Game 2 Box Score
McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Cole Bixenman drove in four runs in the day’s opening game to lead Linfield to a 7-2 win over Oregon Tech Saturday afternoon at Roy Helser Field. The Owls bounced back with a 1-0 win to close out the doubleheader.
Ryan Larson set the tone for the ‘Cats on the mound, pitching five innings and giving up just one unearned run. After Oregon Tech took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, Linfield responded with runs in the third and fourth innings. Kenny Johnson (Sr., Federal Way, Wash.) and Bixenman drove in Linfield’s first two runs.
OIT starting pitcher Matt Bellando settled into a rhythm, holding the ‘Cats to just two runs over six innings of work.
The Owls finally broke through in the top of the seventh, tying the game at two. Colin Stock led off the inning with a double into left center. After a walk and a sacrifice fly advanced Stock to third base with one out, Wade Elliot drove home Stock with an RBI single.
Linfield answered back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. After Eric Evenson reached base to start the inning, Bixenman came to the plate with one out and Evenson on second base. Bixenman came through in the clutch, hitting a two-run homer over the left field fence.
Two OIT errors gave the ‘Cats another run in the seventh, building their lead to 5-2.
Linfield broke the game open with two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Evenson and Bixenman both tallied RBI doubles during the frame.
Right-handed transfer Chris Mueller closed out the game with four solid innings to pick up the win. Mueller improved to 2-1 for the season.
Bixenman finished the game 3-for-5 with four RBIs and one run scored. Kevin Coleman tallied three hits, while Evenson went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Owls starter Dylan Bedortha kept the Linfield bats quiet during the nightcap, throwing a complete game shutout. Bedortha scattered just five hits and walked one batter.
Linfield righty Robert Vaughn kept the ‘Cats in the game with five solid innings of work. Evan Hilberg was nearly as impressive, giving up one run in four innings. Vaughn and Hilberg combined for 16 strikeouts.
In a scoreless game going into the top of the eighth, the Owls needed just one swing of the bat to come away with the win.
With one out in the inning, Ryan Hayden homered to left field, giving Oregon Tech a 1-0 lead.
After retiring all three batters in the eighth, Bedortha escaped a two-out single in the ninth, getting Kyle Chamberlain to line-out to center field.
Kevin Allan had two hits for Linfield, as Evenson, Dustin Smith and Clayton Truex (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.) were the only other Wildcats with hits.
COMING UP: Linfield returns to action Saturday for an 11 a.m. doubleheader against Northwest Conference foe Pacific.