Willamette is Solid against OIT, as Bearcats Win 6-1 and 3-1

Lee and Stepan Each Blast a Home Run

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University received quality pitching, good defense and timely hitting, as the Bearcats swept a doubleheader from Oregon Institute of Technology, 6-1 and 3-1, on Saturday, April 9 at John Lewis Field. The wins moved the Bearcats to the .500 mark at 13-13 for the season. Oregon Tech slipped to 12-22.

The teams will play another doubleheader on Sunday, April 10. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT).

In the first game, WU starting pitcher Blake Paisley (Jr., RHP, Saratoga, CA/Saratoga HS) threw eight complete innings and improved to 4-1 this spring. He gave up seven hits and one run, while striking out four batters and allowing no walks.

Brad Walters of Oregon Tech hit his fourth home run of the season in the top of the second to give the Owls a 1-0 lead. T.C. Lee (Sr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) of Willamette blasted his sixth homer in the bottom of the same inning to tie the score.

WU pulled ahead 2-1 with a tally in the fifth inning. Tosh Semlacher (Fr., 3B, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) singled between shortstop and third base. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Chinn (Fr., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) and then went on to third when OIT left the base open. Tim Schilf (Jr., 3B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) earned an RBI with a ground out to second while Semlacher crossed the plate.

In the seventh inning, Max Stepan (Sr., C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Semlacher and eventually scored on a wild pitch. WU led 3-1.

The Bearcats gained some additional breathing room with a trio of runs in the eighth. Tommy Kawamura (Fr., 2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) hit a single as the first batter in the inning. Doug Bloom (Sr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) sacrificed, but reached first base on an error by the pitcher. The Owls recorded two outs on fly balls to the outfield, but a single from Semlacher followed by a throwing error, allowed Kawamura to score.

With Bloom and third and Semlacher at second, Chinn hit a two-RBI double to left field. The Bearcats took a 6-1 lead into the ninth inning.

Relief pitcher Parker Johnson (So., RHP, Carlsbad, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) of Willamette gave up two hits to start the ninth. He responded by recording back-to-back strikeouts before getting Kyle Hansen to ground out to the mound to end the game.

Kawamura went 3 for 3 with a run scored for the Bearcats in the opener. Semlacher and Chinn each went 2 for 3, with Semlacher scoring twice and Chinn earning two RBIs. Walter and Ryan Hayden each finished 2 for 4 for Oregon Tech.

Both teams had nine hits in Game 1, but WU also benefited from five errors by OIT. The Bearcats had just one error.

The first game also featured exciting outfield plays by Willamette's defense. Tyson Giza (So., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) covered significant ground to make three of the catches. During one of Giza's thrilling plays, he raced well into shallow left center before making a diving catch almost directly behind the shortstop position.

Willamette completed the doubleheader sweep behind pitcher Brandon Simon (So., RHP, Los Angeles, CA/Pacific Hills HS), who went five complete innings as the starter in Game 2. Simon allowed four hits and one run, while striking out four batters and walking two. He upped his record to 5-2.

Reliever Kyle Kirwan (So., RHP, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) pitched the final two innings for Willamette. He registered two strikeouts and earned his first save.

Hayden belted a solo home run for Oregon Tech in the top of the second inning to give the Owls a 1-0 lead. During the game, Hayden went 3 for 3 and hit for three-quarters of the cycle with his homer, plus a single and a double.

WU tied the game on a run in the bottom of the second and took a 2-1 lead with a run in the third.

Lee walked and later scored on a single by Semlacher in the second. In the third, Sky Kelley (So., RF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) was hit by a pitch, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Oliver (Jr., 1B, Seattle, WA/West Seattle HS), and scored when Giza's single to shortstop was thrown wide of first base.

Chinn and Kirwan combined for a double play on defense in the top of the sixth. Colin Stock walked to open the inning for Oregon Tech, and Kirwan was called in from the bullpen. On the fourth pitch, Walters hit a fly ball behind first base. Chinn backed up and made the catch and fell near the foul line. He threw the ball to Kirwan covering first base to double off Stock.

In the bottom of the sixth, Stepan smacked his team-leading seventh homer for Willamette to provide an insurance run.

Semlacher went 2 for 3 with an RBI for the Bearcats in Game 2. Four other WU players contributed one hit apiece. Hayden's three hits accounted for all but two of OIT's five hits during the game.

BOX SCORES

Willamette University 6
Oregon Tech 1
Statistics

Willamette University 3
Oregon Tech 1
Statistics

Tommy Kawamura was 3 for 3 with a run scored in the first game. He was 4 for 6 on the day.

Tommy Kawamura was 3 for 3 with a run scored in the first game. He was 4 for 6 on the day.