Willamette Scores in Each of the First Five Innings, Defeats Corban, 9-6

Koon Blasts Solo Homer; Watt Earns Fourth Save of Season

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University scored in each of the first five innings to overcome a 3-0 deficit after Corban's first at bat, and the Bearcats went on to defeat the Warriors, 9-6, on Wednesday, April 2 at John Lewis Field. The Bearcats improved to 17-10 on the season, while Corban dropped to 18-17.

Both teams used a variety of pitchers. Seven Bearcats each threw one inning, before Jackson Watt (So., RHP, Rocklin, CA/Whitney HS) tossed the final two innings to earn his fourth save. Evan Giddings (So., RHP, El Cerrito, CA/St. Mary's HS), who faced just three batters while pitching the fifth frame, received the win and moved to 2-1.

Tyler Bennett, the first of five pitchers for Corban, allowed four runs in the first inning, as WU surged into the lead. Only one of the runs was earned. Bennett took the loss and fell to 0-2.

With one out in the top of the first, Jordan Johansen and Daniel Orr hit back-to-back singles for Corban. Marc Gallegos batted next and connected for a home run to left field, giving the Warriors a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Brandon Chinn (Sr., OF/1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) and Tiras Koon (Jr., 1B/C, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) walked with one out. Ty Wyatt (Fr., DH/INF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) doubled to center field, driving Chinn across the plate and sending Koon to third base.

After Andrew Wilson (Jr., OF, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) walked, Bennett recorded a strikeout for Corban. Rolenn Himuro (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) then hit a ball into center field that Davis Alderman dropped. Koon and Wyatt scored, while Wilson advanced to third. Wilson later scored on a passed ball, as WU took a 4-3 lead.

The Bearcats added a run in the second inning when Koon blasted a solo home run to right center with two outs.

Corban cut the lead to 5-4 by grabbing a run in the top of the third. Gallegos singled, went to second on a passed ball, stole third base and scored on a triple by Alderman down the right field line.

Wilson singled to start the bottom of the third, and Devin Bales (Jr., 3B/OF, Graham, WA/Graham-Kapowsin HS/Grays Harbor College) doubled toward the right field corner with two outs. Catcher Jeff Kepple (Fr., Woodinville, WA/Eastside Catholic HS) singled, allowing both runners to score.

Each team tacked on a run in the fourth, which left Willamette holding an 8-5 advantage. Corban used three singles and two stolen bases to score its run. Chinn scored for WU, as he walked, went to second on a groundout, stole third and reached home on a single by Wyatt.

Himuro singled in the bottom of the fifth and later scored with two outs when Tommy Kawamura (Sr., SS/2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) reached first base on a throwing error by Gallegos at shortstop.

WU's 9-5 lead remained until Orr hit a solo homer for Corban in the seventh.

Watt started the eighth inning. He faced just seven batters, allowing a leadoff single in the eighth and a hit batsman in the ninth. He earned one strikeout.

After Ryan Rosas singled to open the eighth, Bales, Austin Hagarty (So., 2B, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) and Blake Lepire (So., 1B/OF, Vista, CA/Santa Ana College) turned a 5-4-3 double play on a grounder by Steven Kha. Himuro caught a fly ball in center field to end the inning.

In the ninth, Watt struck out Jon Mercer, before hitting Johansen with a pitch. A pair of flyouts to center field completed the game.

On offense for Willamette, Wyatt went 2 for 5 with a run and two RBIs, while Bales went 2 for 3 and scored once. Himuro was 2 for 4 and also scored a run. Koon was 1 for 2 with a homer, two runs and one RBI.

Orr went 3 for 5 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs for Corban. Gallegos was 2 for 5, including his three-run homer. He scored twice for the Warriors.

Willamette does not play this weekend. The Bearcats will return to action on Tuesday, April 8 in a non-conference game at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 9
Corban University 6

Jackson Watt held the Warriors scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings to earn his fourth save of the season.

Jackson Watt held the Warriors scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings to earn his fourth save of the season.

Designated hitter Ty Wyatt finished 2 for 5 at the plate. He scored one run and registered two RBIs.

Designated hitter Ty Wyatt finished 2 for 5 at the plate. He scored one run and registered two RBIs.