By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
NEWBERG, Ore. -- Willamette University starting pitcher Matt Steindorf (Sr., RHP, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) set a school record with his 31st career win after throwing the first eight innings in an 8-5 triumph over George Fox University in Northwest Conference action on Saturday, April 13 at Morse Athletic Field. Steindorf, now 31-9 in his career, began the game tied with Matt Kosderka (1995-98) for Willamette's all-time lead with 30 wins.
Steindorf, who is 6-2 this spring, allowed eight hits and four runs, three earned, against the high-scoring GFU offense. He struck out six batters with no walks. Jason Snare (So., LHP, Seattle, WA/Bainbridge Island HS) pitched the ninth inning for the Bearcats.
Willamette upped its record to 14-13 overall, 11-8 in the NWC. The Bruins, who have scored seven or more runs 17 times, fell to 20-12 overall, 14-8 in the NWC. GFU is 13-4 when it scores seven or more runs and is 7-8 when it scores fewer than seven. The NWC series will conclude with a doubleheader on Sunday in Newberg. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).
The Bearcats outhit the Bruins, 15-10. Brendan Natuzzi (Sr., 3B, Napa, CA/Justin-Siena HS) was 4 for 5 with an RBI. Justin Scanlon (Jr., 2B/DH, San Jose, CA/Leigh HS/West Valley College) went 3 of 5 with a two-run homer and a total of four RBIs. Connor Bailey (Sr., CF, San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS) was 3 of 5 with a double, one run and two RBIs. Joey Faudskar (Jr., OF/P, Phoenix, AZ/Pinnacle HS) finished 2 of 4 and scored once. For GFU, Matt Ramirez was 3 of 5 with two doubles and a run scored.
"This was another great team win," Willamette Head Coach Aaron Swick noted. "Matt pitched really well. The offense had some quality at bats. Justin and Connor had big RBIs, and Brendan hit the ball hard five times."
Scanlon belted his home run with one out in the first inning. Tyler Janitz (Sr., SS, Modesto, CA/Joseph A. Gregori HS), who opened the game with a single up the middle, also scored on the play. The Bruins pulled within 2-1 in the bottom of the second when Derek Johnson hit an infield single with two outs, went to second on a single by Colby Watilo, and scored on a single by Jason Garcia.
Each team scored one run in the third, leaving Willamette in front, 3-2. Janitz walked and later scored Willamette's run on a single by Scanlon. Matt Ramirez of GFU blasted a leadoff double in the bottom of the inning and eventually scored on a fielding error with two outs.
An RBI double by Matt Voelzke in the fourth inning allowed the Bruins to tie the score. The Bearcats quickly surged back in front 5-3 with two runs in the fifth. Janitz walked and went to second on a single by Bailey. Scanlon drove in Janitz for the third time with a single to left. Bailey later scoed on a sinlge by Natuzzi.
WU increased the lead to 6-3 in the sixth. Kyle Paguio (Sr., DH/3B, Stevenson Ranch, CA/West Ranch HS) pounded a double into left. He went to third on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Vandemark (So., LF, Modesto, CA/Joseph A. Gregori HS).
The Bruins inched one run closer in the bottom of the seventh, but the Bearcats responded with two runs in the eighth.
Faudskar singled and Vandemark walked. The runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Janitz, and both scored when Bailey followed with a double down the left field line. Willamette took an 8-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Chase Fetzer hit a pinch-hit, leadoff homer, but the next two Bruins hit into a ground out and a flyout. Ramirez doubled to left, but Snare forced Kyler Brudwick to ground out to end the game.
Big Moment of the Day for Willamette
Justin Scanlon blasted a two-run homer in the first inning to
set the tone for the Bearcats, who finished the game with a
total of 15 hits against the Bruins. Scanlon was 3 of 5 with
a run and four RBIs. He drove in teammate Tyler Janitz three
times during the game.