Boxers Split Doubleheader with Bearcats

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The Pacific University baseball team split a doubleheader with Willamette on Saturday, dropping game one, 2-1 in 10 innings and winning the nightcap, 4-3.


The doubleheader split keeps the Boxers a game out of first place in the Northwest Conference standings behind George Fox, who is 4-0 with a doubleheader to play on Sunday against Linfield.


The Boxers are 8-5 on the season and 4-1 in the Northwest Conference. Also, the doubleheader split saw a seven-game winning streak end in the opening game. Five of the eight wins for Pacific have come at the friendly confines of the renovated Chuck Bafaro Stadium.


Game one saw an old-fashioned pitchers' dual settled in the 10th inning. The Bearcats scored a run on four hits off Pacific reliever Cole Kanazawa for the win – it was the first earned run given up on the season by the senior from Honolulu.


With two out, in the 10th, Brendan Natuzzi doubled to left field; then the Boxers elected to intentionally walk Jack Brett to set up a force out at third and face Tyler Janitz. The Bearcats' third baseman singled to right field, scoring Natuzzi, from second for what proved to be the winning run.


Willamette starter Matt Steindorf raised his record to 3-1 after a nine inning stint, allowing just two hits to the Boxers. Brandon Murillo pitched a scoreless 10th for his third save.


In relief of Pacific starter Paul Wolfram (Las Vegas, Nev.), the Boxers' Casey Brown (Peoria, Ariz.) allowed just five hits and struck out three over the next 6.2 innings before handing the ball off to Kanazawa with two out in the eighth.


The Boxers sent the game into extra innings, scoring its only run in the ninth. In the inning, Derek Legeza (Peoria, Ariz.) hit a triple just inside the right-field line to start the inning. Then, with one out, a hard hit ball on the new FieldTurf by Drew Fagerness (Centralia, Wash.) scored a hustling Legeza from third to tie the game.