Linfield Wildcats
March 23, 2013
'Cats take two, push winning streak to five
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

SPOKANE, Wash. – Tim Wilson went 7-for-10 and hit his first home run of the season to highlight sixth-ranked Linfield’s doubleheader sweep of host Whitworth in a pair of Northwest Conference games Saturday afternoon at Merkel Stadium.

The Wildcats’ All-America second baseman scored six runs and drove in four on the day, stole a base and had five hits in Game 2 of the doubleheader. Kramer Lindell (Sr., West Linn, Ore.) went 5-for-10 on the afternoon - including his second consecutive four-hit performance in Game 1 - and is now hitting .465 on the season. Jake Wylie (Sr., Eagle, Idaho) drove in five runs for the ‘Cats, and Nick Fisher (Sr., Lake Oswego, Ore.) went 4-for-8 with three runs batted in.

Linfield improved to 17-3 on the season and is now 10-1 in NWC play. Whitworth fell to 9-11-1 on the season with the loss, and an even 4-4 in the NWC.

Jeremy Druffel, Josh Davis and Blake Thoren each had three hits on the day for the Pirates, who had just three total extra base hits.

Game 1: Linfield 5, Whitworth 2
Chris Haddeland (Jr., McMinnville, Ore.) turned in a stellar complete-game performance in which he allowed two runs on seven hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts. The sophomore ace improved to 5-1 on the season, and his ERA is now 1.17.

Whitworth starter Dan Scheibe, a first team all-NWC pick as a freshman last year, threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Linfield benefitted from a Whitworth error in the second, as a bad throw by Druffel allowed the ‘Cats to put runners on the corners with two outs. Scheibe kept his composure and struck out Clayton Truex (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.) to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.

Both teams showed solid defense early on, as Corey VanDomelen (Jr., Tigard, Ore.) started a 6-4-3 double play that ended the bottom of the second for Whitworth. Duffel made up for his error in the first, completing a double play by throwing to Gerhard Muelheims that ended Linfield’s half of the third inning.

Whitworth struck first in the fourth inning, when Nick Motsinger was hit by Haddeland to put the leadoff runner on for the Pirates. Tyler Pfeffer came through with an RBI double to center that made the score 1-0.

Scheibe was impressive over the middle innings, retiring seven straight Wildcat hitters in the third, fourth and fifth.

Linfield made its mark in the sixth, as Wilson led off with a trademark base hit. After he stole second, a sacrifice bunt from VanDomelen moved the All-American to third. A bad throw from Davis on a dropped third strike allowed Wilson to come around to score, and Linfield manufactured a second run with a base hit from Lindell, a walk to Nate McClellan (Sr., Shoreline, Wash.) and an RBI single by Fisher.

Back-to-back doubles from Jordan Harlow and Wilson in the seventh added another run, and put the ‘Cats up 3-1.

Whitworth responded in the eighth, however, as Motsinger and Druffel each singled to put Pirates on with no outs. An RBI groundout from Davis brought Whitworth within a single run, but Haddeland got Muelheims to ground out to strand a pair of runners and end the threat.

Linfield responded loudly in the top of the ninth, as Harlow and Wilson again teamed up to put runners on base. VanDomelen moved them over with a sacrifice bunt, and Wylie did his part with a clutch two-run single to center that reestablished Linfield’s command of the game.

Haddeland persisted through a leadoff single in the ninth to get the next three batters and seal the win for Linfield.

Game 2: Linfield 14, Whitworth 2
Aaron Thomassen (Jr., Seattle, Wash.) lasted 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts. The righty preserved his perfect record on the season, moving to 5-0 with a 0.86 ERA.

Pirate starter Carson Blumenthal threw five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits with five walks and a pair of strikeouts. Whitworth played a fairly sloppy game defensively, as Linfield benefitted from three Pirate errors.

Over-aggression got the best of Wilson in the first, as the speedy second baseman was thrown out at home when trying to score from second on a ground ball.

The Pirates came alive in the second, as a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out. Thomassen did well to let his defense take over, however, as two ensuing ground balls got the sophomore right-hander out of the inning after allowing just one run.

Linfield responded in the top of the third, as Eric Lawson (So., Mill Creek, Wash.), making his first career start, drew a walk, Wilson singled and VanDomelen walked to load the bases. Wylie came through with an RBI groundout, and the reliable bat of Fisher once again delivered an RBI base hit.

The ‘Cats manufactured another rally in the fourth, as Chance Laboda (Jr., Seattle, Wash.) reached on a bad throw and Lawson singled to right field. VanDomelen produced an RBI single to center, and Lindell opened up a 5-1 Wildcat lead with a two-run double to right that scored Wilson and VanDomelen.

Thomassen worked around a base hit and a walk in the fourth and got out of the inning leaving two runners on to preserve Linfield’s advantage.

Linfield added to its lead in the sixth, as Wilson drew a leadoff walk and VanDomelen reached first on a bad throw by
new Pirate pitcher Michael Woodkey on a sacrifice bunt. Wylie followed with an RBI-double, and Fisher laid down a bunt that scored VanDomelen on a squeeze play.

Whitworth showed signs of life in the bottom of the sixth. Muelheims worked his way to first on a throwing error, and Thoren reached on an infield single. Danny Jordan picked up a clutch base hit to right field, but Thomassen worked out of the inning with a strikeout and a ground out and limited the damage to a single run.

The ‘Cats put the game out of reach in the seventh, as Harlow led off with a double and Laboda moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt. RBI base hits from Wilson and Wylie upped the spread to 9-2 and gave Thomassen more than enough support to set him up for the victory.

A walk and a base hit for the Pirates in the bottom of the seventh drove Thomassen from the game, as Garett Speyer (Sr., Vancouver, Wash.) took over and retired the next two hitters to get out of the jam.

Wilson’s first home run of the season kicked off the ninth and suggested another big inning for the Wildcats. When all was said and done, Linfield had scored five runs on five hits and turned a solid win into a blowout.

‘CAT SCRATCH: Lindell’s line in game one gave him two consecutive four-hit performances…Haddeland has thrown three complete games this season…over his last three starts, Thomassen has allowed two earned runs with 17 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings…the sophomore tandem is a combined 10-1 with a 1.04 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings pitched.

NEXT UP: The teams wrap up the series Sunday at noon a Merkel Stadium, with Linfield having its sights set on its third NWC sweep of 2013.

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Chris Haddeland
Third complete game of 2013

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