Lutes Score Eight Runs in Third Inning, Defeat Bearcats 11-5

Thompson Hits Two Home Runs for PLU; Koon Belts his 5th Homer for Willamette

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Pacific Lutheran University scored eight runs in the third inning to take a 9-1 lead on its way to an 11-5 victory over Willamette University in Northwest Conference baseball on Sunday, April 20 at John Lewis Field. The game was originally scheduled for March 2, but was postponed due to the weather.

Both teams ended the game with 22-14 overall records.

Despite the loss, Willamette remained in second place in the Northwest Conference at 14-7. George Fox University is third at 15-9 and Pacific Lutheran is fourth at 13-8.

Tyler Thompson of PLU hit a grand slam home run during the third inning and added a solo homer in the fourth inning. Thompson, who also doubled, finished 4 for 5 with three runs and five RBIs.

Tiras Koon (Jr., C/1B, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) of WU belted his fifth homer of the season, a shot to right center in the sixth inning. Koon was 2 for 3.

PLU starter Derrick Mahlum pitched 6 2/3 innings. He allowed five runs -- three earned -- while improving to 6-3 on the season.

Thompson hit his double with one out in the top of the second. He scored to give PLU a 1-0 lead when Curtis Wildung singled to left.

In the third inning, the Lutes registered seven hits. A single by Shawn Abe started the inning. A walk and another single filled the bases. Kory Vanderstaay walked to bring home Abe. After a single by Ben Welch drove in a run, Thompson smacked his grand slam to left field, as PLU took a 7-0 lead.

One out later, Nicholas Hall doubled to the right field corner. With two outs, Abe reached base on a throwing error from third, as Hall scored. The Lutes tacked on one more run before Welch flied out.

PLU added two runs in the top of the fourth. The first run scored on Thompson's second homer. The other run was by Wildung, who walked and scored later on a single by Abe.

Willamette achieved one run in the fourth and one in the sixth, before tallying three runs in the seventh.

Tosh Semlacher (Sr., CF, Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS) singled to start the fourth, moved to third one out later on a single by Koon, and scored on a two-out single by Rolenn Himuro (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School). In the sixth, Koon pounded a home run to right center on a full-count pitch with one out.

The Bearcats amassed three runs on three hits and one error in the seventh. Devin Bales (Jr., 3B/OF, Graham, WA/Graham-Kapowsin HS/Grays Harbor College) doubled to left with one out. He scored when Kawamura followed with a single up the middle.

Kawamura crossed the plate two batters later on an errant throw by the third baseman. Semlacher, who put the ball into play, advanced to third. Ty Wyatt (Fr., DH/INF, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) then smacked a low line drive that Welch at shortstop tipped but couldn't stop. The single drove in Semlacher.

Koon's two hits for WU tied for the team lead. Bales went 2 for 3 with a run, while Himuro was 2 for 4 with an RBI. Himuro belted a triple in the eighth.

PLU outhit the Bearcats 17-9. Thompson's four hits led the way. Abe went 3 of 5 with two runs and an RBI. Oord was 3 for 5 with one run and an RBI.

Willamette used six pitchers. Starter Eland Tsubata (Jr., LHP, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) threw into the third, but left before Thompson's grand slam. Tsubata fell to 1-1 after allowing six earned runs.

The Bearcats' fourth pitcher, Shea Harrison (So., 2B/RHP, El Cerrito, CA/El Cerrito HS), provided WU with three scoreless innings, while allowing just three hits and striking out four batters.

Prior to the game Willamette's four seniors were honored. Brandon Chinn (Sr., RF/1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS), Kawamura and Semlacher all started the game. Pitcher Garrett Davis (Sr., RHP, Marysville, WA/Pilchuck HS) did not allow a hit in 1 2/3 innings after starting the eighth inning.

Willamette will play three games at the University of Puget Sound next weekend. The Bearcats and Loggers will play one game on Saturday, April 26 at 3 p.m. (PDT), and will conclude the series with two games on Sunday, April 27 at 12 p.m. Puget Sound is 13-17 overall and 11-10 (5th place) in the NWC.

BOX SCORE

Pacific Lutheran University 11
Willamette University 5

Honoring the Seniors
Brandon Chinn (RF/1B)
Garrett Davis (RHP)
Tommy Kawamura (SS/2B)
Tosh Semlacher (CF)

Tiras Koon blasted a solo home run in the sixth inning and finished 2 for 3 against the Lutes.

Tiras Koon blasted a solo home run in the sixth inning and finished 2 for 3 against the Lutes.