Bearcats Drop Doubleheader against College of Idaho, 6-5 and 5-1

Rowan Smacks 3-Run Homer in First Game

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

CALDWELL, IDAHO -- Willamette University fell to the College of Idaho in both games of a doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 19, as the Coyotes edged out the Bearcats, 6-5, in the first game, before winning the second game 5-1. College of Idaho improved to 8-2 on the season. Willamette dropped to 1-5.

The teams will conclude the four-game series with a doubleheader on Monday, Feb. 20. First pitch in the opening game is set for 11 a.m. (MST)/10 a.m. (PST).

College of Idaho plated a single run in the bottom of the first inning for an early lead in the opener. Izaac Garsez created the run with a two-out homer to center field

Willamette left two runners on base in the fourth stanza, after Mitch Rowan (Jr., LF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) and Sky Kelley (Jr., RF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) both singled with two outs. C of I starting pitcher Chad Yeggy got Tosh Semlacher (So., 3B, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) to ground out to third to end the threat.

The Bearcats tied the game 1-1 in the top of the fifth. Hunter Gallant (Fr., 2B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) reached base on an error. Galen Duff (Jr., IF, Spokane, WA/Gonzaga Prep) and Rolenn Himuro (Fr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) each singled to advance Gallant to third. With one out, Tyson Giza (Jr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) hit into a fielder's choice. Gallant scored on the play as Himuro was thrown out at second.

The Coyotes moved back in front with three runs in the sixth. Tyler Andazola singled, reached second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on an error after Todd Griffiths hit an infield single to shortstop. Jeffrey Harris drove in Griffith with a double to right center. Harris later scored on a single by Tanner Hodges.

Willamette responded with a 4-run outburst in their next at bat. Dylan Summers (Sr., C, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS) tripled to start the seventh inning and scored when pinch-hitter Tiras Koon (Fr., C, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) reached base on an infield error.

Bryan Afzali (Fr., OF, Manhattan Beach, CA/Mira Costa HS) pinch-ran for Koon. Giza singled and Tommy Kawamura (So., SS, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) hit a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Rowan followed with a three-run homer to right center, giving the Bearcats a 5-4 lead.

WU starting pitcher Brandon Simon (Jr., RHP, Los Angeles, CA/Pacific Hills School) faced just three batters in the bottom of the seventh, although Zachary Fabricius singled before being thrown out at second on a base-stealing attempt. In the top of the eighth, Brandon Chinn (So., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) walked with two outs and Giza added an infield single, but the Bearcats left both runners on base.

In the bottom of the eighth, Griffiths was hit by a pitch and Harris singled to start the inning. One out later, both runners advanced on a double-steal, which ended with Griffiths scoring on a throwing error. Jarel Lewis drove in Harris with a single through the right side, as C of I moved into the lead, 6-5. Back-to-back groundouts ended the inning.

Rowan walked to begin the top of the ninth. Kelley reached on a fielder's choice to third base, as Rowan was put out at second. Semlacher was hit by a pitch, moving Kelley to second. Bryan Hildebrand, the fifth pitcher for C of I, entered the game and picked off Semlacher at first. Gallant walked, before Duff lined out to right field for the final out of the game.

Despite the loss, WU held a 12-8 margin in hits, led by Giza, who went 3 for 5 with a run and an RBI. Rowan was 2 for 4 with a run and three RBIs. Kelly and Semlacher also registered two hits. Harris topped the Yotes by going 2 for 4 with two runs and an RBI. Willamette committed three errors, while College of Idaho made two errors.

Joshua Orr pitched all seven innings for the Yotes in the second game to improve his record to 3-0 this season. He struck out eight batters, allowed just five hits and gave up two walks.

Even with Orr's stellar pitching performance, College of Idaho trailed after the first inning. WU scored in the top of the first, as Giza produced a leadoff single and eventually scored four batters later on an infield hit by Semlacher.

The Coyotes tied the game with a run in the second and moved into the lead with another run in the third. Cameron Packham drove in the first run with a double. The second run was scored by Garsez, who singled with one out, moved to third on a double by Lewis and crossed the plate on a groundout by Hodges.

College of Idaho tacked on three insurance runs in the fifth stanza. Two runs scored on a triple by Garsez. After Lewis was intentionally walked, Garsez went home on a bunt single.

Willamette threatened to get a rally going in the top of the seventh following consecutive singles by Himuro, Brad Breier (Fr., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) and Ben Petersen (Jr., C, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS/Butte College). Orr escaped the bases-loaded situation with a strikeout, a grounder that led to an out at the plate, and another strikeout.

Harris finished the game 2 for 4 with a run scored for C of I. Garsez went 2 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs. Five Willamette players each registered one hit.

WU starting pitcher T.J. Whidby (Fr., RHP/IF, Woodinville, CA/Redmond HS) threw the first five innings and fell to 0-1 in his second appearance for the Bearcats.


College of Idaho 6
Willamette University 5

College of Idaho 5
Willamette University 1

Mitch Rowan hit a 3-run homer in the first game of the doubleheader.

Mitch Rowan hit a 3-run homer in the first game of the doubleheader.