Big Inning Sends Pacific Past Willamette, 13-5

Boxers Score Seven Runs in Third; Rowan Belts Homer for Willamette

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Pacific University scored seven runs in the third inning on seven hits, and the Boxers went on to defeat Willamette University, 13-5, in the first game of a Northwest Conference series on Sunday, April 1 at John Lewis Field. Pacific, which held a slim 2-1 lead entering the third inning, left the stanza with control of the game.

The Boxers improved to 11-9 overall, 8-2 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette dropped to 8-16 overall, 5-8 in the NWC.

Due to the weather, the game started two hours and 45 minutes after the scheduled start time of 12 noon. The Bearcats and the Boxers were going to play a doubleheader, but there wasn't enough time to play the second game before sunset.

Instead, the final two games of the series will be played as part of a doubleheader on Monday, April 2 in Forest Grove, Ore., on the Pacific campus. Game time is set for 4 p.m. (PDT). Willamette will bat last in both games.

Pacific took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the first inning. Leadoff batter Kevin Schwartz hit an infield single to third and advance to second when the throw went wide of first base. He scored later in the inning on an infield single by Jared Van Hoon.

WU evened the score when center fielder Tyson Giza (Jr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) doubled with one out in the bottom of the first and scored with two outs on a single by Tiras Koon (Fr., 1B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School).

In the top of the second, a single by Mike Nagamine and a double by Michael Arakaki put runners at second and third for the Boxers. WU pitcher Brandon Simon (Jr., RHP, Los Angeles, CA/Pacific Hills School) caught a blazing line drive by Jordan Siu for the first out, but Donnie Bradley brought in Nagamine with a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Boxers sent 10 batters to the plate in the third inning. Designated hitter Chad Fahey batted first and lined out to second base. He also made the third out on a fly ball that was caught in foul territory. In between, Pacific earned seven hits, including a two-run homer by Nagamine and a grand slam by Schwartz. Following the grand slam, Nick Tasaka field out to left field for the second out.

Willamette couldn't overcome the 9-1 deficit. The Bearcats matched the Boxers the rest of the way, as each team added our runs. WU got as close as 10-4 following a two-run homer by Mitch Rowan (Sr., RF, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS). It was Rowan's sixth home run of the season.

Schwartz finished 3 for 5 with two runs and a game-high 5 RBIs for the Boxers. Van Hoon also finished 3 for 5 and scored twice. Nate Rasmussen, who drove in the first run of the third inning with a double, added another double in the fourth, and went 2 for 5 during the game. Nagamine and Arakaki also earned two hits.

Giza smacked two doubles and a single in four at bats for the Bearcats. He scored three of Willamette's five runs. Rowan went 2 for 4 at the plate with a double and a homer. Koon was 2 for 5 with a double.

Pacific starting pitcher Rob Dittrick threw 118 pitches in seven innings, as he struck out nine batters and improved to 5-1 on the season. Simon dropped to 3-3 with the loss.

Despite wet conditions as a result of the rain, Willamette received several spectacular plays from Giza and Rowan in the outfield.

Rowan made two catches in shallow right field near the foul line after covering significant ground. One of his catches near the line led to a double play in the fourth inning, when he caught Rasmussen off second base. Overall, Rowan recorded four putouts and an assist.

Giza also covered plenty of the outfield before an all-out dive to catch Arakaki's fly ball to right center in the seventh inning. After grabbing the ball just before hitting the ground, Giza rolled over and popped up without losing possession. In the eighth inning, he made a shoestring catch on his knees to thwart Rasmussen's line drive.

BOX SCORE
Pacific University 13
Willamette University 5
Tyson Giza went 3 for 4 with two doubles, a single and three runs scored.

Tyson Giza went 3 for 4 with two doubles, a single and three runs scored.