Willamette Defeats Lewis & Clark, 8-2 and 9-0, as Bearcats Pound Out 25 Hits

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SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University amassed 25 hits on its way to winning both games of a Northwest Conference doubleheader against Lewis & Clark College, 8-2 and 9-0, on Saturday, March 21 at John Lewis Field. The Bearcats received solid pitching from starters Peter Hoffman (Sr., RHP) and Connor Loar (Fr., RHP).

Hoffman threw all nine innings in the opener, as he improved to 3-0. The Bearcats pounded out 12 hits during the game, including doubles by Rolenn Himuro (Sr., CF), Brad Breier (Sr., C) and Shea Harrison (Jr., LF/RHP).

In the second game, Loar tossed seven innings and struck out seven batters, while liming the Pioneers to three hits -- all singles -- and two walks. Gordie Clary (Jr., RHP/RF) and Harrison each pitched one inning to complete the four-hit shutout.

WU belted 13 hits in the second game including a two-run homer by Jordan Ramp (Sr., OF/RHP) and a two-run homer by Tiras Koon (Sr., 1B). Ramp connected for three-fourths of the cycle, with a double in the third inning, his homer in the fourth, and a single in the eighth.

With the doubleheader sweep, Willamette upped its record to 15-4 overall and to 8-4 in the Northwest Conference. Lewis & Clark dropped to 3-18 on the season, 2-9 in the NWC.

Himuro doubled with one out in the bottom of the first inning of the first game. He scored when Koon singled with two outs.

Michael Kinkenon of L&C singled and Tommy Massari walked to start the second inning. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Connor Eggleston. Kinkenon crossed the plate on a groundout by Nick Lockwood.

The Pioneers scored once in the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead. EJ Hand singled and eventually scored on a single by Eggleston.

Willamette regained the lead with three runs in the fourth inning, and then added three more in the fifth for a 7-2 advantage.

In the fourth, Koon reached on an error at second base, while Breier doubled down the left field line and Mason Fessler (Fr., DH/INF) walked to load the bases. Clary hit an RBI single, Harrison drove in Breier on a fielder's choice, and Aaron Fong (Fr., SS) brought home Fessler with a groundout.

Himuro singled and stole second base to start the bottom of the fifth. Gallant provided an RBI single through the right side. Later, Breier earned an RBI on a groundout and Clary drove in a run with a fielder's choice.

Harrison doubled and scored the game's final run in the eighth on a single by Conway that hit relief pitcher Kyle Tibbett's leg and went into right field.

In game one, Himuro was 3 for 5 with a double and two runs. Koon went 2 for 4 with two runs and an RBI. Gallant singled, scored a run and drove in a run, while earning eight assists from third base on defense. Himuro threw Massari out at the plate from center field for the third out in the sixth.

Lewis & Clark left 11 runners on base. The Pioneers stranded two runners in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings. In the ninth, with one out and the bases loaded, Hoffman got Andrew Traver out at home after fielding a grounder hit by Hand. Hoffman forced Kinkenon to fly out to end the game.

Hand and Kinkenon each went 2 of 4 for L&C. Kinkenon had the Pioneers' only extra-base hit, a double. L&C starting pitcher Ryan Strombon threw seven innings, but fell to 0-6 after allowing seven runs (5 earned).

WU took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the second game and added another run in the third. Conway singled to left center to begin Willamette's first at bat. He went to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Himuro and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gallant.

Ramp doubled to start the third inning. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Cameron Igarashi (Fr., RF, Honolulu, HI/Mid-Pacific Institute) and reached home on a single by Conway.

The Bearcats' lead stretched to 4-0 when Nate Bush (Fr., SS) singled and Ramp smacked a two-run homer to right center in the fourth. It was Ramp's first career homer for the Bearcats. Conway singled in the fifth and later scored on a sacrifice line-out to right field by Gallant for a 5-0 advantage.

WU plated four runs in the eighth. Himuro singled to begin the stanza. With one out, Koon blasted a homer to right center. It was Koon's team-leading fourth homer of the season. Breier batted next and sent a double to left center. He moved to third on a groundout, and scored when Bush reached first and second on a throwing error. Ramp singled up the middle to drive in Bush.

Loar upped his record to 4-1 with the win. L&C starter John Trupin (0-3) pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed 13 hits and nine runs (six earned).

Ramp was 3 for 4 with two runs and three RBIs. Conway went 3 for 4 with two runs, a walk and an RBI, while Koon finished 2 for 4 with a run and two RBIs. Four L&C players each recorded one hit.

The Bearcats and the Pioneers will conclude the three-game series on Sunday, March 22 at John Lewis Field. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT).