Willamette and Oregon Tech Split Doubleheader of Extra-Inning Games

Owls Win Opener, 6-5; Bearcats Take Second Game, 13-8

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

KLAMATH FALLS, ORE. -- Willamette University and Oregon Institute of Technology split a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 26, with both games going into extra innings. Oregon Tech won the first game, 6-5, with a run in the bottom of the 11th inning. The Bearcats earned a 13-8 victory in the second game, which was scheduled for seven stanzas, but lasted nine.

The teams were tied 5-5 after nine innings in the opener. In the second game, the score was 7-7 through seven innings, but WU took charge with six runs in the top of the ninth. Andrew Wilson (So., OF, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) hit a two-run single to bring in the winning runs with one out.

In the opener, Oregon Tech took an early lead with one run in the first inning. Kevin Shulemson doubled with one out and scored with two outs on a single by Aaron Bocchi, who was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double.

The Owls maintained a 1-0 lead until the top of the fourth, when Willamette plated three runs to move in front.

Brad Breier (So., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) and Tanner Oates (So., 2B, Sparks, NV/Spanish Springs HS) each singled, and Breier moved to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Tosh Semlacher (Jr., LF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) drove in three runs when he smacked a three-run homer. Oregon Tech recorded three consecutive outs to prevent a bigger inning.

During Willamette's at bat in the sixth inning, Breier doubled down the left field line, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Semlacher.

Oregon Tech surged into a 5-4 lead with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Two runs scored on a double by Tyson Dahl. Later, Marty Shanks scored on a wild pitch and Dahl scored on a double by Shulemson.

WU produced a run in the seventh inning to tie the game. Rolenn Himuro (So., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) singled and Giza moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. One out later, Hunter Gallant (So., 3B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) drove in Himuro with a single.

Neither team scored again until Oregon Tech tallied the winning run. In the bottom of the 11th, Dahl singled to start the inning and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Shulemson. After an intentional walk and an infield single loaded the bases, Hayden hit another single to allow Dahl to score.

Bocchi was 3 for 6 with an RBI for Oregon Tech. Dahl, Shulemson and Hayden each recorded two hits for the Owls. For Willamette, Semlacher went 2 for 5 with a run and four RBIs. Breier finished 2 for 5 and scored twice, while Oates was 2 for 5 with one run scored.

Raf Belloc (1-0) threw the final three innings for the win. Jackson Watt (Fr., RHP, Rocklin, CA/Whitney HS), the last of five pitchers for WU, fell to 0-2.

Willamette rallied from a 5-0 deficit to take a 7-5 lead in the nightcap.

The Owls scored quickly in the bottom of the first, when Ben Krueger singled and Alex Reynolds hit an RBI double. Krueger added a 3-run double in the second inning, while Shanks hit an RBI single in the third.

In the top of the fourth, WU plated five runs. Tiras Koon (So., C, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) singled to start the rally and later scored. A total of three walks in the inning chased starter Dustin Schneider from the game.

The first batter faced by reliever Eric Christiansen was Tyson Giza (Sr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS), who powered a grand slam homer over the right field fence to tie the game at 5-5. A pair of RBI singles by Semlacher and Wilson in the fifth inning gave WU a two-run lead.

Oregon Tech matched WU's score with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, and then both teams went scoreless in the seventh and eighth. Willamette returned to the scoring column with six runs in the ninth.

Koon singled and then went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Oates. Semlacher was hit by a pitch and Ben Petersen (Sr., C, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS/Butte College) provided a pinch-hit single to load the bases. Bryan Afzali (So., OF, Manhattan Beach, CA/Mira Costa HS) ran for Petersen.

Wilson followed with the game-winning single, driving in Koon and Semlacher. Austin Hagarty (Fr., IF, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) added a single to bring in Afzali. Giza drove in two runs with a double, and Matt Hirsch (Fr., SS, Edmonds, WA/Meadowdale HS) doubled to earn the final RBI.

Shanks doubled and scored in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and runners at the corners, Reynolds grounded out to end the game.

Koon finished 3 for 6 for WU and scored twice. Wilson was 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI. Giza was 2 for 6 with a double, a grand slam, two runs and six RBIs. Semlacher and Hagarty also achieved two hits.

Reynolds went 4 for 6 and drove in two runs for Oregon Tech. Krueger, Shanks and Dahl each tacked on two hits.

Henry Harrison (Sr., LHP, Nevada City, CA/Nevada Union HS) registered the win and improved to 1-2. Darian Benanua threw 4 1/3 innings for Oregon Tech, but gave up all six runs in the ninth inning, as he fell to 2-2.

WU will take on Pacific University in a Northwest Conference doubleheader in Forest Grove, Ore., on Friday, March 29, starting at 1 p.m. (PDT). The teams will complete the series with a game on Saturday, March 30, also at 1 p.m.

BOX SCORES

Oregon Institute of Technology 6
Willamette University 5 (11 inn.)
Statistics

Willamette University 13 (9 inn.)
Oregon Institute of Technology 8
Statistics

Tyson Giza went 2 for 6 in the second game with a grand slam in the fourth inning and a two-run double in the ninth.

Tyson Giza went 2 for 6 in the second game with a grand slam in the fourth inning and a two-run double in the ninth.