Wildcat baseball brings home sweep after California trip
The Linfield baseball team swept a three-game series against Pomona-Pitzer and exacted revenge for a loss earlier in the season against La Verne on April 14.
With the four victories, the No. 2 Wildcats improved their record to 26-5.
On April 12, Linfield defeated Pomona-Pitzer 6-2 behind sophomore Chris Haddeland’s (8-1, 1.14 ERA) fifth complete game of the season and timely hitting from the heart of the batting order.
Haddeland struck out five and walked just one in his nine innings of work. He did give up his first home run of the season. Ironically, it was to the opposing pitcher, Jake Bruml, his second home run of the season.
The heart of the order — juniors Jake Wylie, Kramer Lindell and Nick Fisher — combined to go 5-9 at the plate with two walks, scoring all six Linfield runs and driving in four RBI. Lindell added two stolen bases and Fisher added one, as well.
“It’s always fun to get the opportunity to play in California and in nice weather, so I just went up to the plate and had fun at each bat,” Lindell said.
Pomona-Pitzer, ranked No. 22 in the country entering the weekend, committed a staggering 14 errors during the April 11 doubleheader (it committed two in the game on Friday).
Game one, a 15-4 Linfield victory, was highlighted by a seven-run fourth inning where Linfield sent 12 men to the plate.
Game two ended 9-3 in Linfield’s favor, highlighted by an eight-run second inning.
“That was…the most errors I had seen in a day. Their infield played really fast and had some strange hops…luckily for us, we caught a lot of breaks,” Lindell said.
The breaks were accompanied by the consistent hitting. The second inning featured two errors from the Sagehens, seven Wildcat hits and two home runs—a three-run bomb by senior Clayton Truex and a two-run shot from Lindell.
Senior catcher Kyle Chamberlain crushed his first home run of the season in the sixth inning to round out the Linfield scoring.
All-American second baseman senior Tim Wilson went 5-10 during the doubleheader with five runs scored, two RBI and four stolen bases. Lindell went 5-11 with the home run, two doubles, four runs scored and five RBI, while Fisher went 4-9 with two runs scored, three RBI and a stolen base.
Sophomore Aaron Thomassen (8-0, 1.08) and junior Zach Brandon (5-2, 2.98) started the doubleheader games.
Thomassen struck out six in five innings of work, giving up one unearned run.
Brandon threw seven innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk.
On April 14, the ‘Cats destroyed La Verne 13-1.
Freshman Cody Erraut made his first career start and got the victory, going five innings and giving up just one hit.
Juniors Justin Huckins and Garett Speyer both threw two innings out of the bullpen to complete the game.
The ‘Cats racked up 20 hits on the day. Some standouts included Wilson and Fisher, who both went 4-6, and junior Nate McClellan, who went 3-5 and drove in three runs.
Linfield returns to conference play April 20 and 21 with the most important series of the season.
George Fox University (24-9, 17-4 NWC) will travel to Roy Helser Field for a three-game series. George Fox trails Linfield (26-5, 15-3) by one game in the NWC loss column.
Tyler Bradley/Sports columnist
Tyler Bradley can be reached at email@example.com.