Wildcats Cash In on Big 6th Inning to Take the Series Finale From the Whits
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – A four-run 6th inning broke open a tight game and helped Linfield win the third and final contest of this weekend’s Northwest Conference series at Roy Helser field 7-2 – the No. 11 ranked Wildcats taking all three games as they improved to 8-1 in conference and 15-3 overall. The Missionaries, now, stand at 2-7 in the NWC and 7-12 on the year.
Aaron Cohen, Jr.
Joseph Stevick (1-0) got the win in relief, pitching 2 and a 1/3rd innings of shutout ball after spelling starter Zach Brandon. Justin Weeks (Sr., Palos Verdes, CA) (3-3) took the loss for the Missionaries as he surrendered 6 runs over 5-plus innings.
After the Wildcats jumped out to a 2-0 advantage, the Whits struck back with a run in the fifth and sixth to knot things at 2-all. In the 5th, Aaron Cohen (Jr., Juneau, AK) singled home Kyle Buckham (Jr., Bellingham, WA), who had had doubled to left with one out, to cut the lead to one, Cohen collecting his 14th RBI and Buckham scoring his team-leading 17th run.
One inning later, Cam Young (Jr., Wenatchee, WA) led off with a double for Whitman and was brought home by a two-out Eli Mathieu (So., Seattle, WA) double to right, to pull the Missionaries even. Maclean Harned (So., Seattle, WA) went down swinging after working a full count, and the inning was over.
Eli Mathieu, So.
The tie was short lived, though, when Linfield rallied for 4 runs in the bottom half. After a lead-off walk, the Wildcats loaded the bases and scored on an infield single to re-take the lead. Then Nick Fisher, who had 3 hits on the day, struck the decisive blow with a 3-run triple to right center. Sterling Spilinek (Jr., Douglas, WY) came in to relieve Weeks and closed out the inning with the Cats up 6-2.
Whitman could only manage a Peter Valentine (So., Portland, OR) single in the 8th the rest of the way while Linfield tacked on a security run in their half of the eighth to provide the final score.
The Missionaries return home for a three-game series with 2nd place George Fox – a doubleheader on Saturday, March 23 and a single game on Sunday, March 24. The action both days is slated to begin at 12-noon.
Whitman Sports Information Director