Willamette builds early lead to beat Whitman

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WALLA WALLA — Whitman failed to stay away from the big inning in the opener here Saturday of a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader. Willamette rode a five-run fifth inning to an 8-5 win. The Bearcats survived a desperate ninth-inning Whitman rally to complete the sweep with a 9-8 win in the night cap.

An unearned run staked the Bearcats to a 1-0 lead heading to the fifth in the opener. A Brad Breier RBI single, and a two-run single from Ty Wyatt, plus two unearned runs produced five Bearcat runs in the fifth and the Missionaries found themselves in a 6-0 hole.

The Missionaries got an RBI apiece from Aaron Cohen, MacLean Harned and Cameron Young the rest of the way, but it wasn’t enough as the Bearcats took the first game 8-5.

Ozzy Braff and Young led the Missionary attack with two hits each.

Cohen singled to knock in the first run of game two. Young followed with an RBI double and the Missionaries led 2-0 after one. The Bearcats struck, behind Will Himuro’s bases loaded triple, for six runs in the fourth and took a 7-2 lead. The Bearcats increased the lead to 9-3 with Whitman facing its last at bat.

Braff delivered a bases loaded, bases clearing double, and Cohen knocked in Braff with Whitman’s fifth run of the inning, as the Missionaries clawed to within 9-8.

The Bearcats had to go to the bullpen for their second pitcher of the inning and Jackson Watt came on to get the last out and earn his sixth save of the year.

Cohen ripped four hits and Braff collected three, but the last-ditch rally fell short as the Bearcats improved to 12-4 in the NWC and Whitman dropped to 7-13.

The Bearcats and Missionaries close out their three game set today at noon at Borleske.

First Game

Willamette 010 510 010 — 8 9 5

Whitman 000 220 010 — 5 6 2

Olson, Watt (9) and Breier; Hobson, Johnson (4), Valentine (7), Matherly (8) and Harned.

HR — none.

Hits — Will: Gallant, Wyatt 3, Semlacher, Breier, Himura 2, Harrison; Whit: Braff 2, Cohen, Young 2, Madden.

Second Game

Willamette 010 600 002 — 9 13 2

Whitman 200 010 005 — 8 13 0

Jepsen, Davis (9), Watt (9) and Breier; Thompson, Mathieu (5), Coppinger (9) and Harned.

HR — none.

Hits — Will: Chinn 2, Gallant, Wyatt 2, Koon 2, Semlacher, Breier 2, Himuro 2, Hagarty; Whit: Madden, Buckham 2, Braff 3, Cohen 4, Young, Konolige, Chow.

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