Lee and Stepan Selected First Team All-Northwest Conference

Chinn and Simon Named to Second Team; Four Bearcats are Honorable Mention

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Senior left fielder T.C. Lee (Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS) and senior catcher Max Stepan (Pueblo, CO/Pueblo County HS) have been named First Team All-Northwest Conference for the 2011 baseball season in voting by the league's head coaches. Two Willamette players were chosen for the Second Team and four Bearcats received Honorable Mention.

Brandon Chinn (Fr., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) and Brandon Simon (So., RHP, Los Angeles, CA/Pacific Hills School) earned Second Team All-NWC honors.

WU players included on the Honorable Mention list were Doug Bloom (Sr., SS, Salem, OR/South Salem HS), Chris Torgerson (Sr., RHP, Sacramento, CA/Jesuit HS), Blake Paisley (Jr., RHP, Saratoga, CA/Saratoga HS) and Parker Johnson (So., RHP, Carlsbad, CA/La Costa Canyon HS).

First Team All-NWC

T.C. Lee T.C. Lee (Sr., LF)

Lee batted .417 to lead Willamette on offense. He also ranked first for the Bearcats with 60 hits, 44 runs scored, 44 RBIs, 15 doubles, 12 home runs, a .785 slugging percentage and a .497 on-base percentage. He recorded 79 putouts and six assists while playing in left field.

This year, Lee led the NWC in slugging percentage, home runs and total bases (113). He tied for first in the NWC in RBIs and sacrifice flies (5).

Lee completed his four years at Willamette ranked in several career categories on the Bearcats' all-time lists. He was second with a .368 career batting average, 201 hits, 45 doubles and 34 home runs. He ranked fourth with 546 at bats, 131 runs scored and 131 RBIs. He finished 10th with 72 walks.

Throughout his career at Willamette, Lee hit above the .300 mark while improving each season. He hit .320 as a freshman in 2008, batted .347 as a sophomore and advanced to .389 as a junior, before moving above .400 as a senior. He played in 151 games with 147 starts.

Lee earned All-NWC honors four years in a row. He was chosen First Team All-NWC in 2010 and 2011, earned Second Team recognition in 2008 and was Honorable Mention in 2009.

Max Stepan Max Stepan (Sr., C)

Stepan combined with Lee for an impressive punch in the middle of the WU lineup this year. Stepan hit a career-high .381 to go along with 39 runs scored and 39 RBIs. He ranked second in the NWC with 11 home runs and also was second with a .739 slugging percentage.

For the year, Stepan walked 24 times and achieved 25 extra-base hits, including a team-high 13 doubles. He recorded a hit in 25 of the last 27 games, starting with a 17-game hitting streak. During the year, he earned a solid .987 fielding percentage behind the plate.

As a four-year contributor with the Bearcats, Stepan attained a .341 career-batting average to tie for eighth all-time at WU. He earned 137 hits and 102 RBIs, while finishing third all-time with 25 home runs and tying for fifth all-time with 33 doubles. He earned 336 putouts and 50 assists behind the plate. Stepan saw action in 124 games and was in the starting lineup 109 times.

Stepan received All-NWC honors for the third time. He was selected for the Second Team in 2010 and was on the Honorable Mention list in 2008.

Second Team All-NWC

Brandon Chinn Brandon Chinn (Fr., 1B)

Chinn, who arrived at Willamette after attending nearby Sprague High School, provided solid play at first base as a freshman this spring. On defense, he achieved a .993 fielding percentage with a team-leading 297 putouts, plus 17 assists and just two errors. On offense, he supplied WU with a .330 batting average, 15 runs and 16 RBIs.

In his final 22 games of the season, Chinn hit .355. Overall, he saw action in 35 games with 32 starts.

Brandon Simon Brandon Simon (So., RHP)

Simon was named Second Team All-NWC as a starting pitcher. He started 10 games and put together a 7-3 overall record and a 2.31 earned run average. He led the Bearcats with 45 strikeouts and 70 innings pitched, while allowing only seven walks.

He threw a three-hit, complete-game shutout in Willamette's 5-0 win at Pacific University on April 2. For the season, Simon limited opponents to a .227 batting average. His season ERA placed him 10th on Willamette's all-time list. His efforts also helped the Bearcats record a 3.60 team ERA that ranked fourth all-time at WU.

In two years with the Bearcats, Simon has achieved a 10-3 record and a 2.96 career ERA. He has struck out 61 batters in 97 1/3 innings.

Honorable Mention All-NWC

Doug Bloom Doug Bloom (Sr., SS)

Bloom concluded his career as WU's all-time leader in runs (145), stolen bases (54), at bats (584) and assists (499). Other career rankings included third with 24 sacrifices (19 bunts, 5 flies), fifth with 77 walks and sixth with 164 hits. He was First Team All-NWC in 2008 and Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2009 and 2011.

He batted .281 during his career and saw action in 155 games with 153 starts. He provided WU with 26 doubles, three triples and 10 home runs. He was 54 of 65 on stolen bases.

This spring, Bloom and Lee started all 40 games. Bloom ranked second on the team with 37 runs and contributed 16 RBIs. He earned a .253 batting average with six doubles and four homers. He was 14 of 16 on stolen bases.

Bloom recorded three of WU's top 10 assist totals during his four seasons. He ranked first with 141 assists this year, third with 125 assists in 2010 and seventh with 122 assists in 2009. He garnered 111 assists in 2008.

Chris Torgerson Chris Torgerson (Sr., RHP)

Torgerson led the 2011 Bearcat pitching staff with 11 starts. He claimed a 3.84 ERA and ranked second on the team with 63 1/3 innings pitched. He threw seven or more innings five times. He accumulated 36 strikeouts and limited opposing hitters to a .266 batting average.

During his career, Torgerson built a 13-11 overall record and a 5.79 career ERA. He pitched in 39 games with 26 starts. He tossed four complete games, including a pair of shutouts. He registered 68 strikeouts in a total of 155 1/3 innings on the mound. He tied for 10th at WU in career wins. He was named Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2010 and 2011.

Blake Paisley Blake Paisley (Jr., RHP)

Paisley achieved a 2.21 ERA to lead WU's pitchers with 40 or more innings of work. His ERA also placed him ninth on the team's all-time list. He pitched 53 innings and was 5-1 on the season with 24 strikeouts and just six walks. He gave up only two home runs while holding Bearcat opponents to a .267 batting average.

In three seasons at WU, Paisley has attained a 9-8 combined record with 41 strikeouts in 107 innings. He has pitched in 33 games with 18 starts. This year, he started 10 games, threw at least three innings on each trip to the mound and allowed seven or fewer hits in nine of his appearances.

Parker Johnson Parker Johnson (So., RHP)

Johnson was a relief pitcher of the Bearcats for the second year in a row. He attained a stellar 1.46 ERA this season with a 3-0 record and four saves. He pitched a total of 24 2/3 innings in 14 appearances. He recorded 12 strikeouts and gave up only four extra-base hits on three doubles and one homer.

He was the winning pitcher in WU's 8-7, 10-inning triumph over crosstown rival Corban University on April 26 this season. He held the Warriors scoreless for 2 1/3 innings, while the Bearcats rallied with two runs in the ninth and one in the 10th.

Johnson has pitched in 29 games during two seasons at Willamette. He has a 4-3 career record with a 4.33 ERA.

The 2011 Season

Willamette ended the 2011 season with a 22-17-1 record and went 12-12 in the Northwest Conference. WU was 13-5-1 in its final 19 games. The Bearcats earned the team's most victories since finishing 29-16 in 2001.

COMPLETE LIST
All-Northwest Conference
Baseball Team for 2011
T.C. Lee led the Bearcats with a .417 batting average, 44 runs, 44 RBIs, 15 doubles and 12 homers.

T.C. Lee led the Bearcats with a .417 batting average, 44 runs, 44 RBIs, 15 doubles and 12 homers.

Max Stepan hit .381 this spring with 39 runs, 39 RBIs and 11 homers.

Max Stepan hit .381 this spring with 39 runs, 39 RBIs and 11 homers.