Big Second Inning Helps Whitworth Outscore Bearcats, 10-6

Rowan and Gallant Blast Homers for Willamette

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Whitworth University scored seven runs on seven hits in the second inning and held off Willamette University for a 10-6 win over the Bearcats in Northwest Conference action on Sunday, April 22 at John Lewis Field.

The Pirates improved to 23-13-1 overall, 16-5 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 11-22 overall, 7-14 in the NWC.

Whitworth batters combined for five singles and two doubles to score the first six runs in the second inning. J.R. Jarrell and Gerhard Muelheims each provided one of the doubles. Muelheims and five other Pirates earned one RBI during the inning. A fielding error on a ground ball to third allowed another runner to cross the plate, as the Pirates completed the stanza with a 7-0 advantage.

Even so, the Bearcats pulled within 8-2 in the bottom of the third on a 2-run homer by Mitch Rowan (Jr., LF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) and cut the lead to 8-6 with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Tommy Kawamura (So., SS, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS), who opened the third inning with a single, scored on Rowan's towering shot over the right field fence.

The first run in the fifth inning was scored by Kawamura, who singled with one out, stole second base, and reached the plate on a single by Dylan Summers (Sr., C, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS). Willamette's final three runs in the fifth were tallied on a homer to left field by Hunter Gallant (Fr., 2B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS). Rowan, who walked prior to the hit by Summers, also scored on the play.

Willamette relief pitcher Ryan Smith (Sr., RHP, Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS/U. of Redlands), who entered the game at the start of the third inning, gave up one run on three singles in his first stanza of work, but kept Whitworth off the scoreboard over the next four innings.

Still trailing 8-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Bearcats threatened to add at least one run. Kawamura singled to right field to start the frame. He stole second with one out, and moved to third on a wild pitch with two outs. Kawamura was left at third when Summers hit a fly ball that was caught in right field. It was the third fly out of the inning for the Bearcats.

Whitworth tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth inning. Joshua Davis walked and Kevin Valerio singled to begin the inning. Nick Motsinger provided a sacrifice bunt between the plate and the mound. He was thrown out by Summers, who sent the ball to Gallant covering first. Davis and Valerio each advanced one base. After Muelheims grounded out, Tyler Pfeffer hit a two-run single through the left side.

Jake Jones (Jr., RHP, Wilsonville, OR/Wilsonville HS) replaced Smith on the mound. After Pfeffer stole second, Smith got Landon Scott to line out to third base to end the stanza.

Willamette sent just three batters to the plate in each of the last two innings, as the Pirates secured the win. Whitworth starter Spencer Ansett, who pitched the first five innings, went to 6-3 with the win. WU starter Blake Paisley (Sr., RHP, Saratoga, CA/Saratoga HS) suffered the loss and dropped to 0-2 on the season.

The Pirates registered at least one hit from all nine positions in the batting order, as Whitworth attained a 13-10 advantage in total hits. Scott went 2 for 5 with a double and two RBIs. Davis, Valerio and Erik Nikssarian each added two hits apiece, while Muelheims and Jarrell each contributed a double.

For Willamette, Kawamura was 3 for 5 with two runs scored. Summers was 2 for 4 with one run, a walk and one RBI, while Gallant went 2 for 4 with a double, a homer, a run and three RBIs.

Rowan's homer was his only hit of the game, as he finished 1 for 3 with a walk, two runs and two RBIs. He tied Sky Kelley (Jr., RF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) for the team lead with eight homers on the season and also moved into a tie with Max Stepan '11 for third place on Willamette's career chart with 25 home runs.

The Bearcats will return to action on Tuesday, April 24 against crosstown rival Corban University. The game is slated to be hosted by the Warriors, starting at 4 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE

Whitworth University 10
Willamette University 6

Freshman second baseman Hunter Gallant smacked his third home run of the season, a 3-run shot in the fifth inning.

Freshman second baseman Hunter Gallant smacked his third home run of the season, a 3-run shot in the fifth inning.