By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communication
ORANGE, Calif. -- Brandon Nelson (So., RHP, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) pitched a complete-game shutout and Connor Bailey (So., LF, San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS) hit a three-run, inside-the-park home run in the top of the ninth inning, as Willamette University defeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 5-0, on Friday, March 17 at W.O. Hart Field. Willamette moved to 15-6 on the season, while CMS dropped to 7-8.
The game was played on the Chapman University campus as part of the multiple-site Southern California Classic. Willamette will continue in the Classic with a game at California Lutheran University on Saturday, March 18 at 1 p.m. (PDT) and a doubleheader against Occidental College on Sunday, March 19 at 11 a.m.
Nelson allowed just two hits -- both singles --- while earning four strikeouts with no walks. He improved to 2-3 on the season with the team's second complete game of the year. Matt Steindorf (So., RHP, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) threw all nine innings in a 4-3 win at Linfield College on Feb. 18.
Bailey smacked his third home run of the season as well as the first inside-the-park blast for the Bearcats this spring. He is tied with Jack Brett (Jr., C, Aurora, CO/Regis Jesuit HS) for the team lead in total home runs.
The game on Friday night was played about 42 miles from Nelson's hometown of Murrieta, Calif, and about 85 miles from Bailey's hometown of San Diego.
Willamette took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. The score remained the same until Bailey's three-run homer in the ninth. The Bearcats earned four hits overall. Eric Del Prado (Jr., INF, El Segundo, CA/Loyola HS) was 2 for 5 with a run scored. Bialey and Troy Conway (Jr., 2B, Moorpark, CA/Moorpark HS) recorded Willamette's other hits.
NOTE: There is no play-by-play report for this gamne.