Whitworth Defeats Willamette 9-4 in Final Game of Weekend Series

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Whitworth University scored five runs in the fourth inning, as the Pirates rallied from a 2-1 deficit on their way to a 9-4 win over Willamette University in a Northwest Conference game on Saturday, April 23. Whitworth ended the day with an 18-19 overall record, including 11-10 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 19-16-1 overall, 10-11 in the NWC.

Willamette outhit the Pirates, 11-9, but left 11 runners on base and committed six errors. Whitworth stranded only four base runners and did not have an error on defense.

For the Bearcats, Max Stepan (Sr., C, Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) was the designated hitter on Saturday and went 2 for 2 with a solo home run, three walks and two runs scored. The homer was his 11th of the season, giving him the team lead. He began the day tied with T.C. Lee (Sr., LF, Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) with 10 home runs.

Lee went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and one run in Saturday's game.

The Pirates scored once in the bottom of the first. Gerhard Muelheims hit a single and advanced to second on an error. He went to third on a ground out by Kevin Valerio and scored on a ground out by Landon Scott.

Willamette moved in front with its first two runs of the game in the top of the fourth. Lee and Stepan both walked to start the inning. Michael Oliver (Jr., 1B, Seattle, WA/West Seattle HS) singled through the right side to bring Lee across the plate. Sky Kelley (So., RF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) also singled, sending the ball into left field, allowing Stepan to score.

Two of Willamette's errors were during Whitworth's five-run fourth inning. The Pirates also used three singles and a double to help generate the offense. Nathan Johnson drove in one of the runners with his double, while Tyler Pfeffer added an RBI single. One run reached home when Michael Takemura grounded out to shortstop.

The Bearcats plated a solo tally in the top of the fifth inning to pull within 6-3. Tommy Kawamura (Fr., 2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) doubled to start the inning and went to third on a ground out by Tyson Giza (So., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS). Lee registered the RBI with a double to left center.

Scott, who reached base on an error to open the fourth inning for the Pirates, also went to first on an error as the leadoff batter in the fifth. He was at third one out later when Pfeffer belted a two-run homer. 

Stepan smacked his solo home run for Willamette in the seventh. Back-to-back doubles by J.R. Jarrell and Pfeffer with two outs in the bottom of the inning produced Whitworth's final run.

In addition to Stepan and Lee, other Bearcats with two hits during the game were Kawamura (2 for 4), Oliver (2 for 4) and Tim Schilf (Jr., 3B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School), also 2 for 4.

Pfeffer of Whitworth topped all players with a 4-for-4 effort that included his home run, plus a double, two runs and four RBIs. Jarrell was 2 for and scored twice.

The Bearcats will be back in action on Tuesday, April 26, when they will travel to crosstown rival Corban University for a single 9-inning game. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. (PDT).

Whitworth University 9
Willamette University 4
T.C. Lee was 2 for 4 with a double against the Pirates on Saturday.

T.C. Lee was 2 for 4 with a double against the Pirates on Saturday.