Stags Score Six Runs in Third Inning, Defeat Bearcats, 11-6

Lepire Goes 3 for 3 with 3 RBIs for Bearcats; Gallant Finishes 2 for 5

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

CLAREMONT, CALIF. -- Claremont-Mudd-Scripps scored six runs with two outs in the third inning to take a 6-1 lead, and the Stags went on to defeat Willamette University, 11-6, in the final game of a four-game series on Sunday, Feb. 9 at Arce Field. Each team won two games during the series.

Willamette ended the day at 2-2 on the season. CMS improved its record to 2-3.

The Bearcats scored first with a run in the top of the second inning. Brad Breier (Jr., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) hit a lead-off double. Jeff Kepple (Fr., C, Woodinville, WA/Eastside Catholic HS) followed with a bunt single, sending Breier to third.

Blake Lepire (So., 1B, Vista, CA/Vista HS/Santa Ana College) and Austin Hagarty (So., INF, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) received walks to move Breier across the plate. The next two batters sent the ball toward CMS pitcher Chad Hadzinsky who threw home for force outs. Hadzinsky ended the threat with a strikeout, as Willamette left the bases loaded.

WU starting pitcher Evan Giddings (So., RHP, El Cerrito, CA/St. Mary's HS) faced just three batters in each of the first two innings. In the third stanza, he caused a fly out to center field before allowing a double by Christian Hoxsie. Traven Tapson flied out to right field for the second out.

Hoxsie advanced to third on a passed ball, and then Giddings walked four consecutive batters to push two runs across the plate. John Rizzo brought in two more runs with a double down the left field line. Ray Hurwitz completed the rally with a two-run single to center.

In the fifth inning, Willamette second baseman Tommy Kawamura (Sr., 2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) singled and Rolenn Himuro (Jr., LF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) walked. The Stags recorded three outs in row, as both runners were left on base.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps added three runs in the bottom of the inning for a 9-1 lead. Samuel Woodman walked before Evan Opperman and Jack Witte singled to load the bases. Scott Witte sent an infield single toward shortstop, driving in Woodman and Opperman. Rizzo hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home the third run.

Each team scored two runs in the sixth. For WU, Hagarty reached first on a fielder's choice and went to third when Andrew Wilson (Jr., LF, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) belted a double.

Hagarty scored on a single through the left side by Devin Bales (Jr., 3B, Graham, WA/Graham-Kapowsin HS/Grays Harbor College). Bales went to second on a throwing error, but Wilson had to hold at third. Kawamura walked to loaded the bases. Wilson scored on a sacrifice fly by Himuro.

CMS led 9-3 entering the bottom of the sixth. The lead was extended with two runs on three hits. The first run scored on a single by Woodman, who crossed the plate later in the inning on a wild pitch.

Willamette produced the game's final three runs in the top of the ninth. Hunter Gallant (Jr., SS, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) singled and then advanced two bases when Brandon Chinn (Sr., RF/1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) and Tiras Koon (Jr., C, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) were hit by pitches.

Lepire drove in Gallant and Chinn with a single through the right side. Koon scored the third run when Hagarty hit into a double play. CMS reliever Andor Kesselman, who pitched the final 3 2/3 innings for his first save of the year, ended the game by striking out Bryan Afzali (Jr., OF, Manhattan Beach, CA/Mira Costa HS).

The Bearcats held a 10-9 edge in hits, and had an additional eight runners on six walks and two hit batsmen. Eight CMS batters received walks and one batter was hit by a pitch. WU left a total of 11 runners on base, while CMS left six on base.

Lapire was 3 for 3 for Willamette with two walks and two RBIs. Gallant finished 2 for 5 with a run scored. He was 6 of 18 (.333) during the four-game series.

Opperman went 2 for 3 with two runs for the Stags, while Hoxsie was 2 for 4 and scored twice. Woodman scored three runs, while Rizzo and Witte registered three RBIs apiece.

Each team hit two doubles. Willamette's were achieved by Breier and Wilson, while Rizzo and Hoxsie doubled for the Stags.

Hadzinsky (1-0) recorded the win for CMS. He threw the first 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits. He struck out five batters and gave up six walks. Giddings (0-1) took the loss for the Bearcats.

Willamette will play a trio of non-conference games against Lewis & Clark College next weekend on the artificial turf field at Wilsonville High School in Wilsonville, Ore. The teams will play two games on Saturday, Feb. 15, starting at 11 a.m. (PST), followed by one game on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m.

BOX SCORE

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 11
Willamette University 6

Hunter Gallant went 2 for 5 and scored a run for Willamette. He hit .333 during the series.

Hunter Gallant went 2 for 5 and scored a run for Willamette. He hit .333 during the series.

Blake Lepire earned three hits in three at bats for the Bearcats. He walked twice and drove in three runs.

Blake Lepire earned three hits in three at bats for the Bearcats. He walked twice and drove in three runs.