McMINNVILLE, Ore. – For the third consecutive day, Linfield rode a dominant pitching performance – this time from senior Robert Vaughn – to a win, beating George Fox by a score of 8-0 Sunday afternoon at Roy Helser Field.
The Wildcats (25-15) made an emphatic statement with the victory, winning their fourth straight game and displaying their potential for dominance with the ever-important regional selection process looming a week away.
George Fox (20-20) put runners on first and second with one out in their half of the second inning, but Vaughn got out of trouble with a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning and keep the score knotted at 0-0.
The ‘Cats struck in the third as Kenny Johnson (Sr., Federal Way, Wash.) beat out a bunt for a single and advanced to second on an errant throw from George Fox’s third baseman. The play also moved Ryan Larson to third, and Jordan Harlow’s ensuing groundout plated Larson to make the score 1-0.
Kyle Chamberlain delivered a double down the right-field line in the fourth and a follow-up base hit from Zach Boskovich put runners on the corners with two out for Jake Wylie (Sr., Eagle, Idaho). The sophomore right fielder hit a ground ball into the hole at short, but shortstop Taylor Hunter made a diving stop and threw to Zach Miller at second just in time to retire the side and prevent the run from scoring.
Linfield added to its lead in the fifth, as back-to-back doubles from Nate McClellan (Sr., Shoreline, Wash.) and Tim Wilson made the score 3-0. With two outs, Chamberlain laced a line drive into left-center field; only a diving catch from center fielder Jared Chase prevented another Wildcat run from scoring.
With runners on first and second and no outs in the sixth, Vaughn got Clifford to ground into a double play. The ground ball that followed ended the inning and preserved the shutout.
A team-leading seventh home run from Kramer Lindell (Sr., West Linn, Ore.) home run extended the Wildcats’ advantage to 4-0. Adding insult to injury, his round-tripper came on the first pitch thrown by Bruin reliever Alex Keenan.
After a sacrifice fly from Danny Urness and a wild pitch made the score 6-0, advantage Linfield, first team all-NWC selection Harlow sealed the victory with a two-run base hit up the middle.
Vaughn took the eight-run lead into the ninth, and recorded an out before handing the ball over to Jacob Nolte. On the day Vaughn threw 8 1/3 innings allowing two runs on six hits, with three walks and nine strikeouts.
David Greenstein led the Bruins offensively, going 3-for-3 on the day with a walk.
George Fox starter Taylor Hill lasted five innings, allowing three runs on nine hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Chamberlain showed off his defensive prowess behind the plate, gunning down both base runners that attempted to steal.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Over the three-game weekend tournament, Linfield starting pitchers allowed just two earned runs while recording 23 strikeouts in 24.2 innings pitched...the ‘Cats committed just two errors on the weekend...Boskovich left the game in the sixth inning after appearing to sustain an arm injury sliding into second base...in winning all three contests, Linfield kept its hopes alive for an at-large regional playoff bid…prior to the game, the Wildcats honored their seven departing seniors: Kevin Allan, Jesse Boustead, Casey Cameron, Spencer Crepeaux, Larson, Nolte and Vaughn.
AHEAD: The NCAA Division III Regional Playoffs return to Roy Helser Field for the 2012 season. Play is scheduled to begin Wednesday, May 16.
Sophomore shortstop hits 2-for-4
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128