CLAREMONT, Calif. – Chris Haddeland (Soph., McMinnville, Ore.) threw his fifth complete game of the season and Nick Fisher (Jr., Lake Oswego, Ore.) drove in three runs as No. 2 Linfield earned a solid 6-2 victory over No. 22 Pomona-Pitzer Friday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Haddeland allowed two runs on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts on the day, improving to 8-1 on the season with a 1.14 ERA. Fisher, Kramer Lindell (Jr., West Linn, Ore.), Tim Wilson (Jr., Redmond, Wash.) and Clayton Truex (Jr., Kirkland, Wash.) each had two hits for the Wildcats, who totaled 10 hits and five doubles on the day.
Jake Bruml threw eight solid innings for the Sagehens, allowing five earned runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Offensively, he added his second home run of the season. Nick Gentili and Erik Munzer each had two hits apiece for Pomona-Pitzer, which fell to 22-8 on the season with the loss.
The ‘Cats wasted no time getting on the board in the first, as Jake Wylie (Jr., Eagle, Idaho) and Lindell put together back-to-back two-out hits to bring the first run home. After Fisher drew a walk, Lindell scored from third on an error and Linfield took a 2-0 lead.
Haddeland took care of business in the first, retiring the side in order and recording his first strikeout of the day.
Bruml returned the favor to the ‘Cats in the second with a perfect inning of his own, and Haddeland recovered after a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning to retire the next three Sagehens and preserve the Wildcats’ lead.
Similar to the first inning, Linfield rallied with two outs in the third to double its advantage. Wylie walked and Lindell was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second for Fisher. The right fielder shot the gap in left center for a two-run double and the ‘Cats provided Haddeland with a healthy 4-0 cushion.
Pomona-Pitzer got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, as Gentili led off with a base hit to left field. After a pair of groundouts, the Sagehens’ first baseman stood on second with E. J. Lopez at the plate. The sophomore came up with a base hit up the middle that plated Lopez and brought Pomona within three runs, 4-1.
Lindell kicked off the sixth with a double down the left-field line, and Fisher followed suit with a hit to the same location to plate another run and open up a potentially big inning. Jordan Harlow (Sr., Baker City, Ore.) sacrificed Fisher to third, and Truex drove in another run with a base hit to center. Nate McClellan (Jr., Shoreline, Wash.) kept the rally going, but Bruml used a double play to get out of the inning without further damage.
In the bottom of the sixth, Bruml displayed why he not only pitches but also hits in the third spot in the Sagehens’ lineup. The sophomore righty launched a deep fly ball to center field that cleared the fence and made the score 6-2.
Bruml cruised through the seventh and eighth, retiring six straight Wildcats to give Pomona-Pitzer a chance to cut into the lead. Mike Moyer singled with one out in the bottom of the eighth, and Gentili shot a ball through the left side in the ensuing at bat to put two Sagehens on base. But Haddeland dug deep, and got his counterpart Bruml to ground into an inning-ending double play that kept the score at 6-2 in favor of the ‘Cats.
Haddeland took the mound to start the ninth inning, and Munzer singled to center to give the Sage Hens one last shot at a rally. Haddeland finished what he started, however, retiring the next three batters and sealing the victory for the Wildcats.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Lindell has now been hit by a pitch eight times this season, far more than any other Wildcat as the next highest total is two…Wilson extended his hitting streak to 11 games with two hits… Linfield beat Pomona-Pitzer 10-0 the last time the two teams met, during the regional tournament in McMinnville on May 21, 2010…Haddeland now leads the NWC with five complete games.
NEXT: The ‘Cats finish up the three game set against Pomona-Pitzer Saturday with a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 11 a.m., and Linfield’s final game of the 2013 California trip is Sunday at 1 p.m. against La Verne.
Goes 2-for-3 at the plate with two stolen bases
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