Boxers Break 1-1 Tie with 3 Unearned Runs in 5th Inning, Defeat Bearcats, 4-1

Connor Bailey (Sr., LF, San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS)
Connor Bailey (Sr., LF, San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- Pacific University scored three unearned runs in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie and went on to defeat Willamette University, 4-1, in a non-conference game on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Chuck Bafaro Stadium. The Boxers improved to 4-3 on the season, while Willamette fell to 2-2.

Connor Bailey (Sr., LF, San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS) was 4 for 4 with a double and a run scored for the Bearcats, as he registered all but one of Willamette's five hits. Kyle Underwood (So., C, Highland, CA/Citrus Valley HS) earned a single in the fifth inning and finished 1 for 2 at the plate.

Pacific struck first in the second inning. With one out, Trevor Quinn walked. Jacob Igawa and Jordan Hara singled to load the bases. Derek Legaza lined out to Joey Faudskar (Jr., OF/P, Phoenix, AZ/Pinnacle HS) in left field. Dustin Meyer walked to bring Quinn across the plate.

The Bearcats equalized the score at 1-1 in the fourth. Bailey singled to center with one out and went to third when Justin Scanlon (Jr., 2B/DH, San Jose, CA/Leigh HS/West Valley College) reached first on an error by the third baseman. Nick Di Fiori (So., 1B/DH, Monrovia, CA/Bishop Amat HS) drove in Bailey with a sacrifice fly to right field. Ethan Fischel (Fr., INF, Eureka, CA/Eureka HS) went to first on another error at third, but Scanlon and Fischel were left on base when the Loggers recorded a flyout in center.

Meyer safely reached base for Pacific on an error at third to start the fifth inning. He stole second base, and then scored on a single to right center by Chase Anderson. After Anderson stole second, the Boxers hit into back-to-back ground outs.

Anderson, who moved to third on the first ground out, later scored on a passed ball. Three consecutive singles followed, with Ryan Krout eventually scoring on a base hit by Igawa.

Pacific starter Casey Brown pitched all nine innings for the Boxers and went to 1-0 with the win. He allowed just one run and five hits. He struck out eight batters and gave up one walk.

WU starter Brandon Nelson (Sr., RHP, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) took the loss after allowing nine hits and four runs, but only one run was earned. Nelson, who fell to 0-1 on the season, registered six strikeouts and two walks. Matt Pisacane (Fr., RHP, San Diego, CA/San Dieguito HS) threw the final three innings for Willamette and gave up no runs and three hit, while striking out two batters.

Hara led the Boxers by going 3 for 4 at the plate. Legeza, Igawa and Eli Wisdom each went 2 for 4. Pacific amassed 12 hits overall. Bailey's double for Willamette was the only extra-base hit of the game.

Willamette will play a non-conference game at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, on Sunday, Feb. 17. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. (PST).

Connor Bailey (Sr., LF, San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS)

Big Moment of the Game for Willamette

Pacific pitcher Casey Brown threw all nine innings and struck out
eight batters, but he had a difficult time with Connor Bailey, who
went 4 for 4 and scored Willamette's only run. Bailey singled and
later scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Di Fiori in the fifth inning.
Earlier in the game, Bailey pounded out a double for the game's
only extra-base hit.