TACOMA, Washington – The Puget Sound baseball team begins its Northwest Conference schedule at home with a three-game series against Willamette this weekend, Feb. 23-24. The Loggers and Bearcats start with a doubleheader Saturday, followed by a single game Sunday.
|WHO||Puget Sound vs. Willamette|
|WHEN||Feb. 23-24, 2019 | 11 a.m. (DH) | 12 p.m.|
|LINKS||Stats: G1 | G2 | G3 | Video: All Games|
Puget Sound and Willamette went head-to-head in a non-conference game, Feb. 16. The Bearcats rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 5-4 win. Loggers were one strike away from sealing their first win of the season. The teams entered the ninth inning in a 2-2 tie, but Sean Rooney led off the top off the inning with a double for Puget Sound. Mason Quinlan provided the go-ahead hit with an RBI single. Later in the inning, Ryota Nishino gave Puget Sound an insurance run when his base knock plated Quinlan. In the bottom of the stanza, Willamette loaded the bases with two outs. A bases-loaded walk got the Bearcats within a run, but their next batter faced two strikes in the count with the game on the line. In the big spot, Willamette's Cole Pursell hit a two-run walk-off single.
Infielders clear the outfield
A freshman pitching pair played an integral role in Puget Sound's first victory of the season. During the Loggers' 5-3 non-conference win over Whitman (Feb. 17), Owen Shellhammer earned the win by throwing two scoreless innings in relief of starting pitcher Makoa Mau. Nate Klompken locked down his first-career save by getting three outs in the ninth inning.
Two bags this time
Puget Sound is tied with Linfield for the second-most double in the NWC (14). Pacific, which has played in three more games than the Loggers, leads the NWC with 20 doubles. Ricardo Barraza, AJ Morioka, Mason Quinlan, and Corey Roberts each have two doubles for the Loggers.
Scouting Willamette (3-2, 0-0 NWC)
NWC head coaches predict Willamette will finish in second place this year. In 2018, the Bearcats won the NWC Tournament for the automatic berth into the NCAA D-III Tournament. Through five games this season, Willamette has the second-lowest batting average in the NWC (.226), but its 4.40 team ERA is the third best in the conference.