Willamette Outscores Whitman, 10-9, including Seven Runs in 4th Inning

Watt Registers his Third Save of the Weekend

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

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- For the third time in two days, the Willamette University Bearcats used a scoring outburst in the fourth inning to gain momentum on their way to a win over Whitman College, as they completed a three-game sweep with a 10-9 victory on Sunday, April 13.

On Saturday, WU earned five runs in the fourth inning of the first game, an 8-5 win, and scored six runs in the fourth inning of the second game, which the Bearcats won 9-8. On Sunday, Willamette produced seven runs in the fourth to erase a 5-2 deficit and take a 9-5 lead.

Also for the third time in two days, Willamette closer Jackson Watt (So., RHP, Rocklin, CA/Whitney HS) earned a save, giving him seven saves on the season. He pitched the final inning in the first game of the series, went 2/3 of an inning in the second game and tossed 1 2/3 innings in the third game.

In his three appearances over the weekend, Watt held Whitman to no runs and one hit. He achieved five strikeouts and allowed two walks. On Sunday, he struck out three of the six batters he faced.

Willamette improved to 20-11 on the season. The Bearcats, who have clinched a winning record, moved to 13-4 in the Northwest Conference standings to remain in second place. Whitman fell to 18-17-1 overall, including 7-14 (7th place) in the NWC.

Brad Breier (Jr., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) was 4 of 5 for Willamette. Rolenn Himuro (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) went 2 for 5 with a triple, one run and two RBIs. For Whitman, Ozzie Braff was 2 for 5 with a triple and two runs scored. Kyle Buckham finished 2 for 3 with two runs, three walks and one RBI.

Whitman scored first with a run in the opening stanza. Buckham and Jimmy Madden walked. The next two batters reached base on errors, as Buckham advanced to third and home. A 6-4-3 double play left two runners on base.

The Bearcats moved in front, 2-1, in the top of the second. Tosh Semlacher (Sr., CF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) walked, Breier singled to right, and Himuro loaded the bases with a bunt single. Semlacher scored on a fielder's choice, while Breier followed him home when the play ended with a throwing error.

In the third inning, the Missionaries produced four runs for a 5-2 advantage. Aaron Cohen drove in two of the runs with a double.

Willamette's big fourth inning followed. The Bearcats pounded out five hits after Semlacher opened the frame by reaching first base on an error. He stole second and went to third on a single by Breier. Himuro tripled to right field, allowing Semlacher and Breier to score. Himuro crossed the plate on a single by Shea Harrison (So., 2B/RHP, El Cerrito, CA/El Cerrito HS). 

Later in the inning, Hunter Gallant (Jr., 3B/SS, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) singled in a run and Ty Wyatt (Fr., DH/INF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) provided a 2-RBI double. After Wyatt went to third on a wild pitch, Tiras Koon (Jr., C/1B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) hit an sacrifice fly.

The 9-5 lead for Willamette was reduced to two runs when the Missionaries scored twice in the fifth inning. Both runs were unearned.

WU tacked on a run in the sixth for a 10-7 margin. Whitman responded with a single tally in the seventh. In the eighth, Braff tripled for the Missionaries and then scored on a groundout. The Bearcats held a slim 10-9 lead after eight innings.

Willamette left two runners on base in the top of the ninth, but Watt closed out the game on the mound. He struck out the first two batters, gave up a walk, and ended the game with a flyout.

Peter Hoffman (Jr., RHP, Hayden, ID/Lake City HS), who pitched 6 2/3 innings for Willamette, earned the win and improved to 4-2. Whitman starter Brett Lambert fell to 1-3 with the loss.

The Bearcats will play a non-conference game against Lewis & Clark College on Tuesday, April 15 at Volcanoes Stadium. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (PDT). Willamette will be the visiting team.

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 10
Whitman College 9

Brad Breier earned four hits in five at bats for the Bearcats. He also scored two runs.

Brad Breier earned four hits in five at bats for the Bearcats. He also scored two runs.