Bearcats Outscore Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in Season Opener, 16-7

Koon Earns 4 Hits in 5 at Bats, Drives in 5 Runs

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

CLAREMONT, CALIF. -- Willamette University pounded out 14 hits and took advantage of six walks and five hit batsmen to defeat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 16-7, in the season opener for the Bearcats on Friday, Feb. 7. Tiras Koon (Jr., Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) led the way by providing four hits in five at bats, while driving in five runs.

The Bearcats are now 1-0, while the Stags are 0-2. Willamette will take on CMS in two more games on Saturday, Feb. 8 and in one game on Sunday, Feb. 9. The doubleheader on Saturday is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (PST), while the single game on Sunday is set for 12 p.m.

Tosh Semlacher (Sr., CF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) added a 2-for-4 performance at the plate for WU. He scored four runs and recorded three RBIs. Semlacher, Koon and three other Bearcats each blasted one double.

Hunter Gallant (Jr., SS, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) and Andrew Wilson (Jr., RF, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) earned two hits apiece for Willamette. Gallant was 2 for 4 with a double, two runs and an RBI. Wilson was 2 for 4 with a double, two walks and a run scored.

Brad Breier (Jr., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) supplied the Bearcats with solid play behind the plate and went 1 for 3 on offense, with a sacrifice bunt, a sacrifice fly and three RBIs.

WU led 3-0 through three innings, but trailed 5-4 after five stanzas. The Bearcats outscored CMS 12-2 over the rest of the game, starting with two runs in the top of the sixth for a 6-5 advantage.

Willamette built leads of 15-5 and 16-6, before the Stags scored the final run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps finished the game with 12 hits, but the Bearcats allowed just one walk and no hit batsmen. John Rizzo belted two home runs and earned three RBIs for the Stags, as he went 2 for 4 overall.

Ray Hurwitz was 2 for 4 with a run and two doubles for CMS, while Michael Gose went 2 for 4 and scored once.

The Bearcats achieved the first three runs of the game with two outs in the top of the third inning. Gallant singled trough the left side, and went to second base when Semlacher reached on an infield throwing error.

Koon drove in Gallant with a single to left field, and then Breier brought home Semlacher with a double down the right field line. Brandon Chinn (Sr., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) walked to load the bases. Koon scored a bit later when CMS pitcher Andor Kesselman was called for a balk.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps tied the score in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Jack Witte walked, and with two outs, Rizzo homered to left center. Hurwitz followed with a double. He scored on a single by Matt Orehek.

WU pulled back in front with a run by Semlacher in the top of the fifth. Semlacher was hit by a pitch and went to third when a line drive by Koon went past the right fielder. Semlacher scored on a sacrifice fly by Breier.

The Stags surged in front 5-4 by plating two runs in the bottom of the inning. Both runs scored on a double to center by Scott Witte.

CMS held the lead for only a short while, as the Bearcats moved in front for good in the sixth inning.

Tommy Kawamura (Sr., 2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) opened the stanza by reaching base on a fielding error at third, and then went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Rolenn Himuro (Jr., LF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School).

Semlacher hit a double off the pitcher's leg to drive in Kawamura. Koon followed with a double toward the right field corner to score Semlacher with the go-ahead run.

Willamette pulled away from the Stags with four runs in the seventh inning and five more in the eighth. Wilson doubled to start the seventh inning. Other key hits during the stanza were an RBI double by Gallant and a two-run single by Semlacher. 

Koon smacked a bases-clearing single to left center in the eighth to drive in the final three runs of the inning. WU scored the first two runs of the stanza when batters were hit by pitches with the bases loaded.

Rizzo smacked his second homer for CMS with two outs in the bottom of the eights, but it scored only one run for the Stags. Hurwitz batted next and sent a double down the left field line, before a strikeout ended the inning. Each team tacked on a run in the ninth.

Three Willamette pitchers combined for the win. Starter Albert Garcia (So., LHP, Broomfield, CO/Broomfield HS) went 4 2/3 innings.

Jackson Watt (So., RHP, Rocklin, CA/Whitney HS) threw the next 3 1/3 innings and was credited with the win. He allowed just one run and two hits. Eland Tsubata (Jr., LHP, El Cerrito, CA/St. Mary's HS) threw the ninth inning and gave up one run, while striking out two batters.

Kesselman threw five full innings for CMS. He gave up four hits and four runs, with two walks and three hit batsmen. Samuel Woodman pitched only the sixth inning, but gave up the tying and go-ahead runs. He fell to 0-1 with the loss. Overall, CMS used seven pitchers during the game.

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 16
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 7

Tiras Koon registered 4 hits in 5 at bats and drove in 5 runs. He was one of five Bearcats with a double.

Tiras Koon registered 4 hits in 5 at bats and drove in 5 runs. He was one of five Bearcats with a double.