Willamette Finishes Strong in Wins over Pirates, 5-3 and 9-6

Bearcats Score Twice in 9th Inning of Opener, Earn Three Runs in 10th Inning of Game 2

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- The Willamette University Bearcats plated two runs in the top of the ninth inning to win the first game, 5-3, and tallied three runs in the 10th inning of the second game for a 9-6 victory, to sweep a doubleheader from Whitworth University on Saturday, April 20 at Merkel Field.

Willamette, which extended its winning streak to six games, improved its overall record to 17-18, while moving to 11-9 in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats took over sole possession of third place in the NWC standings by one game over Pacific Lutheran University (10-10) and the University of Puget Sound (10-10). Whitworth fell to 10-22-1 overall, 5-15 in the NWC.

Hunter Gallant (So., 3B, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) drove in the winning runs in the first game. Brandon Chinn (Jr., 1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) brought in the go-ahead run in the second game.

With two outs in the first inning of the opener, Gallant singled and Tosh Semlacher (Jr., LF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) walked. Gallant scored on a single by Brad Breier (So., C, Torrance, CA/South HS).

Gerhard Muelheims hit an infield single for Whitworth in the bottom of the first. He stole second before scoring on a double by Josh Davis. After Tyler Pfeffer reached base on an error, Jeremy Druffel scored Davis with a squeeze bunt.

The Bearcats regained the lead in the top of the second, when Matt Hirsch (Fr., SS, Edmonds, WA/Meadowdale HS) and Rolenn Himuro (So., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) hit singles with one out. Tyson Giza (Sr., CF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) drove in Hirsch with a single, and Austin Hagarty (Fr., IF, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) used a squeeze bunt to score Himuro.

Whitworth pushed across the next run in the sixth inning to tie the game at 3-3. Pfeffer walked and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Druffel. Thomas Wakem hit into a fielding error at second base, and a throwing error followed, allowing Pfeffer to score an unearned run.

With one out in the top of the ninth, Giza single to center field and Hagarty singled up the middle. A double steal moved the runners to second and third.

Gallant drove in Giza and Hagarty with the tie-breaking runs on a single to center field. Gallant was 4 for 5 during the game to lead a 15-hit attack for the Bearcats. Giza finished 3 for 5.

Himuro, who started in left field, was injured in the sixth inning when he ran into the fence in foul territory while attempting to catch a fly ball. He was taken to the hospital with a broken orbital bone. The game was delayed for about 30 minutes before the teams resumed play.

Willamette pitcher Peter Hoffman (So., RHP, Hayden, ID/Lake City HS) threw a complete-game three-hitter with eight strikeouts. He upped his record to 6-4.

The Pirates rallied from deficits of 4-0 and and 6-4 to tie the Bearcats in the second game.

Giza was hit by a pitch to open the first inning. He went to second on a sacrifice by Hagarty and reached third when Gallant grounded out. Semlacher belted a home run to give the Bearcats a 2-0 lead.

Andrew Wilson (So., OF, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) of Willamette hit a leadoff single in the third inning and eventually scored on a double by Hagarty. Giza began the fifth stanza by smacking a solo homer for a 4-0 lead.

Whitworth plated single runs in the fifth and sixth, before tying the game with two runs in the seventh. Nick Motsinger hit an RBI single in the seventh, and scored the tying run when Muelheims followed with a triple.

In the top of the eighth, Ben Petersen (Sr., C, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS/Butte College) singled with two outs. Chinn reached base on an error. Hirsch drove in both runners with a double.

Whitworth forced an extra inning after the Pirates scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning on a two-run double by Motsinger.

With Semlacher at second base and two outs in the top of the 10th, Chinn drove in the go-ahead run with a single to center field. Hirsch followed with a single to third. A wild throw on the play allowed Chinn to advance to third. Wilson brought home Chinn and Hirsch with a double to center.

Parker Johnson (Sr., RHP, Carlsbad, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) threw nine innings to get the win and improved to 3-1. Garrett Davis (Jr., RHP, Marysville, WA/Pilchuck HS) tossed the 10th inning for his second save. He allowed a double by Pfeffer, but retired the next three batters to end the game.

Both teams earned 13 hits, with Hagarty leading Willamette by going 3 for 4. Semlacher was 2 for 4, while Hirsch and Wilson each finished 2 for 5.

Blake Thoren went 3 for 3 for Whitworth. Motsinger was 2 for 4 and led all players with three RBIs.

The teams will complete the weekend series with a single game on Sunday, April 21. Game time is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORES

Willamette University 5
Whitworth University 3
Statistics

Willamette University 9
Whitworth University 6 (10 inn.)
Statistics

Tyson Giza went 4 for 10 on the day, including a double in the first game and a solo homer in the  fifth inning of the second game.

Tyson Giza went 4 for 10 on the day, including a double in the first game and a solo homer in the fifth inning of the second game.