Loggers, Bearcats Split Wild NWC Doubleheader
SALEM, Ore. - With over 50 hits combined to conclude what has been a wildly offensive series, the Puget Sound Loggers and Willamette Bearcats split a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon in Salem, Ore. The Loggers took the opener by a final of 8-4 while the Bearcats took the nightcap, 21-10.
In the first game, the Loggers struck first when David Thirlby (Seattle, Wash./O'Dea) hit a three-run home run to left field to give Puget Sound the early 3-0 lead. Willamette answered back with a home run of their own in the bottom of the second when Jack McGee got under a pitch and sent it over the center field pitch for a solo dinger.
The Loggers scored two more in the fourth inning when Travis Hernandez (Burlington, Wash./Burlington-Edison) hit a RBI single to score both Thirlby and Andrew Grady (Cave Creek, Ariz./Phoenix Country Day) as the Loggers took the 5-1 lead. After one more Bearcat run in the fifth, Dakota Resnik (Bellevue, Wash./Newport) singled in the sixth to score Grady and Thirlby. Will Mentor (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Prep) then drew a bases-load walk to score Resnik and push the UPS lead to 8-2.
The Bearcats would go on to score two more runs but it wasn't enough to prevent Puget Sound from collecting the 8-4 victory. Cameron Duvall (Lakewood, Wash./Lakes) allowed four runs on nine hits with four strikeouts in seven innings pitched to collect the complete game victory. Devin Grindy was handed the loss for Willamette, allowing eight runs on eight hits in five and one-third innings pitched.
In the second game, the Loggers struck early when Mark Rockey (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./New Mexico) hit a two-run home run to left field to score Resnik as well as give UPS the early 2-0 lead. The advantage didn't last long as Willamette exploded for six runs in the bottom of the inning and the Loggers would be playing catch-up the rest of the way. Rockey hit another dinger in the third inning for two of four runs the Loggers would score in the frame but Willamette would strike for six yet again in the bottom half of the inning to pull ahead 13-6.
In the top of the fourth, Rockey sent yet another ball out of the ballpark, this time a solo shot to open up a three-run Logger inning but the Bearcats didn't take their foot off the gas the rest of the game, scoring six more times in the sixth inning to collect the wild 21-10 win.
Blake Paisley collected the win for Willamette, allowing nine runs on 11 hits in four innings pitched. Spencer Crace (Wilsonville, Ore.) took the loss, allowing six runs on six hits in two-thirds innings pitched.
The Loggers return home next week as they play host to NWC-leader George Fox for a four-game series beginning on Saturday on Logger Field in Tacoma, Wash.