By Dani Saunders
The baseball team started off their 2018 season down in Southern California this past weekend, playing Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday, Whittier College on Saturday in a double header and Pomona-Pitzer on Sunday. When the weekend came to a close, the Bearcats will be coming back with a record of 2-2.
On Friday, senior Perry Van Eckhardt came through to give the Bearcats an early lead over the Stags. In the top of third, junior Brendan Natuzzi hit a single up the middle to begin the inning and then junior Tyler Janitz walked. Third up to bat this inning was senior Troy Conway. He bunted and on a fielder’s choice, and Natuzzi was thrown out at third base.
After Natuzzi was thrown out, a wild pitch allowed both Janitz and Conway to advance. Junior Connor Bailey then walked to load the bases up. Van Eckhardt came up to bat and belted a hard single into left field, allowing the two runners on base to score. With Bailey on second and Van Eckhardt on first, each stole a base to advance themselves in scoring position. Senior Eric Del Prado then came up to bat and was safe at first due to an error by the Stags. Bailey scored on this error and then another error occurred while senior Cameron Igarashi was up to bat, which allowed Van Eckhardt to score. The Bearcats held onto a 4-3 lead to win the game.
On Saturday Bearcat baseball took on Whittier College in a double header. The first game of the series ended with a score of 9-0, with Whittier College’s pitcher Baez leading the way with a great performance on the pitcher’s mound. The second game of this series was a nail-biter, with the Bearcats winning 7-6. The top of the second inning was when the Bearcats gained a 3-0 lead, but then Whittier gained back two runs to make the score 3-2 after the second inning was over.
In the top of the third inning, the Bearcats increased their lead 5-2 with the help of Bailey, Natuzzi and Del Prado. Bailey hit a single and then Natuzzi hit a hard double up the middle of the field. With runners on second and third, Del Prado hit a single to left which allowed them both to score. After this, the Poets held the Bearcats up at their 5-2 lead. Whittier scored three more runs which put them ahead of the Bearcats 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Janitz scored a run to tie the score up. The Bearcats were able to score two more runs in the eighth inning to secure the win over the Poets. After this series, the Bearcats had a record of 2-1.
On Sunday, the Bearcats took on Pomona-Pitzer and fell to them with a score of 7-4. The Bearcats scored twice in the third inning and twice in the ninth inning. Pomona-Pitzer scored four runs in the third and three runs in the fourth inning. After this game, the Bearcats arrived at their record of 2-2. The Bearcats will be in Texas next weekend and will be taking on four different schools. You can tune in live to the video feed that is available through Willamette’s website. The first home games for the Bearcats will be on Feb. 17 against Linfield College beginning at 11 a.m.