Willamette Pounds Out 18 Hits to Rally Past Whitman, 14-9

Bearcats Overcome 4-0 Deficit after Two Innings; Lee Smacks 3-Run Homer

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University pounded out 18 hits and rallied from a 4-0 deficit, as the Bearcats defeated visiting Whitman College, 14-9, on Sunday, April 17 to sweep the three-game Northwest Conference series at John Lewis Field. WU also won 11-5 and 14-0 on Saturday.

With Sunday's win, the Bearcats moved to 18-14 overall and evened their NWC record at 9-9. Whitman fell to 4-28 overall, 3-18 in the NWC.

T.C. Lee (Sr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) started the WU rally with a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning. The homer, which went over the left field fence, moved Lee into a tie with Max Stepan (Sr., C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) for the team lead with eight home runs this season.

The Missionaries tallied two runs in the top of the fourth inning for a 6-3 advantage. Willamette gradually cut into Whitman's advantage over the next several frames.

Brandon Chinn (Fr., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) drove in a run in the third with a single through the right side. Tyson Giza (So., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to bring home another run, as WU pulled within one run.

Kyle Moyes doubled and Jimmy Madden supplied Whitman with an RBI single to center field in the top of the sixth, as the Missionaries claimed a 7-5 lead.

Two runs for the Bearcats later in the sixth inning tied the score.

Stepan doubled to start the rally. After a sacrifice bunt moved Stepan to third and Chinn walked, Dylan Summers (Jr., C, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS) belted an RBI single to left. Chinn and Summers advanced on a wild pitch before Tim Schilf (Jr., 3B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) earned an RBI on a ground out to second.

Aaron Cohen singled and later scored in the seventh inning for Whitman. He went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Casey Minnick and scored on a single by Moyes.

Willamette took its first lead of the game at 9-8 by scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh. Tommy Kawamura (Fr., 2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) singled through the right side and took second on a wild pitch. Giza followed with an RBI single to right and Lee placed a shallow double down the right field line. Stepan advanced Giza to the plate with a sacrifice fly to center.

The Bearcats added five insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth on six hits and three errors. Stepan drove in two runs with a single down the right field line. Whitman scored once in the top of the ninth.

Relief pitcher Parker Johnson (So., RHP, Carlsbad, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) tossed the final three innings to earn the win for Willamette. He is now 2-0 on the season. Whitman reliever Tristan Gavin (0-4) took the loss for the Missionaries.

Giza went 4 for 4 with three runs and three RBIs for the Bearcats. Stepan was 3 for 4 with a double, one run and three RBIs, while Lee finished 3 for 5, scored twice and drove in three runs. Lee also hit a double.

Moyes of Whitman, who led off the second inning with a solo homer to left field, also hit a double and two singles to end the day 4 for 4. He scored three runs and had two RBIs. Madden went 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI.

Willamette is currently 7-1 through eight games in a nine-game homestand. The Bearcats will conclude the homestand by hosting Pacific University in a non-conference game on Tuesday, April 19 at 4 p.m. (PDT).

Willamette University 14
Whitman College 9
T.C. Lee hit a three-run homer in the third inning to start Willamette's rally from a 4-0 deficit.

T.C. Lee hit a three-run homer in the third inning to start Willamette's rally from a 4-0 deficit.