Baseball rallied past Linfield College in their second Northwest Conference (NWC) match -up, winning the series, 2-1. Softball is still looking to find their first win of the season but gave Whitworth University a run for its money in the final game of the series, where the final score was 3-2.
WU won one of the two games played on Saturday with senior pitcher Matt Steindorf on the mound. Steindorf stunned the Wildcats, throwing a four-hit complete game and amassing seven strikeouts. Steindorf remains undefeated this season, with a personal record of 4-0. He is one win away from tying the current record holder for career victories, Matt Kosderka (‘98), who had 30 wins. Junior second baseman Justin Scanlon had a successful day at the plate, going three-for-three and missing only a triple to complete the cycle.
Scanlon crushed a two-run bomb which broke the 0-0 tie in the fourth inning. WU tacked on four more runs and secured the first win of the series, 6-1.
Linfield’s bats came alive in the second game, accumulating 11 hits in their 6-3 victory, which also tied the series at 1-1. Senior Brandon Nelson held the Wildcats to one run and five hits before their late-game rally in the top of the eighth inning. Linfield took a temporary 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, but senior Connor Bailey came back in the top of the third inning to tie the game with a solo homerun. WU scored two more runs in the fifth and eighth inning and held onto a 3-1 lead. The Wildcats’ five run inning was created on two key hits, a single that drove in two runs and a three-run homerun.
WU finished the series with ease, winning 14-4. First-year first baseman Eric Waldichuk hit a three-run homerun in the second inning while senior shortstop Tyler Janitz hit a two RBI (runs batted in) triple in the eighth inning. Janitz was three-for-four on the day and drove in three runs total. Bailey and Scanlon both hit doubles and drove in two runs each. Senior catcher Cole Pursell and senior designated hitter Brendan Natuzzi both had one hit.
Senior pitcher Nathan Gilman improved his record to 3-0 as he held the Wildcats to two runs and five hits in the five innings he was on the mound. Junior pitcher Ben Whitten pitched three scoreless innings and allowed one hit while sophomore Liam Keefe closed the game in the ninth.
Back in Salem, OR, on the relatively smaller diamond, the softball team too on the undefeated Whitworth University Pirates in a four game series. WU kept the first and last game relatively close but lost control of the second and third game, resulting in the Pirates run-ruling them.
In the first game on Saturday, the Bearcats’ bats were suppressed to three hits. The Pirates took an early 3-0 lead after scoring two runs in the first inning and one run in the second. In the bottom of the fourth inning, first-year Payten Healy singled up the middle and later scored on a fielder’s choice. The Pirates expanded their lead once again in the fifth inning by scoring two runs to make the score 5-1. In the bottom of the fifth, junior Vanessa Almaraz singled up the middle, stole second base and then was brought home on a single by first-year Kilani Fierstos. No additional runs were scored ,leading to the final score of 5-2.
Whitworth amassed a stunning 14 hits in their 11-2 mercy rule win in the second game. WU scored their only two runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore Breianna Mcleod reached first base on an error by the shortstop and advanced to second base by stealing. Sophomore Bailey Hillmick smacked a two-run shot over the right-field fence to bring Mcleod home and take a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the second inning. WU’s bats were silenced for the rest of the game while the Pirates scored 10 more runs.
The Pirates carried this momentum into the third game that was played on Sunday. Whitworth used 15 hits to score 11 runs and hold WU, once again, to two runs in their 11-2 win. The Bearcats scored their only two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Healy reached first on a single and advanced to scoring position on a wild pitch. Junior Kea Gier drove Healy in with a single to the right side of the field. Almaraz drove Gier in with her double that was hit to right center.
The final game of the series was the closest, in which the Pirates clutched two runs in the top of the seventh for a last minute comeback win. Hillmick homered to right center to tie the game in the bottom of the second inning, 1-1. In the bottom of the second, the Bearcats took the lead 2-1 when a single by Healy brought Glasgo in. In the top of the seventh, the tying run scored on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly brought the winning run to make the score 3-2.
Softball will look for their first win in another NWC series against Lewis & Clark College on Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17 in Portland, OR. Baseball will take on Whitworth University on Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17 at John Lewis Field, which is located next to the football stadium. The first pitch is set to be thrown at 12:00 p.m. (PST).