Game 2 Box Score
FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Top-ranked Linfield began its Northwest Conference title defense by putting on an offensive showcase Saturday afternoon at Chuck Bafaro Stadium, totaling 30 hits to wallop host Pacific 18-3 and 11-0.
The Wildcats (9-2, 2-0 NWC) got out to a hot start and pounded out a season-high 16 hits in Game 1 for their biggest win of the year before blasting apart a pitcher's duel in Game 2 by posting nine runs over the final five frames against the Boxers (3-4, 0-2 NWC).
Eric Lawson (So., Mill Creek, Wash.), Clayton Truex (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.) and Nick Fisher (Sr., Lake Oswego, Ore.) totaled four or more hits to pace the potent Linfield offense, while Chris Haddeland (Jr., McMinnville, Ore.) and Zach Brandon (Sr., Cottage Grove, Ore.) combined for 10 strikeouts against three walks to earn the victories on the mound.
GAME 1: Linfield 18, Pacific 3
The Wildcats scored in each of the first four innings, including a monster eighth-run fourth frame that blew the game open.
Fisher hit 2-for-4 with a game-high five RBI, including a double that scored two runners in the fourth and a three-run homer in the sixth. Lawson drove in four more runs on three hits, and Truex hit 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI.
Haddeland, meanwhile, surrendered eight hits, but allowed only one earned run in six innings of work for his third victory of the season.
Linfield broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the second and never looked back. Nate McClellan (Sr., Shoreline, Wash.) doubled, and Jo Carroll (Jr., Bend, Ore.) drew a walk to put two runners aboard. Kenny Johnson (Sr., Federal Way, Wash.) singled to left field, advancing both runners, and Lawson brought both of his teammates home with a base hit down the left-field line. Truex drilled a single to right field to score Johnson before a flyout ended the inning with the Wildcats leading 4-1.
The Boxers tried, but failed, to respond in their half of the second. Dan Jaffe singled to left field, but was caught stealing to clear the bases, and Haddeland recorded three straight outs to preserve the three-run lead.
Aided by two Pacific errors, Linfield tacked on two more in the third. Carroll and Chance Laboda (Jr., Seattle, Wash.) both reached on throwing miscues and came around to score; Carroll on the second error and Laboda on Johnson's groundout to second.
Back-to-back doubles from Donnie Bradley and Kyle Treadway gave the Boxers another run in the bottom half of the third.
Linfield scored eight times more in the fourth on six hits, including McClellan's RBI double, Lawson's two-RBI single and Fisher's two-RBI double.
Pacific relief pitcher Levi Peterson momentarily kept the Wildcats in check, retiring the side in the fifth, before the Wildcats put runners on first and second for Fisher, who sent a ball over the center-field fence for a massive 17-2 advantage.
Three straight walks loaded the bases for the Boxers in the seventh, and the home team cashed in when Nick Garrett reached on a fielder's choice to score Nathan Suyematsu in the seventh.
A two-out single from Ryan Pladson (Fr., Sammamish, Wash.) in the ninth scored Kameron Bates (Jr., Springfield, Ore.) for the final run of the game.
GAME 2: Linfield 11, Pacific 0
Linfield's offense took a bit longer to get going in the second game, but the Wildcats scored five times in the fifth to pull away in what had to that point been a pitcher's dual between Brandon and Tyler Kotchik.
Fisher, however, picked up right where he left off in Game 1, smacking a triple to right center in his first at-bat and scoring on an infield single from fellow outfielder Kramer Lindell (Sr., West Linn, Ore.) to spot Linfield a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats pushed the lead to 2-0 in the third when Truex' sacrifice fly scored Corey VanDomelen (Jr., Tigard, Ore.), who drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on Lawson's single and third on Fisher's fly out.
Linfield put runners on second and third with one out in the top half of the fourth before Pacific escaped with a fielder's choice to tag Ben Andrews (Fr., Shoreline, Wash.) out at second followed by a fly out to center field.
Finally, the ‘Cats got to Kotchik in the fifth. A dropped fly allowed Lawson to reach and advance to second, and the starting third baseman moved into even better scoring position on a wild pitch. Back-to-back singles from Fisher and Truex, followed by a fielder's choice for Lindell, scored Lawson and put two more runners on for Carroll, who doubled to left center to score two more for a 5-0 Linfield lead.
Carroll and Andrews scored the final two runs of the inning on a wild pitch and passed ball, respectively.
Linfield tacked on four more runs for the decisive 11-run margin in the eighth. Facing new Boxers pitcher T.C. Fairfield, Lawson and Truex both doubled to score runners and the Wildcats scored twice once more on Carroll's sacrifice to center field.
Brandon threw eight scoreless innings, tallying four strikeouts against two walks, before Justin Davis (Jr., Sherwood, Ore.) and Garrett Miller (Jr., Corvallis, Ore.) came in as relief. The duo allowed just one hit over the final two frames.
Austin Gallagher registered a pair of hits for the Boxers, who left nine runners stranded in Game 2.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield won its Northwest Conference opener for the fifth straight season…the Wildcats smashed a season-high six doubles in Game 1…Linfield's 18 runs in the first game were a season high and the most since an 18-5 victory over Lewis & Clark in April of 2013…the ‘Cats have registered double-digit runs four times this season...Fisher became the team leader with two home runs on the year.
COMING UP: Linfield and Pacific square off in Game 3 of the series Sunday at noon.