/DH, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) walked and Tosh Semlacher (Fr., 3B, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) reached base on an error.

Lee scored when Kelly walked with the bases loaded. The final two runs of the stanza crossed the plate on a double by Oliver to center field.

Willamette's run in the fifth inning was recorded by Kelly, who smacked a solo home run. In the ninth inning, Bloom received a leadoff walk and stole second. One out later, he was attempting to steal third when a ground out by Stepan allowed him to continue to home plate.

Kelley led the Bearcats' 8-hit attack in Game 2, as he went 2 for 4 with a double, a homer and two RBIs. He also walked once and scored once. Duff was 2 for 4, while Oliver contributed a double and two RBIs.

Bloom was officially 0 for 1, but walked twice, scored once and was hit by two pitches. He reached base in four of his five plate appearances during the game.

Blake Paisley (Jr., RHP, Saratoga, CA/Saratoga HS) upped his record to 2-0 with the win for Willamette. He allowed six hits and two runs (one earned) in six innings on the mound. He recorded two strikeouts and allowed no walks. Ryan Smith (Jr., RHP, Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS/U. of Redlands) threw three innings of one-hit relief to earn his first save of the season.

Will King fell to 0-2 with the pitching loss for the Pioneers. He allowed five hits in five innings, while earning four strikeouts and allowing four walks.

The seven hits by L&C were recorded by seven players. Eliot Smith was 1 for 4 with Lewis & Clark's only extra-base hit, a double with one out in the second inning.

Smith reached home plate on a balk later in the stanza. Also in the second inning, Nick Laven singled and scored the second run for the Pioneers.

Willamette will conclude the series at L&C with one game on Sunday, March 6. Game time is set for 1 p.m. (PST).


Willamette University 11
Lewis & Clark College 1

Willamette University 7
Lewis & Clark College 2

Doug Bloom went 2 for 4 during the twinbill with a triple, three walks and two hit by pitches.

Doug Bloom went 2 for 4 during the twinbill with a triple, three walks and two hit by pitches.