Linfield Wildcats
April 16, 2011
Nationally-ranked clubs split a pair
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

McMINNVILLE, Ore. - In a matchup of two top-10 NCAA Division III clubs, No. 7 Chapman and No. 8 Linfield each came away with a victory in Saturday’s doubleheader at Roy Helser Field. A complete-game performance by Brian Rauh in the opener lifted Chapman to a 3-2 win before a stellar pitching performance from freshman Zach Brandon (Sr., Cottage Grove, Ore.) gave Linfield a 5-2 win in the nightcap.

With a split, Linfield runs its record to 22-7 while Chapman moves to 23-6.

The Panthers rode the right arm of All-American Rauh (8-0) to snatch the win in opening game of the series. Rauh gave up two earned runs over nine innings of work, striking out 11 Wildcats in the process.

Rauh’s Game 1 performance edged out Linfield ace Ryan Larson (6-2) who was equally impressive. In a complete-game effort, Larson gave up two earned runs while striking out five Panthers.

Locked in a battle of two of the nation’s best pitching arms, it was Linfield who struck first on an RBI single from Tim Wilson in the bottom of the first inning. Eric Evenson led off the frame with a single to left-center field. After advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dustin Smith, Evenson came in to score on a hit into right field from Wilson.

Unable to score over the first four innings, the Panthers tied the game at 1 in the top of the fifth. Singles from Troy Newman and Steve Greenberg put runners on first and second to open the inning. After a strikeout and a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with two outs, Tyler Hadzinsky singled through the right side with two outs to plate Newman.

Chapman wasted little time in taking the lead.

An inning later, Tyler Surnbrock gave the Panthers a 3-1 lead on a two-run homer.

Wilson continued his hot hitting with a leadoff home run in the bottom half of the sixth, trimming the Chapman lead to 3-2. After being held scoreless in the seventh and eighth, the Wildcats let a chance to tie the game in the ninth slip away.

Cole Bixenman started the rally with a leadoff hit. After stealing second base, Bixenman moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Jesse Boustead. With the infield playing tight, the Wildcats were unable to execute a squeeze play on a pitch that was out of the zone. Bixenman was caught dead on the failed attempt, leaving Linfield just short of sending the game to extra innings.

Mark Saatzer and Hadzinsky each had two hits for Chapman. Wilson went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

Brandon (2-0) gave up two runs over seven innings to pick up the win for the Wildcats. In just his second collegiate start, Brandon held the Panthers to just five hits.

With the use of timely two-out hits, Linfield took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Evenson and Smith delivered two-out RBI hits off Chapman pitcher Jordan Sigman (6-2).

The ‘Cats kept the pressure on, scoring three times over the next two innings. Kevin Allan laced an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth, scoring Clayton Truex (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.).

Kyle Chamberlain opened up the bottom of the fifth with a double to right field. A bunt single from Evenson put runners at second and third with nobody out. A sacrifice fly from Wilson and an RBI single from Truex gave Linfield a 5-0 advantage.

Sigman was roughed up for nine hits and five runs over six innings of work.

The Panthers scored two runs in the top of the eighth but Spencer Creapeaux was able to slam the door with a scoreless ninth.

Evenson went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Truex tallied a 2-for-4 game at the plate.

NEXT: The two clubs finish their four-game series Sunday with a doubleheader starting at noon.

Action Image

Eric Evenson
Three hits, three runs scored

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