Top-Ranked Linfield Defeats Willamette, 5-2, to Open Series

Wyatt Blasts a Two-Run Homer for Bearcats in Ninth Inning

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Linfield College, ranked #1 in the D3baseball.com Top 25, received a complete-game pitching effort from Chris Haddeland, as the Wildcats defeated Willamette University, 5-2, in a Northwest Conference game at Roy Helser Field on Friday, March 7.

Haddeland struck out seven batters, while allowing eight hits and one walk. He improved to 4-0 on the season.

The Wildcats are 11-2 overall, 4-0 in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats fell to 6-7 on the season, 0-3 in the NWC.

Willamette scored both of its runs in the top of the ninth inning on a two-run homer by Ty Wyatt (Fr., IF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) with no outs. It was Wyatt's second home run of the season. The Bearcats were unable to complete the rally, as Haddeland faced just four more batters.

The Bearcats committed six errors. WU starting pitcher, Tyler Olson (Jr., IF, Yuba City, CA/Yuba City HS) allowed four runs, but only one was earned. Olson struck out two batters, allowed three hits and gave up four walks in 4 1/3 innings. He fell to 0-1 on the season. Relief pitcher Albert Garcia (So., LHP, Broomfield, CO/Broomfield HS) tossed 3 2/3 innings and limited the Wildcats to two hits, two walks and an unearned run.

Linfield surged out to a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning. Corey VanDomelen walked as the Wildcats' first batter. One out later, VanDomelen reached second on an error, while Nick Fisher went to first base on a fielder's choice. Clayton Truex hit into an error by Olson to load the bases.

Vandomelen scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Kramer Lindell, and Fisher scored later as Truex stole second. A pop-up to first base ended the inning.

In Linfield's next trip to the plate, Nate McClellan reached base on an infield error and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Eric Lawson. The Wildcats took a 3-0 lead into the third inning.

Chance Laboda walked as the lead-off batter in the fourth inning for the Wildcats. He scored two batters later on a single to center by VanDomelen.

Willamette had a chance to cut into the 4-0 lead in the sixth. Rolenn Himuro (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) doubled down the left field line to start the inning. Two outs later, Hunter Gallant (Jr., 3B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) singled to left, but Himuro had to stop at third. Gallant was thrown out at second when Wyatt hit into a fielder's choice.

Linfield added its final run in the bottom of the eighth. Truex doubled with two outs and scored when Lindell's fly ball to center field was dropped.

Gallant beat out an infield single toward second base to begin the ninth inning. Wyatt followed with his two-run homer, cutting the lead to 5-2. The Bearcats earned another base runner when Tiras Koon (Jr., C, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) walked with one out, but a fielder's choice and a strikeout ended the game.

The Bearcats outhit the Wildcats 8-5, led by Gallant and Wyatt, who each finished 2 for 4. For Linfield, VanDomelen was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI. Truex went 2 for 5 with a run scored.

Willamette and Linfield are scheduled to conclude the series with a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Linfield College 5
Willamette University 2

Ty Wyatt belted his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the top of the ninth inning.

Ty Wyatt belted his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the top of the ninth inning.