Hoffman Throws 3-Hitter, as Bearcats Open Series with 7-0 Win over L&C

Pioneers Defeat Willamette in Second Game, 15-8

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Peter Hoffman (So., RHP, Hayden, ID/Lake City HS) threw a complete-game three-hit shutout to lead Willamette University to a 7-0 victory over Lewis & Clark College in the first game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader at John Lewis Field on Saturday, March 23. Lewis & Clark won the second game 15-8 after scoring six runs in the fourth inning.

After splitting the doubleheader, Willamette was 7-14 overall, 3-8 in the NWC. L&C ended the afternoon with a 3-16 overall record, 1-7 in the NWC.

In the first game, the Bearcats scored three runs in the second inning to give Hoffman all of the support he needed to record the win. Willamette added three runs in the fourth inning and plated the final run in the eighth.

Tiras Koon (So., C, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) singled to start the second inning and went to second on a wild pitch. Brad Breier (So., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) walked, and then both runners advanced on another wild pitch. Tosh Semlacher (Jr., LF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) hit into a groundout to drive in Koon.

Brandon Chinn (Jr., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) batted next and hit a soft grounder that forced second baseman Liam Healey to charge toward first. Chinn beat out the throw as the Pioneers were slow to cover the bag. Breier scored on the play. Rolenn Himuro (So., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) added an RBI single to score Chinn later in the inning.

In the fourth, Semlacher smacked a double to right field with one out. Chinn singled to left and Austin Hagarty (Fr., 2B, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) singled to right, as Semlacher scored. Himuro brought Chinn home with a hit through the right side and Giza scored Hagarty with a sacrifice fly.

Willamette maintained its 6-0 lead through the next three and a half innings, while Hoffman continued to thwart the Pioneers at the plate.

Breier doubled to left field to open the seventh for the Bearcats. Bryan Afzali (So., OF, Manhattan Beach, CA/Mira Costa HS) pinch ran, and went to third on a wild pitch. Afzali scored when Chinn hit a sacrifice fly.

Chinn was 2 for 2 with two runs, two RBIs and a stolen base. He also recorded 16 putouts at first base. Himuro went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Breier, Semlacher and Hunter Gallant (So., 3B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) each hit a double.

Eric Hyun, Mike Kinkenon and Geoff Wertz earned one hit apiece for the Pioneers. Hoffman (3-4) allowed just five base runners. He struck out four batters, allowed one walk and hit one batter. L&C starter Ryan Strombom (0-6) pitched seven innings, but allowed nine hits and six runs.

Following a scoreless first inning to start the second game, the Pioneers registered three runs in the second inning and then added two runs in the third. L&C tallied six runs in the fourth inning to take an 11-2 lead.

With one out in the second inning, Lewis & Clark loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batsman. Wertz brought in the first run with an RBI single to right field. Hyun followed with a two-run single to left.

In the third inning, Corey Davis drove in one run with a fielder's choice. Davis went on to score an unearned when Bradley Lezak reached base on an error.

The Bearcats countered with two runs of their next at bat. With one out, Giza walked and Matt Hirsch (Fr., SS, Edmonds, WA/Meadowdale HS) singled. Both runners moved up a base, before Gallant grounded out to shortstop. Giza scored on the grounder.

Gallant's out at first was a close play, so WU Assistant Coach Darryl Blunt talked with the first base umpire, but no one called timeout. Hirsch dashed home with the second run as the Pioneers were slow to react.

Lewis & Clark registered five hits and took advantage of an error in the fourth inning. With one out and runners at first and second, Evan Gray bunted toward the mound. Relief pitcher Peter Davis (Fr., OF/RHP, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) grabbed the ball, saw that he couldn't get the out at third, and threw wildly toward first base. Mike Kinkenon scored on the play.

Semlacher, playing in right field, picked up the ball in foul territory and threw out Andrew Traver at the plate. Even so, L&C had momentum and added five more runs before Gray struck out to end the inning. The big hit of the stanza was a two-run homer by Hayden Higger.

Semlacher belted a two-run homer for WU in the fourth inning, and Tanner Oates (So., 2B, Sparks, NV/Spanish Springs HS) smacked a solo home run in the seventh, but Willamette was unable to overcome the early deficit.

Higger went 4 for 5 with three runs and three RBIs for L&C in the second game. Traver also finished 4 for 5 for L&C, while scoring once and driving in one run. Hyun was 4 for 6 with four RBIs.

For the Bearcats, Hirsch was 2 for 4 and scored a run. Oates ended the game 2 for 5 with a run and an RBI.

Mike Hathaway, who started on the mound for L&C, achieved the win. He improved to 1-4. WU starting pitcher Albert Garcia (Fr., LHP, Broomfield, CO/Broomfield HS) dropped to 1-4 after allowing three runs in two innings.

Willamette and Lewis & Clark will complete the three-game weekend series on Sunday, March 24 with a single game. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).


Willamette University 7
Lewis & Clark College 0

Lewis & Clark College 15
Willamette University 8

Photo gallery - Game 1
Photo gallery - Game 2

(By Naomi Stukey, Photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Peter Hoffman threw all nine innings and allowed just three hits to record a shutout in the first game.

Peter Hoffman threw all nine innings and allowed just three hits to record a shutout in the first game.