KEIZER, Ore. – Eric Gantenbein went 4-for-5 to lead an 18-hit George Fox University attack that propelled the Bruins to a 10-2 non-conference baseball win over the Corban University Warriors Wednesday afternoon here at Volcanoes Stadium, boosting their record to 21-8 and securing their 16th straight winning season.
Playing at the home park of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, the Class A Northwest League farm club of the world champion San Francisco Giants, due to unplayable conditions at their own Morse Field, the Bruins came through with some big-time clutch performances, going 8-for-15 and scoring five runs with two outs. The Bruins had a least one hit in each of their eight at bats, and multiple hits in seven of them.
Corban took an early 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the top of the first inning. Lance Foster singled, went to second on a pickoff throw by Bruin starter Brian Davis in a 3-2 count, two-out situation with no one covering first base, and scored on a double off the left-field fence by Steven Blum.
The Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the second on singles by Nate Hickok and Zac Israel, a sacrifice by Jay Kirchhofer, and a two-run single to right by Derek Blankenship. The Warriors tied it in the fifth against reliever Andrew Snyder on singles by Nate Hiebert and Kyle Taylor and a sacrifice fly to right by Blum.
George Fox broke the tie for good against Hiebert (0-5) in the home half of the fifth, giving Snyder (3-2) the win. Gantenbein doubled with two out, Derek Aldrich walked, Hickok was hit by a pitch, and Israel delivered a two-run double to left-center.
The Bruins added two more in the sixth on Gantenbein's two-out, two-run single that scored Dan Winterstein and Taylor Hunter, and put the game away with three in the seventh. Hickok scored the first run on a wild throw from short to second on a potential double-play ball, and Winterstein and Sam Stahl added RBI singles. The Bruins' final run came in the eighth when Todd Nagamine scored on a double play.
Four Bruin hurlers - Davis, Snyder, Brian Ranta, and Jacob Brown - combined to scatter nine Warrior hits and allow only one earned run. Brown worked the final three shutout innings to pick up his third save.
In addition to Gantenbein's big game, Israel and Blankenship each had three hits and Stahl added two. Foster, Blum, and Jonathan Ramirez had two hits apiece for the Warriors, who fell to 9-27 on the season. Corban had its three-game winning streak snapped while George Fox won its third in a row.
The Bruins posted 12 winning seasons under Pat Bailey from 1996-2007 and have now had four straight seasons above .500 under Marty Hunter since 2008. George Fox also had seven straight winning seasons under Pat Casey from 1988-94, so the Bruins have posted winning records in 23 of the last 24 years.
NEXT: George Fox will host Lewis & Clark College in a three-game Northwest Conference series this weekend, with a 12:00 noon doubleheader Saturday and a single game at 1:00 p.m. Sunday. If Morse Field is still too wet, the games will be moved to West Linn (Ore.) High School, which has artificial turf ... Corban, which has not played a single game at its home field due to similar soggy conditions, will host Central Washington University Thursday in a 12:00 noon twinbill at Volcanoes Stadium.