College of Idaho Sweeps Doubleheader from Bearcats

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

CALDWELL, IDAHO -- The College of Idaho took advantage of errors, walks and hit batsmen to build early leads in both games, as the Coyotes swept Willamette University in a baseball doubleheader on Monday, Feb. 20 at Wolfe Field. The Yotes won the first game, 18-1, and the second game, 7-4.

The games were played in cold conditions on the artificial turf field. The teams also battled the snow, which began falling in the eighth inning of the first game and continued through the the fourth inning of the second game.

With the wins, College of Idaho improved to 10-2 and completed a sweep of the four-game series. Willamette fell to 1-7 with all eight games on the road.

In the first inning of Monday's opener, the Yotes used two errors and a hit batsman, plus four hits, to score six unearned runs. The leadoff batter, Todd Griffiths, reached base on an error at second. The next batter, Jeffrey Harris, provided a sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error by third baseman Tosh Semlacher (So., Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) allowed Griffiths to score and sent Harris to third.

Harris scored on a single by Izaac Garsez. After Jarel Lewis provided a single down the right field line, Garsez and Lewis ran a successful double-steal. Garsez scored from third on a ground out by Tanner Hodges for a 3-0 lead. The Yotes plated three more run before Willamette got out of the inning.

College of Idaho put together another lengthy at bat in the bottom of the second. The Yotes sent 13 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs. The inning featured six hits, one error, two walks and two hit batsmen. Lewis belted the big hit of the inning, a grand slam home run to left field to drive in the final four runs.

Willamette played errorless ball during the rest of the game and gave up just two more runs, but the Bearcats couldn't overcome the big early deficit.

The Bearcats tallied their only run in the top of the eighth inning, after Tommy Kawamura (So., SS, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) and Mitch Rowan (Jr., LF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) hit two-out singles. Rowan's hit to center field also was misplayed, allowing the runners to advance to second and third.

Tanner Oates (Fr., IF, sparks, NV/Spanish Springs HS) pinch-ran for Kawamura and scored on a single to right field by Bryan Afzali (Fr., OF, Manhattan Beach, CA/Mira Costa HS).

C of I earned 14 hits in the game, while allowing WU just five hits. Lewis was 3 for 3 with three runs and six RBIs for the Yotes. Harris, Nick Muncy and Brett Ward each registered two hits. Rowan went 2 for 3 for the Bearcats.

Pitching starter Zachary Fabricius from C of I picked up the win to improve to 2-0. In five innings, he allowed one hit, gave up two walks and struck out five batters. WU starter Jamie McCaffrey (Jr., LHP, Canby, OR/Canby HS/Clackamas CC) fell to 0-2 with the loss.

Willamette took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the second game.

Rowan smacked a two-out double, went to third on a passed ball and scored when Sky Kelley (Jr., RF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) reached base on a throwing error by Hodges at shortstop. Tiras Koon (Fr., C, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) followed with a single through the left side. C of I ended the inning with an out at second when Semlacher hit into a fielder's choice.

In the bottom of the first, the Coyotes benefited from three walks, two hit batters and two wild pitches to push across four runs. Two of the runs scored on a double by Lewis. One run scored when Cameron Packham was hit at the plate and one run scored on a wild pitch.

The Bearcats reacted quickly, plating three runs to tie the game in the top of the second.

Ben Petersen (Jr., C, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS/Butte College) started the inning by hitting into a fielding error at third base. Himuro ran for Petersen, and moved to second when Brandon Chinn (So., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) was hit by a pitch. A passed ball advanced the runners, before Oates walked to load the bases.

Tyson Giza (Jr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) singled to the mound and advanced to second when the pitcher, Griffiths, committed a throwing error. Himuro and Chinn scored, while Oates advanced to third. Hunter Gallant (Fr., IF, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) drove in Oates with a groundout to second. Rowan walked and stole second, but a strikeout and a line drive out in center field ended the inning.

The score remained 4-4 until the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Yotes moved ahead, 6-4.

With one out, Harris hit a single to center and stole second base. A walk and a passed ball put runners at second and third, so the Bearcats intentionally walked Lewis, who hit .500 during the series. Hodges batted next and walked, forcing in Harris with the go-ahead run. Fabricius provided a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in the second run.

The Yotes added a run in the bottom of the sixth. Garsez hit a leadoff single and stole second. He moved to third on a fly out and reached home by beating the throw when Hodges hit into a fielder's choice.

Willamette unable to score in the final five innings. WU had a chance to take the lead in the third when Peterson and Chinn walked with one out. Giza singled to right, but Himuro, running for Petersen, was thrown out at the plate. WU left two runners on base in the third, fifth and sixth innings.

The Bearcats outhit the Coyotes 6-4 and played error-free ball throughout the second game. C of I was credited with three errors in Game #2.

Harris went 2 for 4 and scored twice for the Yotes in the second game, while Lewis and Hodges each recorded two RBIs.

Giza went 2 for 4 with an RBI for WU. Rowan was 1 for 2 with a run scored, as he finished the day 3 for 5 at the plate.

Michael Garza (1-0), who went to the mound in the second inning, recorded the win for C of I. Tyler Olson (Fr., RHP/IF, Yuba City, CA/Yuba City HS) threw the first 3 1/3 innings for WU and fell to 0-1 with the loss.

Willamette is scheduled to play its first home game of the season on Friday, Feb. 24 against Corban University. Game time at John Lewis Field is set for 3 p.m. (PST). The Bearcats and the Warriors will complete the home-and-home series with a game at Corban on Saturday, Feb. 25, starting at 11 a.m. (PST).

BOX SCORES

College of Idaho 18
Willamette University 1
Statistics

College of Idaho 7
Willamette University 4
Statistics

Mitch Rowan was 3 of 5 with two walks during the doubleheader. He is batting .400 for the season.

Mitch Rowan was 3 of 5 with two walks during the doubleheader. He is batting .400 for the season.

Head Coach Aaron Swick meets with the umpires in the snow while standing on the artificial turf at Wolfe Field.

Head Coach Aaron Swick meets with the umpires in the snow while standing on the artificial turf at Wolfe Field.