Willamette Splits Games, Losing to Whitworth 15-4 and Shutting Out L&C 9-0

Troy Conway (Jr., 2B, Moorpark, CA/Moorpark HS)
Troy Conway (Jr., 2B, Moorpark, CA/Moorpark HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

WILSONVILLE, Ore. -- Troy Conway (Jr., 2B, Moorpark, CA/Moorpark HS) belted two triples and the Bearcats pounded out 13 hits to shut out Lewis & Clark College, 9-0, and split a pair of games on Sunday, Feb. 12 at Wilsonville High School Field. In Willamette's first game on Sunday, the Bearcats fell to Whitworth University, 15-4.

The games were part of a series of six non-conference games involving Northwest Conference teams in Wilsonville on Saturday and Sunday. In Sunday's late game, University of Puget Sound rallied from a 9-3 deficit in the middle of the seventh inning to outscore Lewis & Clark, 10-9. Willamette, Whitworth and Puget Sound each went 2-1 during the weekend, while L&C was 0-3.

Willamette moved its overall record to 4-3. The Bearcats will open NWC action next weekend with three games at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. The teams will play two games on Saturday, Feb. 18, followed by one game on Sunday, Feb. 19. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PST) each day.

Pirates Score Seven Runs in Seventh Inning

Whitworth held an 8-3 lead after six innings in Saturday's early game against the Bearcats. The Pirates took command with seven runs in the top of the seventh, including a grand slam home run by Jacob Yamane, who finished the game 3 for 5 with two runs and five RBIs.

The Pirates scored two runs in the top of the first. Daniel Casanova started the inning with a single, and then stole second base. One out later, he scored on a triple to right field by Matthew Nelson. After Jordan McGowan walked, Tyler Bailey drove in Nelson with a sacrifice fly to left.

Willamette cut the lead to 2-1 in the Bearcats' first at bat. Conway walked. He moved to second when Kyle Paguio (So., 3B, Stevenson Ranch, CA/West Ranch HS) reached first on an error by the third baseman. Another error, this time on a throw from right field, allowed Conway to score and sent Paguio to second.

With one out and Paguio at third, Mason Fessler (Jr., 1B/DH, Woodburn, OR/Blanchet Catholic School) walked. Tyler Esquivel (Jr., UT, Filmore, CA/Filmore HS) also walked, but the Bearcats left the bases loaded.

An RBI single by Yamane drove home a run for Whitworth in the third inning. The Pirates tacked on two runs in the fourth for a 5-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, Willamette tallied two runs on two hits. Esquivel and Jack Brett (Jr., C, Aurora, CO/Regis Jesuit HS) walked. Tyler Janitz (So., SS, Modesto, CA/Joseph A. Gregori HS) provided a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Esquivel scored on a single by Joseph Faudskar (Fr., OF, Phoenix, AZ/Pinnacle HS). Brett crossed the plate on a single by Cameron Igarashi (Jr., OF, Honolulu, HI/Mid-Pacific Institute).

Yamane tripled and later scored an unearned run for the Pirates in the top of the fifth. In the sixth, Nelson hit a sacrifice fly and Tyler Bailey added an RBI double, as Whitworth increased its lead to 8-3.

Whitworth pulled away with its seven runs in the seventh inning. Yamane's four-run homer capped the inning. Casanova drove in the first run with an RBI double. 

Fessler homered to right field for Willamette with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. He was 2 for 4 during the game. Esquivel finished 2 for 2 with a run scored. Igarashi was 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Yamane's three hits for Whitworth were matched by Casanova, who went 3 for 4 with four runs and two RBIs. Nelson was 2 for 5, scored two runs and earned three RBIs. Starting pitcher Matthew Young improved to 1-0 with the win. Brandon Nelson (So., RHP, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) fell to 0-2 with the loss.

Seven Bearcats Earn a Hit in Win over Lewis & Clark

A total of seven Willamette players recorded at least one hit in the 9-0 victory over Lewis & Clark in the second game. Four Bearcats earned at least two hits, led by 3-for-5 performances from Perry Van Eckhardt (Jr., CF, El Cerrito, CA/El Cerrito HS) and Connor Bailey (So., OF, San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS).

Conway was 2 for 5 with his two triples, one run scored and three RBIs. Janitz went 2 for 3, scored once and supplied one RBI.

Meanwhile, three Bearcat pitchers combined for the win. Starter Benjamin Whitten (Fr., RHP, Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS) carried most of the pitching load, as he went seven complete innings, while allowing eight hits -- seven were singles -- and no walks. He upped his record to 2-0. Dylan Ross (Fr., RHP, Malibu, CA/ Malibu HS) and Dawson Campos (Fr., RHP, Reno, NV/Galena HS) each threw one inning to finish the game.

The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth inning, when Willamette took a 1-0 lead. Esquivel began the inning with a walk. He went to second on a wild pitch. With one out, he moved to third on a ground out by Eric Del Prado (Jr., 1B/DH, El Segundo, CA/Loyola HS), and then scored on a single by Janitz.

Paguio was hit by a pitch to start Willamette's half of the fifth inning. Later, he scored on a double steal as Connor Bailey went to second base. Bailey also advanced to third on the play. Esquivel brought home Bailey with a sacrifice fly.

Willamette's lead expanded to 6-0 with a trio of runs in the sixth. With one out, Van Eckhardt singled and then scored on a triple by Conway. Paguio followed with an RBI single to left field. Paguio crossed the plate later in the inning on a ground out by Fessler.

Van Eckhardt hit an RBI single in the seventh inning. Conway completed the Bearcats' success at the plate with a two-run triple to right field in the top of the ninth. Janitz and Del Prado scored on the play.

Lewis & Clark finished the game with nine hits. Matthew Donovan and Tommy Masari each went 2 for 3. Sean Shepherd was 2 for 4. The Pioneers' starting pitcher, Andrew Yarak (0-1), pitched five innings and allowed five hits and three runs. Only one of the runs was earned.