Lutes Edge Bearcats in Pitching Dual, 2-1, in First Game of Doubleheader

PLU's Bishop Throws a No-Hitter in Second Game

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University and Pacific Lutheran University each entered their Northwest Conference doubleheader on Saturday, March 1 with a strong pitching staff that had won several low scoring games. The teams continued that trend as the Lutes edged out the Bearcats, 2-1, in the first game of the doubleheader.

In the second game, pitcher Chris Bishop of PLU recorded a no-hitter and received timely hitting from his teammates, as the Lutes defeated Willamette, 10-0.

Willamette had more opportunities to score in the opener, with the Bearcats earning a 7-6 advantage in hits to go along with seven walks and one hit batsman. The Bearcats finished with 13 runners left on base. WU left the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings.

Pacific Lutheran tallied the first run when Dominick Courcy walked with one out in the top of the sixth. He moved to second on a groundout and scored on a single to left field by Tyler Thompson.

The Bearcats tied the score in the bottom of the sixth. Shea Harrison (So., 2B/RHP, El Cerrito, CA/El Cerrito HS) singled to left to open the stanza. He went to second on a single by Rolenn Himuro (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School).

Both runners advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt by Tommy Kawamura (Sr., 2B/SS, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) that went only a couple of yards down the first base line. Harrison scored when Gordie Clary (So., 1B, Vacaville, CA/Vacaville HS) grounded out to second base. Hunter Gallant (Jr., 3B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) flied out to left center for the third out.

Willamette starting pitcher Matt Jepsen (Fr., LHP, Fallbrook, CA/Fallbrook HS) forced the first two PLU hitters in the top of the seventh to register outs on fly balls to the outfield. Collin Nilson batted next and blasted a solo home run to left field.

In the bottom of the seventh, WU had runners at first and second with one out, but Andrew Wilson (Jr., OF, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) lined into a double play when first baseman Drew Oord made a nice catch. In the ninth, Tiras Koon (Jr., DH/C, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) walked with two outs, but PLU relief pitcher AJ Konopaski forced a fly out to end the game.

PLU starter Trevor Lubking won the first game and upped his record to 2-0. He struck out six batters in six innings, but survived allowing six hits and six walks. Jepsen suffered the loss and went to 2-2 on the season. Konopaski earned his sixth save.

Bishop allowed just two base runners while recording his no-hitter in the second game. Brandon Chinn (Sr., OF/1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) earned a walk in the second inning and Kawamura was hit by a pitch in the third inning. Bishop threw a total of 108 pitches with 63 strikes.

The Lutes scored one run in the first inning and two runs in the third for a 3-0 lead. They added a pair of runs in the fourth and one run in the sixth, extending their advantage to 6-0. Nilson belted his second homer of the day during a two-run seventh inning, and the Lutes tacked on two runs in the ninth.

Bishop, who entered the game with a 0.55 earned run average, improved to 1-2 on the season. WU starter Peter Hoffman (Jr., RHP, Hayden, ID/Lake City HS), who tossed six innings, fell to 0-2.

PLU ended the day at 7-4 overall, 2-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette went to 6-6 on the season, 0-2 in the NWC. The teams will complete the series with one game on Sunday, March 2. First pitch at John Lewis Field is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PST).


Pacific Lutheran University 2
Willamette University 1

Pacific Lutheran University 10
Willamette University 0

Brad Breier recorded two hits for the Bearcats in the first game.

Brad Breier recorded two hits for the Bearcats in the first game.