SALEM, Ore. — The Missionaries left 12 runners on base as they fell to Willamette in the final game of the weekend series at John Lewis Field, 8-5, leaving their conference record at 7-14 and their overall mark at 12-19.
The Bearcats, after taking all three games, improved to 9-9 in conference (tied for third) and 14-18 overall.
Willamette starter Brandon Simon pitched six complete innings and faced one batter in the seventh to get the win, while Whitman’s Brett Lambert took the loss, even though he gave up just seven hits and two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings.
The Bearcats scored one in the first and then built a sizeable 5-0 lead with a four-run third that hinged on two-RBI singles by Brad Brier and Brandon Chinn that came after a two-out fielding error.
The Missionaries responded with three in the top of the fourth. Cam Young and Kyle Moyes, who both had three hits on the day, singled to lead off the inning. With one out, Maclean Harned hit a single to score Young and the next batter, Paul Heywood, who also had three safeties, cranked a double to left center, scoring both Moyes and Harned.
In the fifth, Whitman cut the lead to one when Moyes ripped a single up the middle with two on, to score a run, but the rally ended with two runners stranded.
Willamette extended its lead to 7-4 with two in the sixth on a two-run single by Tyson Giza.
The Missionaries got a run back in the top of the seventh on a single by Harned that drove in Young who had singled earlier in the inning, but the Missionaries could not make a bigger dent, hitting into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
The Missionaries outhit the Bearcats, 17-8.
Whitman threatened again in the eighth, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate after Kyle Buckham and Braff had started the inning with singles, but relief pitcher Henry Harrison was able to induce three straight Missionaries to hit the ball in the air for outs. The Whits went in order in the ninth after the Bearcats had tacked on another run in the eighth.
Willamette 8, Whitman 5
Whitman 000 310 100 — 5 17 3
Willamette 104 002 x01 — 8 8 3
Lambert, Weeks (6) and Harned. Simon, Harrison (7) and Petersen.
HR — none.
Hits — Whit: Buckham 3, Braff 2, Cohen, Young 3, Moyes 3, Harned 2, Heywood 3. Wil: Giza, Hagarty, Gallant, Breier 2, Chinn , Petersen, Himuro.