Chinn Blasts Grand Slam, as Bearcats Pound Pioneers, 14-2

Simon Pitches Eight Innings to earn the Victory

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Brandon Simon (Sr., RHP, Los Angeles, CA/Pacific Hills School) pitched eight strong innings, the Willamette University defense played errorless ball, and Brandon Chinn (Jr., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) smacked a grand slam in the seventh inning, as the Bearcats routed Lewis & Clark College, 14-2, on Sunday, March 24 at John Lewis Field.

Willamette, now 8-14 overall and 4-8 in the Northwest Conference, won two of three games in the weekend series. Lewis & Clark dropped to 3-17 overall, 1-8 in the NWC.

Simon set down the Pioneers in order to start the game, and then Willamette scored four runs in the bottom of the first.

Tyson Giza (Sr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) singled and Matt Hirsch (Fr., SS, Edmonds, WA/Meadowdale HS) walked to start the inning. A double steal moved the runners to second and third. Giza scored on a wild pitch, as Hirsch advanced to third.

Hunter Gallant (So., 3B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) also walked and stole second base. After the throw to second, Hirsch raced home, and a wild throw by shortstop Bradley Lezak allowed Gallant to reach third base.

Brad Breier (So., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) bought home Gallant with the third run on a sacrifice fly. Tosh Semlacher (Jr., LF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) reached first base on a fielding error and scored on a triple by Tanner Oates (So., 2B, Sparks, NV/Spanish Springs HS).

Mike Kinkenon of L&C hit a single to left center to start the second inning. He moved one base on a single by Andrew Traver, went to third on a foul out by Hayden Higger, and scored when Corey Davis hit into a fielder's choice.

WU extended its lead to 5-1 when Gallant hit a double and later scored in the third inning. Gallant's hit was a low screamer that third baseman Evan Gray slowed down but couldn't stop over the third base bag.

Grey scored with one out in the fifth inning to pull L&C within 5-2. Eric Hyun then hit a single to loaded the bases. Simon got out of the inning by forcing Kinkenon to hit a grounder to the mound for a 1-2-3 double play. Gallant tallied an unearned run for the Bearcats in the bottom of the inning.

Willamette upped the lead to 7-2 when Giza was hit by a pitch with two outs in the sixth inning, went to second on a wild pitch, and crossed the plate on a double by Hirsch.

Simon faced just three batters in the top of the seventh despite giving up a single to Gray to start the inning. Simon struck out Matthew Cathcart before getting Lezak to hit into a 6-3 double play.

WU put the game out of reach with six runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Breier singled and Semlacher was hit by a pitch. Pinch runner Bryan Afzali (So., OF, Manhattan Beach, CA/Mira Costa HS) stole third, with Semlacher taking second on the throw. Oates reached on a fielding error by the pitcher to load the bases. Chinn batted next and sent a 3-1 pitch over the right field fence for the Bearcats' first grand slam of the season.

Gallant drove in two runs later in the seventh on a double to left. WU tallied its final run in the eighth, when Gordon Clary was hit by pitch and scored on a triple by Ben Petersen (Sr., C, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS/Butte College).

Chinn was 2 for 4 with his grand slam and a bunt single. Breier went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Gallant was 2 for 4 with three runs and two RBIs. Giza finished 2 for 5 and scored three runs.

Willamette belted 12 hits, including Chinn's homer, triples by Petersen and Oates, and four doubles. Gallant pounded out two doubles, while Hirsch and Breier added one apiece.

Gray led the Pioneers with a 3-for-4 effort. He also scored one run. L&C earned nine hits, but none went for extra bases.

The Bearcats will play a non-conference doubleheader at Oregon Institute of Technology on Tuesday, March 26. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PDT). WU competes in NCAA Division III and Oregon Tech is a member of the NAIA.


Willamette University 14
Lewis & Clark College 2

Photo gallery
(By Naomi Stukey, Photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Brandon Chinn went 2 for 4 with a bunt single and a grand slam home run.

Brandon Chinn went 2 for 4 with a bunt single and a grand slam home run.