Bearcats Open Series with Doubleheader Sweep of Whitman, 8-5 and 9-8

Watt Earns Two Saves, as Olson and Jepsen Record Wins

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

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Willamette University built sizable leads in both games and received strong pitching from its starters and closer, as the Bearcats opened their Northwest Conference series at Whitman College with a doubleheader sweep, winning 8-5 and 9-8, on Saturday, April 12 at Borleske Stadium.

The Bearcats advanced their record to 19-11 on the season, including 12-4 in the NWC. Whitman dropped to 18-16-1 overall, 7-13 in the NWC.

Willamette led 7-2 in both games, as the Bearcats took advantage of five runs in the fourth inning of the opener and six runs in the fourth inning of the second game.

In the first contest, Willamette combined three hits, two walks, two passed balls and a wild pitch into success in the fourth inning.

Tosh Semlacher (Sr., CF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) singled to open the stanza and stole second base. He reached home on a single by Brad Breier (Jr., C, Torrance, CA/South HS). Shea Harrison (So., 2B/RHP, El Cerrito, CA/El Cerrito HS) also singled.

Breier and Harrison advanced on a passed ball, before Tommy Kawamura (Sr., SS/2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) walked. Breier scored on a wild pitch, and then Brandon Chinn (Sr., OF/1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) walked. Harrison scored on a passed ball, while Kawamura and Chinn crossed the plate on a single by Ty Wyatt (Fr., DH/INF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS).

The five-run outburst gave the Bearcats a 6-0 lead, but Whitman scored twice in the bottom of the inning. Aaron Cohen drove in one run with a single, and later scored from third on a double-steal.

WU tacked on one run in the fifth. Semlacher singled to right and stole second. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Rolenn Himuro (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Harrison. Whitman plated two unearned runs in the fifth, cutting the lead to 7-4. Each team scored once in the eighth.

Jackson Watt (So., RHP, Rocklin, CA/Whitney HS) replaced WU starting pitcher Tyler Olson (Jr., RHP, Yuba City, CA/Yuba City HS) in the ninth. A walk and a single put runners at first and second. The runners moved up a base on a groundout by MacLean Harned. Watt struck out Jimmy Madden and Kyle Buckham to end the game and earn a save.

In game two, Whitman earned two runs on three hits in the first inning, including an RBI double by Cameron Young. WU answered with a run in the second, as Semlacher singled and Breier belted a run-scoring double.

WU pounded out five hits in the fourth inning for six runs and a 7-2 lead. Hunter Gallant (Jr., 3B/SS, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) singled to start the inning. He went to second on a wild pitch and scored when Wyatt singled.

Later, Breier supplied an RBI single to center and Himuro drove in three runs with a triple near the right field line. Himuro scored an a sacrifice fly by Austin Hagarty (So., 2B, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS).

Jimmy Madden scored for Whitman on a double by Cohen in the fifth inning. The Bearcats pushed across two runs in the top of the ninth on a triple by Hagarty and a sacrifice fly from Kawamura.

Willamette held a 9-3 lead entering the bottom of the ninth, but the Missionaries scored five times to pull within a single run. Three of the runs scored on a double by Ozzy Braff. Cohen drove in Braff with the fifth run on a single.

Watt went to the mound. He faced the next two batters and registered two outs for his second save of the day. He is 5-1 with six saves on the season.

In the first game, Wyatt went 3 of 4 for WU with a double and three RBIs. Himuro (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) was 2 for 4.

During the second game, Wyatt went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI. Himuro finished 2 for 3 with a triple, two runs and three RBIs. Hagarty also tripled.

Olson earned the win in the first game. He pitched eight innings and allowed five runs (three earned). He struck out six batters. Matt Jepsen (Fr., LHP, Fallbrook, CA/Fallbrook HS) won game two, as he went eight innings. He allowed nine hits and three runs, with two strikeouts no walks.

Willamette and Whitman will close out the series with a game on Saturday, April 13 at Borleske Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT).


Willamette University 8
Whitman College 5

Willamette University 9
Whitman College 8

Jackson Watt earned a save in both games, giving him six saves on the season to go along with a 5-1 record.

Jackson Watt earned a save in both games, giving him six saves on the season to go along with a 5-1 record.