The Wildcats played in Salem against the Bearcats on March 12 and 13. They played three games and one was postponed until March 14.
The first game of the weekend began slowly with no runs until the fourth inning, when senior third baseman Dustin Smith scored after senior catcher Cole Bixenman hit a fly ball to left field to tie the game. Linfield scored again in the fifth inning when sophomore center fielder Danny Urness hit a pop fly to left field and allowed senior pitcher Robert Vaughn to score. The game ended with a score of 2-1.
During the second game of the weekend, bats were swinging with eight runs scored by the Wildcats. During the first inning, five runs were scored by Smith, Bixenman, senior second baseman Eric Evenson, junior shortstop Kevin Allen and freshman left fielder Nate McClellan. The Wildcats made it through the entire line when the inning ended.
Evenson scored again after sophomore first baseman Clayton Truex hit a double to left field. Two more runs were scored during the seventh inning by Bixenman and Truex. The game ended 8-2, and the Wildcats tallied another win.
The final game against the Willamette Bearcats was a close one. The first run was scored in the second inning by Allan after hitting a home run. Bixenman and sophomore catcher Kyle Chamberlain scored two more runs in the fourth inning.
During the ninth inning, Linfield tied it up with another by Allen. During the 10th inning, the Wildcats went for the win when Bixenman scored the final run of the game, ending the third game with a score of 5-4.
“Although a few of the games were closer than we would have liked, we will take a win anyway we can get it,” junior pitcher Ryan Larson said.
Similarly, head coach Scott Brosius said it was a tough series with two close games.
“It is early in the conference season, but right now we are tied for first place with a 5-1 record. We play Whitman at home this weekend. Right now, the path to the conference title means playing well every week,” Brosius said. “There are a lot of dangerous teams, so we have to play our best each weekend to avoid upsets. Right now Pacific, George Fox and PLU seem to be the top challengers in the conference.”
Larson said the team is playing cohesively.
“Our pitchers are throwing the ball well and our defense has been solid. Offensively we have the talent to put up several runs each game, but we need to consistently hit well every game for that to happen. Once we find our stride at the plate, we should be in for a great year.”
While the rest of campus was anxious to start Spring Break, the Wildcats geared up to play against Whitman. They had three games that weekend and the Wildcat bats were swinging hard.
The first game of the weekend, Linfield came out with an 8-0 game against Whitman. Players that scored during this game were Evenson, Smith, Allan, Bixenman, Truex, McClellan, and two from senior left fielder Gunnar Cederberg. Larson had a good time on the mound with only eight hits out of 26 at bat for six innings.
The Wildcats won the second game with a score of 15-7. There was also some power on the mound, where Vaughn only had four hits off of him during his six innings on the mound. During the whole game, there were only eight hits.
The last game, of this weekend was also a powerful hitting game. The Wildcats won 18-8. This game was a good game for the pitchers, with only seven hits off of them.
The next three games were played against Whitworth University on March 26 and 27. The first two games were wins; the Wildcats won the first game 11-2, and they took the second game 6-3. The third game was a close one which the ’Cats dropped, 3-4.
The Wildcats’ win-loss record is 10 wins and 2 losses. Their next home game is scheduled for noon April 2 against the University of Puget Sound at home.
Kaylyn Peterson/For the Review
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.