MCMINNVILLE, Ore. - Linfield remained atop the Northwest Conference baseball standings with a 15-7 and 8-0 doubleheader sweep of visiting Whitman College here Saturday afternoon.
The Bruins improved 7-1 in the NWC (13-4 overall) while dropping Whitman to 2-6 in conference and 3-16 overall.
Jay Richards, one of the few seniors on a young Whitman roster, paced the Missionary offense with five hits in nine trips to the plate in the two games. That boosted his team-leading batting average to .392 on the season.
Linfield jumped in front 4-0 after the first three innings of Saturday's first game and then broke it open with seven more runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
Whitman plated its first run in the top of the fifth when freshman Kyle Buckham singled, sophomore Chris Andrews walked and Richards stroked a two-out single to center.
The Missionaries stranded two in the top of the seventh, but rallied to score six times on three hits in the eighth.
Erik Korsmo was hit by a pitch, freshman Kyle Moyes singled and Buckham drew a two-out walk to load the bases. After freshman David Fleming collected an RBI by getting hit by a pitch, freshman Jonny Lari drew a base on balls to force in the second Missionary run.
Richards and freshman Cam Young capped the big inning with back-to-back two-run singles.
Richards and Young finished with five of Whitman's eight hits, but left 12 runners on base.
Eric Evenson paced a 19-hit Wildcat attack with four hits.
Ryan Larson, Evan Hilberg, and Jacob Nolte combined for the Wildcats to blank Whitman 8-0 on nine hits as Linfield completed the sweep.
Richards, Korsmo, and Aaron Cohen each collected two hits, but the Missionaries trailed from the get go as the Wildcats scored twice in the first, and Whitman could not counter as Linfield played add on to finish with an 8-0 win.
The two teams complete their weekend series with a single game at noon today.
Whitman 000 010 060 - 7 8 4
Linfield 202 340 04x - 15 19 0
Weeks, Spilinek (7), Thomas (8) and Madden, Lari (7); Vaughn, Cameron (7), Wiser (8) and Chamberlain.
HR - none.
Hits - Whitman: Richards 3, Young 2, Korsmo, Moyes, Buckham; Linfield: Evenson 4, Harlow, Allan, Johnson, Bixenman, Lindell, Truex 2, Chamberlain, Coleman 3, McClellan 2, Cederberg, Urness.
Whitman 000 000 000 - 0 9 1
Linfield 200 121 20x - 8 13 0
Nelson, Matherly (6) and Madden; Larson, Hilberg (7), Nolte (9) and Bixenman, Nicholson (8).
HR - none.
Hits - Whitman: Madden, Richards 2, Young, Korsmo 2, Cohen 2, Buckham; Linfield: Evenson 2, Smith 4, Allan, Truex, Urness, Cederberg 2, McClellan, Nicholson.