Hoffman Throws Complete-Game 6-Hitter, as Bearcats Shut Out Loggers, 6-0

Oates Drives in Four Runs, Smacks Solo Homer in eighth Inning

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

WEST LINN, ORE. -- Willamette University pitcher Peter Hoffman (So., RHP, Hayden, ID/Lake City HS) threw a 9-inning complete-game, 6-hit shutout to lead the Bearcats in a 6-0 win over the University of Puget Sound on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the West Linn High School Field. Hoffman struck out six batters and allowed just two walks, while throwing a total of 110 pitches.

The game was part of the CCC/NWC Challenge, which includes teams from the Cascade Collegiate Conference and the Northwest Conference. Although Willamette and Puget Sound both compete in the NWC, it was not a conference game.

With the win Willamette evened its record at 4-4 on the season. Puget Sound fell to 5-4.

Tanner Oates (So., 2B, Sparks, NV/Spanish Springs HS) of Willamette hit a solo home run to left field in the eighth inning. He also hit an RBI single and had two sacrifice flies, as he earned four RBIs overall.

Oates helped Willamette build its lead throughout the game. First, he hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Sky Kelley (Sr., RF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) with the game's opening run in the bottom of the second inning. Kelley walked with one out and reached third base on a double to right center by Peter Davis (Fr., OF/RHP, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS).

When Oates reached the plate again, it was the fourth inning and runners were at first and third following a double by Hunter Gallant (So., 3B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) and a single by Davis. Oates hit a fly ball to center field to earn his second sacrifice of the game, scoring Gallant from third.

Oates also recorded the first RBI in Willamette's three-run sixth inning, as the Bearcats surged into a 5-0 lead. With one out, Gallant walked and stole second base, Kelley was hit by a pitch, and Davis reached base on an error to load the bases. Oates sent a single up the middle to bring Gallant across the plate.

Later in the inning, Tyson Giza (Sr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) drove in Kelley and Davis with two outs on another single up the middle.

The solo home run completed a solid game for Oates, who finished 2 for 2. Giza was 3 for 5 on the night, while Davis finished 2 for 4.

Puget Sound had its best change to score in the seventh inning, when designated hitter Addison Melzer singled to left with two outs, moved to second when Nick Funyak walked, and advanced to third when JB Eary singled up the middle.

WU shortstop Matt Hirsch (Fr., Edmonds, WA/Meadowdale HS) made a solid play to keep the ball on the infield following Eary's hit. The effort by Hirsch paid off when Hoffman got Connor Savage to hit into a groundout to end the threat with the bases loaded.

Melzer went 2 for 4 for the Loggers. Funyak and Christian Carter each belted a double for Puget Sound.

Hoffman's strong performance on the mound advanced his record to 2-1 on the season. He has a 1.71 earned run average with 18 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched this season. UPS starter Nathan Aguiar, fell to 0-1, after allowing five runs (three earned) and six hits in six complete innings.

Willamette will complete the CCC/NWC Challenge on Sunday, Feb. 24, when the Bearcats take on Oregon Institute of Technology. The game will be played at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., starting at 11 a.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 6
University of Puget Sound 0

Peter Hoffman threw all nine innings, as he tossed a six-hitter with six strikeouts and just two walks.

Peter Hoffman threw all nine innings, as he tossed a six-hitter with six strikeouts and just two walks.