Willamette Sweeps Doubleheader from Puget Sound, 11-5 and 10-4

Simon Earns Victory in First Game; Rowan Smacks a Grand Slam in Second Game

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Brandon Simon (Jr., RHP, Los Angeles, CA/Pacific Hills School) allowed just two runs in six innings, and a trio of Willamette University players hit home runs, as the Bearcats defeated the University of Puget Sound, 11-5, on Saturday, April 28 in the first game of a three-game Northwest Conference series.

In the second game, Mitch Rowan (Jr., LF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) belted a grand slam in the third inning for his second home run of the day, erasing an early 3-1 deficit and sending WU on its way to a 10-4 win.

Simon allowed seven hits in the opener, but held UPS virtually in check, as only one of the Loggers' two runs was earned. Simon, now 4-5 on the season, was supported by a high-scoring attack that led 5-2 after five innings and 10-2 after six innings. All five of Willamette's runs in the sixth inning were scored following a two-out error in left field.

During the first game, the Bearcats received home runs from Rowan, Tyson Giza (Jr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) and Dylan Summers (Sr., C, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS). Rowan's home run gave WU a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Giza homered during the sixth inning and Summers belted a solo homer in the eighth.

Including his grand slam in the second game, Rowan has a team-leading 10 homers on the season. He moved into sole possession of third place on Willamette's all-time list with 27 home runs. He trails only Kyle Stalker with 51 from 2006-09 and T.C. Lee with 34 from 2008-11.

Bearcats Win First Game, 11-5

WU struck quickly in the opener. Tommy Kawamura (So., SS, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) hit a leadoff single to right field and went to second on an errant pickoff throw. Giza popped up to shortstop for the first out of the game, but Rowan batted next and powered the ball over the center field fence.

The Bearcats added a run in the third inning. Giza hit a two-out single and went to second on a balk. With first base open, the Loggers intentionally walked Rowan. Summers, hitting .394 since March 17, connected with the ball for an RBI single to right, allowing Giza to score.

Puget Sound cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth. A groundout opened the stanza, but Matt Cox doubled, Lucas Stone was hit by a pitch and Kaulana Smith singled to left field to load the bases. A fly ball to center field failed to produce a run, but Johnny Hosmer walked to bring Cox home. A fielding error at first base allowed Stone to score an unearned run.

WU scored twice in its next at bat. Michael Oliver (Sr., 1B, Seattle, WA/West Seattle HS) walked and Kawamura hit a bunt single. Giza supplied a sacrifice bunt and Rowan grounded out to drive in Oliver. Kawamura scored when Summers hit into an error by shortstop Andrew Grady.

The Bearcats took control in the sixth. Hunter Gallant (Fr., 2B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) doubled and Tosh Semlacher (So., 3B, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) singled. UPS starter Steve Wager earned a strikeout and forced Oliver into a fielder's choice, as Grady threw out Gallant at the plate.

Kawamura then hit a ball to right field that was misplayed. Semlacher and Oliver scored. Giza sent the second pitch out of the park down the right field line. Rowan walked and Summers singled. Andrew Wilson (Fr., DH/LF, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) doubled to drive in Rowan for a 10-2 lead.

Summers tallied Willamette's final run with his solo homer in the eighth. Puget Sound scored three times in the ninth on an RBI single by Nick Cochran and a two-run single by Hosmer.

Willamette Takes Second Game, 10-4

T.J. Whidby (Fr., RHP, Woodinville, WA/Redmond HS), who pitched the final six innings of Game 2 for the Bearcats, earned a win and improved to 3-2 on the season. He gave up six hits -- all singles -- and recorded three strikeouts, while allowing no runs and no walks.

Willamette led 1-0 after the top of the first inning, as Giza hit a bunt single with one out, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Summers.

WU starter Ryan Smith (Sr., RHP, Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS/U. of Redlands) gave up three runs with one out in the bottom of the inning, as Will Mentor blasted a two-run homer to left field and Cox followed with a homer to right center.

Rowan's grand slam in the third inning boosted Willamette into a 5-3 advantage. Rolenn Himuro (Fr., LF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School), Kawamura and Giza also scored on the play.

Connor Savage of Puget Sound doubled to start the bottom of the third, and scored on a single by Mentor. The Loggers threatened to take the lead, as the bases were filled with two outs, but Smith got Stone to ground out to second base to end the inning with WU in front, 5-4.

Whidby shut down UPS the rest of the way. The Bearcats tacked on a run in the sixth, added one run in the eighth and pulled away with three runs in the ninth. Semlacher singled and later scored in the sixth on a base hit by Kawamura. Brandon Chinn (So., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) singled and eventually scored on a bases-load walk to Rowan in the eighth.

In the ninth, Gallant scored when the Loggers tried to throw out Ben Petersen (Jr., C, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS/Butte College) on a stolen base attempt. After Himuro walked, Kawamura singled through the right side to score Petersen. Giza drove in Himuro with the game's final RBI on a double to right center.

Bearcats Earn 30 Hits in Doubleheader

Willamette pounded out 30 hits on the day, with 17 in the second game. In the first game, Summers was 3 for 5 with a run and two RBIs, while Kawamura, Giza and Semlacher each registered two hits.

For the Bearcats in the second game, Giza went 4 for 5 with two runs, a double and an RBI. Gallant provided a 3-for-5 effort with a double, and a run scored. Kawamura was 3 for 6 with a run and two RBIs. Gallant hit his second double of the day.

Puget Sound had five players with two hits in the first game, as the Loggers matched WU with 13 hits. Cox and Christian Carter each belted one double.

In the second game, UPS achieved 14 hits, led by Coberly at 3 for 5 and Mentor, also 3 for 5. Mentor's two-run homer contributed to his three RBIs.

The teams will conclude the series with one game on Sunday, April 29. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT) at Logger Field.

BOX SCORES

Willamette University 11
University of Puget Sound 5
Statistics

Willamette University 10
University of Puget Sound 4
Statistics

Mitch Rowan blasted his team-leading ninth and 10th home runs of the season.

Mitch Rowan blasted his team-leading ninth and 10th home runs of the season.