Linfield Wildcats

March 20, 2017
'Cats handle Pios, twice
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Scott Hilpert (Sr., Spokane Valley, Wash.) smacked three home runs as part of a five-RBI performance and Riley Newman (Sr., Salem, Ore.) tallied seven strikeouts in relief as Linfield completed a three-game Northwest Conference sweep. The ‘Cats then tacked on a nonleague victory against Lewis & Clark on a chilly, and at times wet, Monday evening at Roy Helser Field.
Linfield ran its record to 12-7, including a 9-5 mark against Northwest Conference opponents to maintain third place in the league standings. Lewis & Clark dropped to 4-16 overall and 3-7 in conference action.
GAME 1: Linfield 6, Lewis & Clark 3
Hilpert blasted home runs in back-to-back plate appearances, putting the game back in Linfield's control in the fifth before extending the Wildcats' lead to two runs in the sixth. Facing a 2-1 hole after four, the home team rallied with five runs over the final five frames to secure the Northwest Conference series sweep, their second of the year.
A first-inning bomb from Ben Andrews (Sr., Shoreline, Wash.) amounted to the first score of the game for either team, and the first of three Wildcat home runs. The next inning, Chandler Vieira followed up a Ben Beck single with another two-out hit, this one double to the fence, giving Beck time to sprint home from first to knot things up at 1-1. 
Starters Matt Strang (Jr., Tillamook, Ore.) and Andrew Yarak retired each side in the third, with Strang ringing up three consecutive strikeouts, before the Pios took the lead in the top half of the fourth. Abderrahman and Larson led off with a pair of singles, and Beck followed up a double play with an RBI single up the middle, giving Lewis & Clark its first lead of the series, 2-1.
Ryan Pladson (Sr., Sammamish, Wash.) and Kekoa Kaulukukui (Sr., Aiea, Hawaii) sandwiched singles around a fielder's choice to give the ‘Cats life in the fourth. But the Pios turned a double play to end the threat, and the inning.
Newman, who pitched 4.2 innings the previous afternoon, took the mound in the fourth and showed no signs of soreness, registering four strikeouts during a stretch of seven consecutive outs. That bought time for the Linfield offense to heat up.
Hilpert crushed a two-run homer over the left-center fence in the fifth, giving Linfield a 3-2 advantage. Andrews sent a base hit to left field and Rediger put one to the warning track in right, but it did not carry far enough for Linfield to extend its lead.
Running his season home run count to eight, Hilpert pushed the score to 4-2, Wildcats, with a solo shot in the seventh. Levi Horner-Villa (Fr., Hoolehua, Hawaii) supplied an RBI single as Linfield gained more distance on the scoreboard.
Newman earned the win on 5.1 innings of relief pitching. A day after racking up 11 strikeouts in 4.2 innings, he totaled seven more against just one hit and two walks.
GAME 2: Linfield 8, Lewis & Clark 4
Lewis & Clark jumped on Carter Buuck (Jr., Hillsboro, Ore.) early, but his defense backed him up and wiped out a dangerous bases-loaded situation with an impressive 5-3 double play that Pladson dug out to end the inning.
Linfield accomplished the same bases-loaded feat thanks to three consecutive walks, and Pladson cashed in with a two-RBI single to left. Alex Hendra-Brown (Jr., Victoria, B.C.) plated a third run on a fielder's choice before the Pioneers got out of the inning, facing a 3-0 deficit.
Another Hilpert home run, a Pladson double and a fielding error contributed to three more runs as the Wildcats doubled their lead to 6-0 in the second.
The Pios got on the board in the top of the third on Matt Donovan's two-run homer. Hilpert answered back for the ‘Cats with an RBI double in the third, and Horner-Villa made it an 8-2 game with a solo round-tripper in the bottom of the seventh.  
Lewis & Clark halved the deficit in the eighth, but Linfield's lead was never seriously threatened. Dylan Peters (Jr., Yakima, Wash.) earned the pitching victory on 3.0 innings of work, recording five strikeouts against one walk.
NEXT: Linfield hits the road for a four-game road swing against three Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference clubs. First up is Chapman, Saturday at 1 p.m. in Orange, Calif. 
Action Image
Brady Rediger
Has two hits in Game 1