Jepsen's Pitching, Koon's HR, Help Bearcats Win 6-1 in Game 2 versus Pirates

Whitworth Breaks Scoreless Tie in 10th Inning for 2-0 Victory in Opener

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University freshman pitcher Matt Jepsen (LHP, Fallbrook, CA/Fallbrook HS) threw all nine innings and struck out eight batters to lead the Bearcats to a 6-1 win over Whitworth University in the second game of a doubleheader on Friday, April 18 at John Lewis Field. In the first game, Whitworth scored twice in the top of the 10th inning for a 2-0 triumph.

The Bearcats completed the doubleheader with a 22-12 season record, including 14-5 in the Northwest Conference. Whitworth ended the day at 11-20 overall, 8-12 in the NWC. The Bearcats and the Pirates will finish the three-game series on Saturday, April 19 with a game starting at 12 p.m. (PDT).

In addition to striking out eight batters, Jepsen allowed no walks, as he improved to 6-3 on the season. He threw 127 pitches, including 87 strikes, and faced a total of just seven batters in the eighth and the ninth after getting out of a jam in the seventh inning.

Willamette's offense was led by Tiras Koon (Jr., C/1B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School), who belted a 2-run homer for a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning, and by Ty Wyatt (Fr., DH/INF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS), who went 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI. Matt Nelson went 3 of 4 for Whitworth.

After both teams left 10 runners on base in the first game, the Bearcats received timely hitting in the second game.

Brad Breier (Jr., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) opened the bottom of the third inning with a triple to left center that left fielder Jeremy Druffel couldn't quite catch with a diving effort. Austin Hagarty (So., 2B, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) then provided a hit past the pitcher and through the middle on a 3-2 pitch to score Breier for a 1-0 lead.

Hagarty went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Wilson (Jr., OF, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) and moved to third on a balk. Tommy Kawamura (Sr., SS/2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) supplied a deep fly ball to right field to bring home Hagarty with a sacrifice fly.

The Bearcats doubled the lead with Koon's home run in the fourth. Wyatt, who singled with one out, also scored on the play. Whitworth achieved its only run in the seventh, starting with a short bunt single by Thomas Wakem. Matt Nelson singled to center. Druffel reached base on a fielder's choice, leaving runners at the corners as Nelson was thrown out at second.

Paul Miller batted next and collected an RBI double to left field to score Wakem. Runners were still at second and third after Jepsen forced Garrett Hughes to fly out to Tosh Semlacher (Sr., Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS), who quickly threw the ball from center field back into the infield. Jepsen struck out Nick Motsinger to end the inning.

Kawamura singled and eventually scored in the eighth for Willamette on a single by Wyatt. Back-to-back singles by Koon and Semlacher helped Wyatt score, giving the Bearcats a 6-1 lead.

In the first game, Whitworth broke a scoreless tie with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the 10th inning after both starting pitchers put together very strong performances.

Whitworth starter Cory Mack went 8 1/3 innings, threw 110 pitches and earned five strikeouts with one walk. For Willamette, Tyler Olson (Jr., RHP, Yuba City, CA/Yuba City HS) went nine innings and threw 132 pitches. He struck out seven batters and gave up one walk.

Josh Davis and Tyler Pfeffer each singled to left field in consecutive at bats for the Pirates in the 10th inning to drive in the game's only runs. The inning began with Druffel receiving a walk and Motsinger flying out.

An error on a fielder's choice to shortstop put runners Gerhard Muelheims at first and Druffel at second. Davis drove in Druffel, while Muelheims was thrown out trying to reach third. Pfeffer's single allowed Davis to score. Wakem reached base on an error, but a flyout by Nelson ended the stanza. Both runs were unearned.

In the bottom of the 10th, Kawamura singled for Willamette, but the Pirates ended the game by recording three consecutive outs. The final out was made by Druffel in left field when he caught a line drive by Wyatt.

Taylor Isadore (1-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief to earn the win for Whitworth, while Willamette reliever Jackson Watt (5-2) took the loss.

Semlacher was 3 for 4 with a double for the Bearcats in the first game. Hunter Gallant (Jr., 3B/SS, Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) went 3 for 5, and Kawamura finished 2 for 5. Whitworth had four players with two hits, as Pfeffer went 2 of 4, while three Pirates -- Motsinger, Davis and Wakem -- each went 2 for 5.


Whitworth University 2
Willamette University 0
(10 innings)

Willamette University 6
Whitworth University 1

Post-game Interviews

Matt Jepsen struck out eight batters on his way to a 6-1 complete-game victory for the Bearcats.

Matt Jepsen struck out eight batters on his way to a 6-1 complete-game victory for the Bearcats.