Whitworth Rallies Past Bearcats in Top of Ninth for 8-6 Win

Wilson Goes 3 of 4 for Willamette and Makes a Catch at the Fence in Right Field

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Thomas Wakem of Whitworth University hit a grand slam home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning for an 8-6 lead, and the Pirates held on to defeat Willamette University, 8-6, in a Northwest Conference baseball game on Saturday, April 19 at John Lewis Field.

The Pirates improved to 12-20, 9-12 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette dropped to 22-13 on the season, 14-6 in the NWC.

The Bearcats remained in second place in the NWC standings. George Fox University fell to 15-9 in the NWC with an 8-2 loss to Linfield College. Pacific Lutheran University dropped to 12-8 in the NWC with an 8-4 loss at Lewis & Clark College.

Whitworth closer Taylor Isadore, who entered the game with two outs in the eighth inning, kept Willamette from scoring in the ninth to secure the win. He evened his record at 2-2.

The Bearcats took a 6-4 advantage into the final inning after scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Willamette also rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 4-2 to tie the score twice.

In the top of the ninth, Willamette starting pitcher Peter Hoffman (Jr., RHP, Hayden, ID/Lake City HS) struck out pinch-hitter Matthew Miller. Hoffman then caused Nick Motsinger to hit a grounder toward second. Austin Hagarty (So., 2B, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) fielded the ball, but Motsinger reached first base when the throw went wide.

Gerhard Muelheims hit a hard fly ball to right field, but Andrew Wilson (Jr., OF, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) hit the fence while making the catch for the second out. Josh Davis singled on the left side and Taylor Pfeffer singled up the middle to load the bases. Wakem hit the first pitch over the left field fence.

Rolenn Himuro (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) walked to start the bottom of the ninth for the Bearcats. Shea Harrison (So., 2B/RHP, El Cerrito, CA/El Cerrito HS) flied out to center and Wilson hit a foul ball that was caught by first baseman Matt Nelson.

With two outs, Tommy Kawamura (Sr., SS/2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) singled through the right side for his third hit of the game. Hagarty hit into a fielder's choice. Third baseman Garrett Hughes tagged third base to put out Himuro on the game's final play.

Kawamura finished 3 for 5 with a run scored for the Bearcats. Wilson was 3 for 4 with a run scored. Tosh Semlacher (Sr., CF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS), Ty Wyatt (Fr., DH/INF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS), Brad Breier (Jr., C, Torrance, CA/South HS) and Himuro each recorded two hits.

Davis went 4 for 5 and scored once for Whitworth. Nelson was 3 for 5 with an RBI. Wakem finished 2 for 5 with a run and five RBIs.

The Pirates struck first with two runs in the top of the third inning. Both runs scored no a home run to right field by Motsinger. Willamette cut the lead to 2-1 when Wilson doubled in the bottom of the inning and later scored on a single to shortstop by Semlacher.

In the fourth, Tiras Koon (Jr., C/1B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) hit a double, and Breier and Himuro singled to bring in the tying run. Willamette earned four hits in the inning, but left the bases loaded.

Whitworth reclaim a two-run margin in the fifth, as the Pirates strung together four consecutive singles with two outs. Semlacher responded by hitting a triple in the bottom of the fifth and scoring on a double by Wyatt.

The Bearcats equalized the score at 4-4 in the seventh, when Wyatt reached base on a throwing error, went to second on a single by Breier and scored on a single by Himuro.

Willamette gained the lead in the eighth inning. A fielding error with one out left Hagarty at first and Kawamura at second. Semlacher walked to fill the bases. Wyatt pounded a two-run single to drive in Kawamura and Hagarty. A strikeout and a flyout stranded Semlacher at second base.

On Easter Sunday, the Bearcats will take on Pacific Lutheran at 1 p.m. (PDT) at John Lewis Field. The game was originally scheduled for March 2, but was postponed due to the weather.


Whitworth University 8
Willamette University 6

Tommy Kawamura went 3 for 5 with a run scored for the Bearcats.

Tommy Kawamura went 3 for 5 with a run scored for the Bearcats.