Linfield Defeats Bearcats, 6-1 and 4-3; Holds on in 9th Inning of Game 2

Bearcats almost Rally from 4-0 Deficit; Winning Run at Second when Game Ends

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Linfield College received a complete game from pitcher Chris Haddeland for a 6-1 win in the opener, and nearly received a no-hitter from Aaron Thomassen in the second game, but the Wildcats had to hang on for a 4-3 win, as Willamette University scored three runs on five hits in the bottom of the ninth.

Linfield, ranked #15 in the Top 25, improved to 12-2 on the season, 5-0 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 5-9 overall, 1-4 in the NWC.

Haddeland allowed just four hits in the first game, as he improved to 3-1 on the season. In the second game, Thomassen (4-0) had a no-hitter going into the ninth inning. With one out in the ninth, Tosh Semlacher (Jr., LF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) reached base with on a fielding error by the second baseman, and Hunter Gallant (So., 3B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) followed with a single to right center.

With the no-hitter broke up by Gallant, Linfield brought in reliever Justin Huskins. He recorded a save, but the Bearcats scored three runs and had runners at second and third with two outs. Willamette's rally included a two-run double by Brad Breier (So., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) that hit low on the fence in left field, as he just missed a game-winning home run.

After Brier doubled, Huskins struck out WU first baseman Corbin Bennett (Fr., Tustin, CA/Foothill HS) to end the game.

Earlier in the second game, the Wildcats took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a two-run homer to left field by catcher Chance Laboda. The Wildcats added one run in the fourth inning and one run in the ninth.

Nick Fisher of Linfield hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning that gave the Wildcats a 4-0 lead. Willamette's only run in the first game was scored by Tyson Giza (Sr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS), who doubled down the left field line to start the fourth inning and scored one out later on a single by Semlacher.

WU starter Peter Hoffman (So., RHP, Hayden, ID/Lake City HS) went eight innings in the first game. He fell to 2-3 after giving up five runs -- four earned -- on nine hits. Hoffman registered for strikeouts and allowed two walks.

In the second game, Bearcat starter Albert Garcia (Fr., LHP, Broomfield, CO/Broomfield HS) tossed 6 2/3 innings, but fell to 1-2 on the season. He allowed three runs on seven hits.

The teams will play the final game of the 3-game series on Sunday, March 10. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PST).


Linfield College 6
Willamette University 1

Linfield College 4
Willamette University 3

Hunter Gallant recorded a hit in both games for the Bearcats. He broke up a no-hitter in the ninth inning of the second game.

Hunter Gallant recorded a hit in both games for the Bearcats. He broke up a no-hitter in the ninth inning of the second game.