Willamette and Whitworth Split NWC Baseball Doubleheader

Pirates Win First Game 10-4, Bearcats Register Shutout in Second Game 4-0

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Willamette University and Whitworth University split a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader on Friday, April 22, leaving the two teams tied for sixth place in the NWC with 10-10 records. Whitworth won the first game, 10-4, and Willamette prevailed in the second game, 4-0.

The Bearcats and the Pirates will break the tie with the third game in the series on Saturday, April 23, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT). Both teams will have three NWC games against other teams still remaining on their schedule after Saturday's game.

On Friday, Willamette seniors Doug Bloom (SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS), T.C. Lee (LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) and Max Stepan (C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) each hit a homer in both games. It wasn't enough for the Bearcats in the opener, but the three homers were more than enough in the second game, as three Willamette pitchers combined for the shutout win.

Nick Ashley singled and eventually scored for Whitworth in second inning of the first game. Willamette equalized the scored at 1-1 in the top of the third on a solo homer by Bloom.

The Pirates took charge with five runs in the fifth. Kyle Kustangel opened the stanza with a solo home run. J.R. Jarrell hit an RBI double later in the inning, while Kevin Valerio and Tyler Pfeiffer supplied RBI singles. Landon Scott drove in one of the runs when he hit into a fielder's choice.

Willamette chipped one run off Whitworth's lead in the top of the sixth, as the Bearcats pulled within 6-2 on Stepan's solo homer. Whitworth scored twice in the bottom of the inning on a two-run single by Valerio.

In the eighth inning, Lee smacked a two-run homer for the Bearcats and Jarrell drove in two runs for the Pirates with a single to right center.

Whitworth held a 15-6 advantage in its during the opener. Michael Takemura was 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Four other Pirates had two hits apiece. Jarrell earned three RBIs.

Tommy Kawamura (Fr., 2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) was 2 for 3 and walked once for Willamette. He was the only Bearcat with more than one hit in the first game.

In Game 2, Willamette starter Blake Paisley (Jr., RHP, Saratoga, CA/Saratoga HS) had a two-hitter going through four innings, but had to leave the game with an injury. Reliever Ryan Smith (JR., RHP, Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS/U. of Redlands) pitched the next four innings of the shutout and registered the win.

Parker Johnson (So., RHP, Carlsbad, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) gave up three hits during the ninth inning, but used a 6-4-3 double play for the first two outs and recorded a strikeout with runners at first and second to end the game. Johnson earned his fourth save of the season.

Willamette scored immediately at the start of the second game, as Bloom smacked a leadoff home run in the first inning. The lead increased to 3-0 two innings later, when Tyson Giza (So., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) doubled with one out and Stepan blasted a two-run homer with two outs.

Lee drove in the final run with a two-out homer in the top of the fifth.

The Pirates achieved a 9-8 margin in hits, but Willamette produced all four extra-base hits during the game, on Giza's double and the trio of homers by Bloom, Lee and Stepan. Lee and Stepan ended the game tied for Willamette's team lead with 10 home runs this season.

Giza and Lee each went 2 for 4 in the second game. For Whitworth, Krustangel was 2 for 3, while Scott and Nathan Johnson each finished 2 for 4.


Whitworth University 10
Willamette University 4

Willamette University 4
Whitworth University 0

Max Stepan belted a two-run homer in the third inning of Game 2 to give Willamette a 3-0 lead.

Max Stepan belted a two-run homer in the third inning of Game 2 to give Willamette a 3-0 lead.