Linfield Wildcats

May 14, 2014
'Cats take sting out of YellowJackets
Box Score
McMinnville Regional Website
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Chris Haddeland tossed his seventh complete game of the season – this one a four-hitter – to carry top-seeded and second ranked Linfield to a 1-0 shutout victory against LeTourneau in a quick opening game of the NCAA Division III Baseball McMinnville Regional on a toasty afternoon at Roy Helser Field.
Haddeland lowered his season ERA to 0.99 with his fourth shutout of the season, ringing up three strikeouts to lead the Wildcat defense to its 12th blank slate of 2014.
Kramer Lindell singlehandedly supplied the lone run of the contest, which lasted just 1 hour, 29 minutes, with a solo shot over the left-center fence in the bottom of the fourth. Fellow outfielders Nick Fisher and Jo Carroll tallied two more hits for the defending national champions.
Linfield (34-7) put runners on in each of the first three innings on back-to-back singles from Fisher and Jake Wylie, a Carroll single and Fisher double, but failed to cash in on the early opportunities.
Haddeland carried a no-hitter into the fourth, when Sean Sellers singled through the left side. The Yellowjackets' left fielder stole second, and LeTourneau had its first runner in scoring position. Ryan Bertram sliced a line drive that looked bound for the left-field grass, but a leaping snag by shortstop Corey VanDomelen for the final out preserved the 0-0 stalemate.
The ‘Cats struck first blood in the fourth as Lindell sent a 1-2 pitch from LeTourneau starter Cody Whitley about 355 feet over the left-center wall for his second home run of the year and a 1-0 Linfield advantage. The YellowJackets, making their first ever NCAA playoff appearance, got eight solid innings from Whitley, who yielded just six hits while totaling a pair of strikeouts against zero walks.
LeTourneau (32-14) twice put a runner in scoring position, including in the sixth when Caleb Pritchett singled and advanced to third on consecutive groundouts from Ryan Garza and Bryce Griffin and again in the seventh. Garrett Methvin singled through the right side, but Haddeland coaxed Ryan Bertram into a pop out and Kenny Johnson sparked a 4-6-3 double play to back up Linfield's ace and erase the threat. 
A hit batter in the ninth put Methvin on with two outs, but a fielder's choice to short ended the game and sent Linfield on its way through the winner's side of the bracket.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield and LeTourneau met for the first time in baseball…the YellowJackets are the only team in the McMinnville Regional making their first ever playoff appearance…the Wildcats won their opening round game for the second consecutive season…beginning with the 2004 season, Linfield has posted a 4-3 record in first-round games…Lindell's home run was the 13th of his career…Haddeland threw his 15th career complete game and sixth career shutout.

OTHER TOURNAMENT ACTION: Cal Lutheran broked a 1-1 tie in the eighth en route to a 2-1 victory against Illinois Wesleyan...the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point got a game-winning RBI double in the eighth to defeat Trinity (Texas).
AHEAD: Linfield takes on Trinity (Texas) Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
Action Image
Kramer Lindell
Smacks second HR of 2014