By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110
WILSONVILLE, Ore. -- Matt Steindorf (So., RHP, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) threw five scoreless innings as the starting pitcher, and a trio of relievers completed the game, as Willamette University defeated University of Puget Sound, 3-1, on Saturday, Feb. 11 at Wilsonville High School Field. Willamette improved to 3-2 on the season, while the Loggers dropped to 1-4.
The game was the second of three non-conference games involving Northwest Conference teams on Saturday in Wilsonville. In the first game, Puget Sound downed Whitworth University, 7-2. In the third game, Whitworth shut out Lewis & Clark College, 4-0.
Action continues on Sunday, with three more games. Willamette will take on Whitworth at 11 a.m. (PST). The Bearcats will then battle Lewis & Clark at 2 p.m. L&C will conclude the day versus Puget Sound at 5 p.m.
Steindorf allowed seven hits -- six singles. The only extra-base hit was a triple by James Dejesus that center fielder Perry Van Eckhardt (Jr., El Cerrito, CA/El Cerrito HS) almost caught on a diving attempt in the third inning. Steindorf struck out four batters and walked two Loggers.
Nathan Gilman (So., RHP, Chino Hills, CA/ Diamond Ranch HS) pitched two scoreless innings, before Jett Gallagher (Jr., RHP, Santa Cruz, CA/Santa Cruz HS) went to the mound for the Bearcats in the top of the eighth inning. Gallgher gave up two hits and one run.
Brendan Natuzzi (So., RHP, Napa, CA/Justin-Siena HS) tossed the ninth inning for Willamette and faced just three batters. Natuzzi registered one strikeout while earning his first save of the season.
The Bearcats put up two runs in the first inning and added one run in the second. Troy Conway (Jr., 2B, Moorpark, CA/Moorpark HS) walked to open the bottom of the first. He stole second base.
Kyle Paguio (So., 3B, Stevenson Ranch, CA/West Ranch HS) then bunted toward the the third base side of the mound. Puget Sound pitcher Joe Brennan misplayed the ball, allowing Paguio to reach first base. Paguio was credited with a sacrifice on the play, as Conway reached third.
Paguio stole second, before Connor Bailey (So., OF, San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS) brought home Conway with a sacrifice fly to right field. After Mason Fessler (Jr., 1B/DH, Woodburn, OR/Blanchet Catholic School) walked and stole second, Eric Del Prado (Jr., 1B/DH, El Segundo, CA/Loyola HS) drove in Paguio with a sacrifice fly to left field.
In the second inning, Tyler Janitz (So., SS, Modesto, CA/Joseph A. Gregori HS) batted first and hit an infield single between shortstop and third base. Janitz reached second on a passed ball, and scored with one out on a triple by Cameron Igarashi (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Mid-Pacific Institute). Igarashi's hit to right field was missed on a diving attempt by Ryan Moyes.
Dejesus recorded his similar triple to center field with two outs in the top of the third. Steindorf struck out Ian Hughes to end the threat.
Puget Sound's next quality chance to get on the scoreboard took place in the fifth inning. Moyes singled to left center to start the stanza. Muramaru followed with a sacrifice bunt, as Moyes advanced to second. A bunt single toward first base by Jordan Hirae put runners at the corners.
Moyes was thrown out at home and Hirae went to second when Dejesus hit a fielder's choice toward third base. The next batter was Hughes, who walked on a full-count pitch to load the bases. Steindorf forced Layne Croney to ground out to second to end the inning.
The Loggers plated their only run in the eighth inning. With one out, Hughes singled to left. Pinch-runner Nathan Mano stole second base and went to third when the throw from home was wide of the bag. Alex Wojtysiak flied out to right field, but Mano held at third. Ty Brazelton sent Mano across the plate with a double down the left field line. Gallagher struck out Ryan Darrow for the third out.
Janitz led Willamette with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate. He also scored one run. Igarashi was 2 for 3 with a triple and an RBI. Hughes went 2 for 3 for Puge tSound, while Hirae and Brazelton each finished 2 for 4.
Puget Sound outhit Willamette, 9-8. The Loggers left nine runners on base, while WU stranded eight runners. Each team committed just one error.