Linfield Wildcats
March 12, 2011
Pitching carries Wildcats in Saturday sweep
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

SALEM, Ore. - Ryan Larson and Robert Vaughn continued their dominance of Northwest Conference hitters, as the two pitchers led ninth-ranked Linfield to victories over Willamette by the scores of 2-1 and 8-2 Saturday afternoon at John Lewis Field.

Larson picked up the win with a complete game performance in game one. The righthander gave up just one run over nine innings while striking out four. Vaughn gave the Wildcats another quality start in game two, giving up one run over seven innings of work.

Willamette (8-5, 3-2 NWC) welcomed Linfield (10-4, 4-1 NWC) to Salem with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Tyson Giza ignited the offense with a single to start the frame. After Giza advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, Doug Bloom put the Bearcats on top 1-0 with an RBI single.

After being held scoreless over the first three innings by Willamette starting pitcher Brandon Simon, Linfield took hold of the lead with solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

Dustin Smith reached second base on an error to start the fourth, before being advanced to third by Kyle Chamberlain. With one out and Smith on third base, Cole Bixenman tied the game at one with a sacrifice fly.

The Wildcats continued to take advantage of the Bearcats’ inconsistent defense in the fifth inning. With one out, Vaughn moved to third base on an error by Simon. Nate McClellan (Sr., Shoreline, Wash.) scored Vaughn on an RBI single into right field.

After giving up a run in the first inning, Larson settled into a grove, holding the Bearcats scoreless the rest of the game. Six Wildcats tallied hits in the win.

Tosh Semlacher paced the Bearcats at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance.

A five-run first inning proved to be too much for Willamette to overcome, as Linfield rolled to a comfortable 8-2 victory over the Bearcats in the nightcap.

Eric Evenson and Dustin Smith reached base to open the top of the first. After a sacrifice bunt moved the two runners to second and third, Bixenman delivered a single into left field to plate Evenson. Bixenman carried the Wildcats in the nightcap, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Smith scored on a Willamette error, putting Linfield up 2-0. McClellan plated one more run with an RBI single before Jesse Boustead delivered a sacrifice fly.

Linfield extended its lead to 6-0 in the top of the fourth on a Clayton Truex (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.) double that scored Evenson.

The Wildcats turned the game over to Vaughn, who tallied eight strikeouts over seven innings. Evan Hilberg pitched the final two innings to close out the game.

Kevin Coleman added two hits in the win.

NEXT: Linfield and Willamette complete their three-game series Sunday starting at 1 p.m.

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Ryan Larson
Shutout performance sparks Wildcats

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