By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Joey Faudskar (Jr., OF/P, Phoenix, AZ/Pinnacle HS) belted a three-run homer in the fifth inning and Sam Hudd (Sr., 1B, Evergreen, CO/Evergreen HS) smacked a three-run homer in the sixth, as Willamette University defeated George Fox University, 12-6, in a non-conference game on Friday, May 3 at John Lewis Field. The Bearcats fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning, but rallied with five runs in the fourth to take the lead, then plated four runs in the fifth and three runs in the sixth to extend the margin to 12-3.
Matt Steindorf (Sr., RHP, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS) started for WU and threw 7 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks to improve to 8-2 on the season. He extended his school record for career wins by improving to 33-9. In addition, he set a school record with his 49th start, breaking a tie with Abe Cohen (1994-97). Steindorf also set a school record with 356 2/3 career innings pitched, as he moved past Matt Kosderka (1995-98), who previously held the record at 350 1/3 innings.
It was Senior Day for the Bearcats, who improved to 18-15 and clinched a winning record for the sixth consecutive season. Willamette has earned a .500 or better record in 10 of the last 12 years. George Fox fell to 22-16 overall. The teams will conclude the season with a doubleheader in Newberg, Oregon, on Sunday, May 5. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).
Prior to the game, Willamette honored the 11 seniors on this year's team: Connor Bailey (CF, San Diego, CA/Scripps Ranch HS), Nolan Boggini (RHP, El Dorado Hills, CA/Oak Ridge HS), Nathan Gilman (RHP, Chino Hills, CA/Diamond Ranch HS), Harbour Harrison (RHP, El Cerrito, CA/El Cerrito HS), Sam Hudd (1B, Evergreen, CO/Evergreen HS), Tyler Janitz (SS, Modesto, CA/Joseph A. Gregori HS), Brendan Natuzzi (3B, Napa, CA/Justin-Siena HS), Brandon Nelson (RHP, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS), Kyle Paguio (3B, Stevenson Ranch, CA/West Ranch HS), Cole Pursell (C, Oceanside, CA/El Camino HS), and Matt Steindorf (RHP, Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS).
"It went about as well as a Senior Day can go," Willamette Head Coach Aaron Swick said.
The Bearcats outhit the Bruins 15-13. Willamette blasted three doubles and two home runs. Hudd led the way by going 3 for 5 with a single, a double and a home run for three-fourths of the cycle. He drove in five runs. Also providing one double each were Cole Pursell (Sr., C, Oceanside, CA/El Camino HS) and Kyle Paguio (Sr., 3B, Stevenson Ranch, CA/West Ranch HS). George Fox hit four doubles, one each by Kyler Brudwick, Chase Fetzer, Sam Swenson and Colby Watilo.
GFU had momentum early, as the Bruins scored three runs in the first. With one out, Matt Ramirez and Kyler Brudwick hit back-to-back singles up the middle. Ramirez and Brudwick each advanced on a ground out by Jerred Seamons and scored on a single by Fetzer. Swenson drove in Fetzer with a double. The Bruins did not score again until the seventh inning.
Willamette recorded just one hit in the first three innings, an infield single by Hudd in the third, but the Bearcats pounded the ball on several occasions. The Bearcats hit an infield line drive and a line drive to the outfield for two of the first five outs. Faudskar in the second and Tyler Vandemark (So., LF, Modesto, CA/Joseph A. Gregori HS) in the third each missed homers on catches made near the outfield fence.
In the fourth inning, the hits began to fall for the Bearcats. The five-run surge featured six hits. Justin Scanlon (Jr., 2B/DH, San Jose, CA/Leigh HS/West Valley College) and Pursell each singled to start the rally. Sean Little (So., RF, Corvallis, OR/Crescent Valley HS) reached base on a sacrifice bunt that led to an errant throw by pitcher Christopher Stone. Scanlon scored on the play, while Pursell reached third. Paguio followed with an RBI single through the left side. Faudskar used a sacrifice bunt to move Little to third and Paguio to second.
Hudd batted next and smacked a two-run double into center field, scoring Little and Paguio. Vandemark singled to send Hudd to third base. Hudd was later thrown out on a double steal. Vandemark scored on a single to center by Bailey.
Willamette's 5-3 advantage grew to 9-3 with four runs in the fifth. The first three runs crossed the plate on Faudskar's homer to left. Pursell, who doubled, and Little, who was hit by a pitch, also scored on the play. With two outs, Vandemark singled, went to second and third on a wild pick-off throw, and scored on a single by Bailey for the second inning in a row.
Hudd's three-run homer to right center in the sixth inning upped WU's lead to 12-3. Also advancing home on the play were Michael Nelson (So., OF, Folsom, CA/Vista Del Lago HS), who pinch-ran for Brendan Natuzzi (Sr., 3B, Napa, CA/Justin-Siena HS) following a walk, and Paguio, who hit a double to advance Nelson to third.
The Bruins plated one run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth, but it wasn't enough to catch the Bearcats.
In addition to Hudd's three-hit effort, the Bearcat received a 3-of-4 performance from Vandemark, plus two hits apiece from Bailey, Scanlon, Pursell and Paguio.
Big Moment of the Day for Willamette
Joey Faudskar smacked a three-run homer over the left field fence
in the fifth inning to give the Bearcats an 8-3 lead over the Bruins.
It was his first home run of the season and the second home run
of his career. Faudskar is hitting .297 this season. Sam Hudd belted
a three-run homer in the sixth inning to give WU a 12-3 advantage.