PORTLAND, Ore. – Three big innings and shutdown pitching by George Fox made for a sour note to the final NWC series of the 2012 season for the Linfield baseball team. The ‘Cats fell 9-1 to the Bruins Sunday afternoon at Joe Etzel field on the University of Portland campus.
The Bruins (19-18, 15-9 NWC) capitalized in the bottom of the first, plating two runs off three hits. Tim Wilson gunned down Danny Clifford at the plate, preventing George Fox from building a 3-0 lead.
Bruins starter Tom Zarosinski lasted only 1 1/3 innings, during which time he walked three batters but allowed no runs or hits. Taylor Hill pitched 5 2/3 innings of relief while Clay Gartner added two scoreless innings to help George Fox clinch the sweep.
David Greenstein went 3-for-4 with two runs, a double and two RBI, and was the key contributor in a medley of multi-hit players for the Bruins. Clifford, Taylor Hunter and John Mountz each had two hits for George Fox.
Linfield starter Chris Haddeland (Jr., McMinnville, Ore.) was touched up for six runs on seven hits in four innings. Zach Brandon (Sr., Cottage Grove, Ore.) threw 2 1/3 innings of relief, and Jacob Nolte added 1 2/3 scoreless innings to close out the game.
The Bruins’ pitching staff held the Wildcats scoreless until the eighth frame, when Wilson scored on a wild pitch after singling to lead off the inning.
George Fox scored in bunches, posting a four spot in the fourth and adding three insurance runs in the seventh to solidify the series victory over the ‘Cats. Timothy Williams’ seventh-inning triple brought home the final run for the Bruins.
Jordan Harlow and Jesse Boustead each had a pair of hits for the Wildcats, who left seven runners on base and recorded no extra-base hits.
With the loss, the Wildcats fell to 21-13, and 15-9 in NWC play, tied for fourth with George Fox in the team standings, as the odds that Linfield garners an at-large invitation to the regional tournament continue to dwindle.
'CAT SCRATCH: Prior to this weekend, Linfield had not been swept in a league series since the 2007 season, when they dropped three straight games to Puget Sound...the 'Cats have lost six of their last eight games...18 different Linfield players saw action in today's game as the visitors utilized pinch hitters on five separate occasions.
AHEAD: The Wildcats travel to Lewiston, Idaho for a three-game nonconference set against NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State. The series, stretching across three days, kicks off Friday with a single game at 6 p.m.
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