Simpson Wins Suspended Game before Bearcats Split Scheduled Doubleheader

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

REDDING, CALIF. -- Willamette University was victorious in one game and Simpson University won two games, as the Bearcats and the Red Hawks completed a lengthy day of baseball on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Simpson won the first game, 5-4 in 10 innings, as the teams finished Friday's game that was suspended in the top of the 10th. In the regularly scheduled doubleheader that followed, Willamette took the first game, 20-13, and Simpson prevailed in the second game 13-6.

Willamette, playing for the first time this season, is 1-2, WU competes in NCAA Division III. Simpson, a member of the NAIA, is 6-5.

The teams will conclude the series with one game on Sunday, Feb. 12. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. (PST).

Game #1

In the opening game, Mitch Rowan (Sr., LF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) of Willamette belted a two-run homer in the first inning. Simpson pulled within 2-1 in the bottom of the stanza, when Joshua Corson singled, moved to third on a double to left field by Garrett Barnett, and scored on a balk.

The Bearcats increased their lead to 4-1 with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

In the fourth, Tosh Semlacher (So., 3B, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) singled to right and went to second when the ball was misplayed. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by Tanner Oates (Fr., 2B, Sparks, NV/Spanish Springs HS). In the fifth, Tommy Kawamura (So., SS, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) walked, went to third on a bad pickoff throw and scored on a sacrifice fly by Rowan.

The Red Hawks cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Elden Whisman singled to start the inning, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kris Warner, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a single by Barnett.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the ninth, when Simpson tied the score by scoring two runs without a hit. A walk and a hit batsman put runners at first and second. Corson flied out and Angel Marti struck out to put Willamette within one out of ending the game. The next three batters walked, bringing in the third and fourth runs for the Red Hawks.

The game was suspended in the top of the 10th. When play resumed on Saturday, Willamette's Alex Lavery (So., 1B, San Jose, CA/Bellarmine Prep) walked with one out and stole second base with two outs. Semlacher flied out to right field to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 10th, Simpson scored the winning run. Chad Alden singled to leadoff the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Whisman. Warner doubled to drive in Alden, as the Red Hawks won, 5-4.

Kawamura led the Bearcats in the first game with two hits in three bats, to go with two walks and two runs. Corson, Barnett and Alden registered two hits apiece for Simpson.

Game #2

Willamette walked an incredible 22 times in the second game to go along with 13 hits by the Bearcats. WU received home runs from Galen Duff (Jr., IF, Spokane, WA/Gonzaga Prep) and Sky Kelley (Jr., OF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS). Duff smacked a solo homer in the seventh inning, while Kelley connected for a 3-run homer in the ninth.

Brandon Simon (Jr., RHP, Los Angeles, CA/Pacific Hills School), who pitched the first five innings of the game, was the winning pitcher for the Bearcats.

The game began with a scoreless first inning. Each team tallied one run in the second, before Willamette scored three times in the third. Two of the runs scored on a single by Ben Petersen (Jr., C, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS/Butte College). Simpson pulled within 4-2 in the bottom of the third, as Barnett recorded an RBI single.

Both teams added two runs in the fourth inning and WU plated one run in the top of the fifth for a 7-4 lead. The Red Hawks cut the margin to a single run when Robert Nadalsky and Daveron Ross scored on a single by Graig Lonergan in the bottom of the fifth.

WU pulled away from with three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh.

A single by Duff, plus three walks, a wild pitch and two errors helped WU in the sixth, In the seventh, Duff's solo homer started a four-run rally with two outs. Hunter Gallant (Fr., IF, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) followed with a single, and Tyson Giza (Jr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) added a two-run single later in the inning. The Bearcats led 14-6 entering the bottom of the seventh.

Simpson trailed 16-7 before the Red Hawks pushed across six runs in the bottom of the eighth to get within 16-13. The inning featured a double by Philip Ramos, plus four singles and one error.

Kelley's home run helped Willamette solidify the win with four runs in the ninth. Kawamura singled and Rowan doubled to begin the inning. Michael Oliver (Sr., 1B, Seattle, WA/West Seattle HS) singled to drive in Kawamura and send Rowan to third. Kelly then blasted his 3-run homer to left field.

Petersen of Willamette went 3 for 5 with two runs and three RBIs during the game. Giza, Duff and Gallant each earned two hits. Kawamura received five of the 22 walks, while Gallant walked four times. Barnett was 4 for 6 at the plate for Simpson.

Game #3

In the third game of the series, WU took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second inning. Gallant drove in one run with an RBI single, while Rolenn Himuro (Fr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) brought in the other run on a ground out.

The Red Hawks surged past the Bearcats with six runs in the bottom of the third. Corson hit a leadoff double to left field, stole third, and scored on a triple by Ramos. Two singles followed before WU recorded the first out. Later in the stanza, Chuck Matthey doubled and Warner singled.

WU cut the margin to 7-4 with two runs in the top of the fourth, but Simpson plated three runs in the bottom of the stanza. The Bearcats got within 10-6 by scoring two runs in the sixth. Simpson answered with the final three runs of the game in the bottom of the sixth.

Three Bearcats -- Semlacher, Gallant and Tiras Koon (Fr., C, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) -- each achieved two hits in the third game. Ramos of Simpson went 3 for 4 with three runs and one RBI. The Red Hawks outhit Willamette, 14-7.

Galen Duff hit a home run in Willamette's 20-13 win in the second game of the series.

Galen Duff hit a home run in Willamette's 20-13 win in the second game of the series.