Pacific Lutheran Wins Scoring Battle with Willamette, 14-11

Game Lasts 6 hours, 32 minutes including Rain Delays

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Pacific Lutheran University built an early 8-0 lead before holding off a rally by Willamette University to defeat the Bearcats, 14-11, on Sunday, March 27 in a game that lasted just over six-and-a-half hours, including two rain delays. The Lutes outhit the Bearcats 20-15 in the high-scoring contest.

PLU ended the day with a 9-10 overall record, 5-4 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette went to 9-11 overall, 4-8 in the NWC.

The game, which started at 12:15 p.m., lasted 6 hours and 32 minutes, including 3 hours and 2 minutes of rain delays. Pacific Lutheran was leading 8-0 with one out in the top of the second inning when the first rain delay started at 12:55 p.m. The stoppage lasted 40 minutes before play resumed.

Willamette had two runners on base and one out in the bottom of the second when the second rain delay began at 1:43 p.m. The delay lasted 2 hours and 22 minutes, with the teams returning to action at 4:05 p.m. The game ended at 6:47 p.m.

After trailing 8-0, Willamette rallied, getting as close as 12-8 in the sixth and 14-11 in the eighth. WU had the bases loaded and the go-ahead run at the plate with two outs in the eighth, but PLU got out of the inning.

First baseman Brock Gates of PLU was 5 for 6 with two home runs, five RBIs and three singles. Ryan Aratani was 4 for 5 for the Lutes. Corey Moore finished 3 for 5 with four runs and two RBIs.

Tyson Giza (So., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) was 4 for 6 for WU with three doubles. Max Stepan (Sr., C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) went 3 for 4 and T.C. Lee (Sr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) hit a two-run homer, his fifth of the season.

Pacific Lutheran used the first home run by Gates to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Jaron Iwakami and Moore, both singled with one out and scored on the home run.

In the second inning, the Lutes combined six singles, a walk and a wild pitch to score five times. Two of the runs were driven in by Aratani with a single.

When the first rain delay ended, WU reliever Nate Bender (Sr., RHP, Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) forced PLU into back-to-back fly outs to end the inning.

Willamette plated two runs in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Galen Duff (So., 2B, Spokane, WA/Gonzaga Prep) and an RBI double by Giza.

PLU tacked on two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth for a 12-2 advantage. The Bearcats answered with one run in the fifth and five in the sixth to cut the margin to four runs.

Giza doubled and scored on a single by Stepan in the fifth inning. In the sixth, Duff provided a two-run double and Lee smacked his two-run homer.

Gates pounded his second home run of the game over the left field fence for PLU in the top of the seventh, extending the Lutes' lead to 14-8. Moore, who singled to start the inning, also scored on the play.

Willamette tallied one run in the bottom of the seventh, then put on its final comeback in the eighth. With one out, Lee and Stepan walked, which brought in relief pitcher Nic Delikat.

The reliever opened with a strikeout, but walked Brandon Chinn (Fr., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) to load the bases. Tim Schilf (Jr., 3B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) hit an infield single to score Lee, and Duff earned a walk to bring home Stepan.

WU trailed 14-11 and still had the bases loaded, so reliever Ryan Frost took over on the mound for PLU. Frost got the third out of the inning when Giza grounded out to second base.

Frost also pitched in the ninth inning to record his second save of the three-game series. The Lutes' starter, Scott Wall, improved to 4-0. WU starter Chris Torgerson (Sr., RHP, Sacramento, CA/Jesuit HS) fell to 3-2.

The lengthy game featured a total of 371 pitches. Four PLU throwers combined for 195 pitches. Five Bearcat pitchers accounted for 176.

Willamette is scheduled to host crosstown rival Corban University in a single game on Tuesday, March 29. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE

Pacific Lutheran University 14
Willamette University 11

Tyson Giza was 4 for 6 during the game with three doubles and two RBIs.

Tyson Giza was 4 for 6 during the game with three doubles and two RBIs.