Bearcats Amass 20 Hits, Complete Series Sweep with 18-3 Win at Lewis & Clark

Kawamura Goes 3 for 5 with 3 Runs and 4 RBIs; Hoffman Earns Pitching Win

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- The Willamette University baseball team connected for 20 hits on its way to an 18-3 victory over Lewis & Clark College on Sunday, March 23, as the Bearcats completed a three-game Northwest Conference sweep of the Pioneers. Willamette opened the series with two wins in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 22, winning 22-8 and 4-1.

On Sunday, the Bearcats led 7-1 entering the bottom of the third inning. L&C cut the margin to 7-3 with one run in the third and one run in the fourth, but Willamette increased its lead to 13-3 with six runs in the top of the fifth.

The Bearcats advanced their record to 13-9 overall, 7-4 in the NWC. The Pioneers moved to 5-11-1 on the season, 2-7 in the NWC.

Tommy Kawamura (Sr., SS/2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) of Willamette went 3 for 5 with two doubles, while producing three runs, a sacrifice fly and four RBIs. Shea Harrison (So., 2B/RHP, El Cerrito, CA/El Cerrito HS) was 3 for 4, scored four times and drove in two runs.

Starting pitcher Peter Hoffman (Jr., RHP, Hayden, ID/Lake City HS) of WU went seven innings and allowed eight hits (7 singles) and three runs (2 earned), while improving to 2-2. He recorded five strikeouts and one walk. L&C starter Alex Heimbrodt fell to 1-1 after giving up 12 runs (8 earned) in 4 1/3 innings.

Kawamura opened the game with a double to left field and went to third on a groundout by Brandon Chinn (Sr., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS). Hunter Gallant (Jr., 3B/SS, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) walked and stole second. Kawamura scored on a single to center by Ty Wyatt (Fr., DH/INF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS). Gallant stole third, but was left on base.

The Bearcats tallied two runs in the second inning. Rolenn Himuro (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) beat out an infield single and Harrison singled to left. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Himuro scored on a sacrifice fly by Kawamura and Harrison crossed the plate on a single to center by Chinn.

L&C scored its first run in the bottom of the second. Hayden Higger reached first on an infield single. A errant throw to second by Hoffman on a fielder's choice sent Higger to third, and he scored when Andrew Traver grounded out.

The Bearcats answered with four runs in the top of the third. Wyatt reached base on an error, and Tiras Koon (Jr., C, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) singled to center. With one out, Brad Breier (Jr., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) singled to left to load the bases. After a flyout, the bases were still loaded when Harrison hit a two-RBI single. Kawamura followed with a two-run double.

Bradley Lezak doubled and later scored for L&C in the third inning. Jacob Burton singled for the Pioneers and eventually scored in the fourth.

Willamette took charge of the game with six runs in the fifth on four walks, two hit batsmen, and two singles. Semlacher walked, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Breier also walked. Himuro drove in Semlacher with a bunt single. Later in the inning, Semlacher drove in the sixth run with a single to center.

In between, runs scored when Chinn walked, Gallant and Wyatt were hit by pitches and Koon reached on a fielder's choice.

The Bearcats completed the scoring with three runs in the sixth inning and two runs in the seventh. A total of 16 players went to the plate for Willamette during the game, with 12 earning at least one hit.

Kawamura and Harrison led the way with three hits apiece. Austin Hagarty (So., IF, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) went 2 for 2 with a double, while Chinn and Wyatt finished 2 for 4. Chinn scored twice and drove in two runs, while Wyatt registered a run, a double and five RBIs.

Himuro went 2 for 6 and made an all-out diving catch in shallow left field for the final out of the sixth inning.

For the Pioneers, Lezak was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI. Higger ended the game 2 for 4 with a run scored.

Hoffman's seven innings provided a strong start for the Bearcats on the mound. Gordie Clary (So., 1B, Vacaville, CA/Vacaville HS) pitched in the eighth inning for WU and faced only three batters. Garrett Davis (Sr., RHP, Marysville, WA/Pilchuck HS) faced just three batters in the ninth.

Willamette will return to action on Tuesday (March 25) with a non-conference game at Corban University. Game time in Salem, Ore., is set for 2 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 18
Lewis & Clark College 3

Tommy Kawamura went 3 for 5 with two doubles, three runs, a sacrifice fly and four RBIs.

Tommy Kawamura went 3 for 5 with two doubles, three runs, a sacrifice fly and four RBIs.