Whitworth Holds Off Willamette for 8-7 Win at Swing into Spring Classic

Semlacher and Kelley Each Record Two Hits for Bearcats

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

PASCO, WASH. -- Whitworth University rallied from an early 3-0 deficit by scoring six runs with two outs in the second inning, but had to hold off Willamette University late in the game in order to defeat the Bearcats, 8-7, at the Swing into Spring Classic at Gesa Field on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Whitworth upped its record to 3-2-1 on the season, while Willamette dropped to 2-2. It was not a conference game.

Tosh Semlacher (Jr., LF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) was 2 of 4 for the Bearcats, while Sky Kelley (Sr., RF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) finished 2 for 5. Willamette outhit the Pirates, 11-6, but Whitworth belted five doubles, while the Bearcats had no extra-base hits.

Catcher Josh Davis went 2 for 5 with a walk and four RBIs for Whitworth. Both of his hits were doubles.

After a scoreless first inning, Willamette took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. With one out, Peter Davis (Fr., OF/RHP, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) walked. He advanced to second on a ground out. Ben Peterson (Sr., C, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS/Butte College) drove in Davis with a single through the left side.

Brandon Chinn (Jr., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) singled, and then advanced to second when the Pirates tried to throw out Peterson at third. Tommy Kawamura (Jr., 2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) followed with a two-RBI single to right center. Chinn beat the throw home and Kawamura went to second. Whitworth pitcher Dan Scheibe recorded a strikeout to end the threat.

In the bottom of the inning, Whitworth achieved its six runs on two hits and one error. Only two of the runs were earned.

Justin Liu was hit by a pitch to begin the stanza. After a strikeout, he moved to second on a wild pitch. Nathan Jewett walked, and a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third. Erik Nikssarian drove in both runners with a double down the right field line.

An error and a walk loaded the bases. Tyler Pfeffer also walked, forcing Nikssarian across the plate with the tying run. Davis pounded a double to drive in the final three runs of the inning, giving Whitworth a 6-3 lead.

Willamette reduced the lead to a single run by scoring twice in the top of the fourth. Two errors proved costly for the Pirates, as a leadoff single by Matt Hirsch (Fr., SS, Edmonds, WA/Meadowdale HS) was the only hit by the Bearcats. Hirsch and Peterson, who reached base on an error, scored when Semlacher also hit into an error.

Kelley singled as the first batter in the top of the fifth inning, Kawamura went to first on an error with one out in the sixth, and Kelley added a single with one out in the seventh, but the Bearcats were unable to score the tying run.

In the bottom of the seventh, Whitworth scored a pair of runs to increase its lead to 8-5. Danny Jordan walked with one out and scored with two outs on a double by Davis. The next batter was Liu, who doubled near the right field line, allowing Davis to score.

The Bearcats answered with two runs in the eighth. Brad Breier (So., C, Torrance, CA/South HS), who singled to start the inning, scored two outs later when Tyson Giza (Jr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) singled through the right side.

Giza went to second on the throw home, and moved on to third on a passed ball. He scored when Semlacher singled through the infield. Gallant (So., 3B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa) also singled, advancing Semlacher to third. Kelley flied out to left field to end the inning.

Taylor Isadore of Whitworth pitched the top of the ninth and faced just three batters to earn a save.

Scheibe, who tossed five innings for Whitworth, went to 1-0 with the win. He allowed six hits and five runs, but only three runs were earned. He struck out eight batters, starting the Pirates' pitching staff on its way to 10 strikeouts overall.

Willamette starter Peter Hoffman (So., RHP, Hayden, ID/Lake City HS) also went five innings. He gave up three hits and six runs, but just two runs were earned. Hoffman registered six strikeouts.

The Bearcats will take on Lewis & Clark College in another non-conference game at the Swing into Spring Classic on Sunday, Feb. 17. Game time is set for 10 a.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Whitworth University 8
Willamette University 7

Willamette outfielder Sky Kelley went 2 for 5 against the Pirates.

Willamette outfielder Sky Kelley went 2 for 5 against the Pirates.