McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Clayton Truex (Jr., Kirkland, Wash.) went 3-for-4 with two home runs and seven RBI, and 10th-ranked Linfield overcame an early four-run deficit on its way to a 18-8 Northwest Conference victory over Whitman Sunday afternoon at Roy Helser Field.
The Wildcats finished off the series sweep of the Missionaries with a 19-hit performance. With the win Linfield improves to 14-4 overall and 8-1 in the NWC. Whitman slides to 3-15 on the season and 2-5 in conference action.
A day after dropping two games to the ‘Cats, the upset-minded Missionaries put pressure on Linfield with a four-run first inning. After a single, a walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with one out, Aaron Cohen hammered a grand slam to left center.
As quickly as Whitman had staked claim to a 4-0 lead, Linfield answered back with four runs in the bottom half of the first inning. The ‘Cats quickly loaded the bases with one out before Truex delivered an RBI single. After a second run came in on a fielder’s choice, Kevin Coleman made it 4-0 on a two-RBI double into right center.
The Missionaries responded with one run in the top of the third before the Wildcats erupted for eight runs in the bottom of the second.
A single from Dustin Smith followed by a walk by Kevin Allan that got things going for Linfield in the second. Cole Bixenman reached on a walk before Truex came through with a grand slam.
Singles by Kyle Chamberlain (Sr., Portland, Ore.) and Coleman kept the offensive rolling. Following a Whitman error that could have ended the inning, Danny Urness hit the second grand slam of the inning.
The Wildcats buried the Missionaries with five more runs in the bottom of the third. After Bixenman led off the inning with a double to left field, Truex put Linfield up 14-4 with his second homer of the afternoon. Urness, Allan and Eric Evenson all tallied RBI hits before the inning was finished.
After Linfield’s pitching staff gave up seven earned runs over the first five innings, Spencer Crepeaux and Zach Brandon (Jr., Cottage Grove, Ore.) gave up just one earned run over the final two innings to seal the win.
Coleman finished the day 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI, while Urness chipped in with five RBI.
Cameron Young paced the Missionaries with a 2-for-4 output.
NEXT: Linfield visits Whitworth for a Saturday doubleheaders at noon.
Leads the way with two home runs
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McMinnville, OR 97128