WALNUT, Calif. – Cody Erautt (Soph., Yucaipa, Calif.) threw five innings of one-hit ball in his first varsity start and No. 2 Linfield avenged a season-opening loss with a convincing 13-1 victory over La Verne Sunday afternoon at Mt. San Antonio College.
Tim Wilson and Nick Fisher (Sr., Lake Oswego, Ore.) had four hits apiece, and Nate McClellan (Sr., Shoreline, Wash.) added three more and three RBI for the ‘Cats. Erautt allowed just one hit with three walks and a pair of strikeouts, and the Wildcats improved to 26-5 on the season with the victory.
La Verne used six different pitchers as the Leopards fell to 19-13 on the season with the loss.
Linfield got to work early as Corey VanDomelen (Jr., Tigard, Ore.) worked his way on base and stole second with one out in the first. Jake Wylie (Sr., Eagle, Idaho) drove a ball into right center for an RBI triple, and Kramer Lindell (Sr., West Linn, Ore.) followed with a base hit to center to make the score 2-0.
Erautt worked around a two-out walk in the bottom of the first and left the lone Leopard baserunner stranded.
Matt Ashby took over for Alec Garcia after La Verne’s starter hit Clayton Truex (Sr., Kirkland, Wash.) with a pitch to start the second. Wilson upped his hitting streak to 14 games with a two-out base hit into right field, but Ashby retired VanDomelen on a groundball to end the inning and keep the score at 2-0.
Pedro Espinoza drew a walk off Erautt to give La Verne a leadoff baserunner in the bottom of the second. Linfield’s freshman hurler coaxed a ground ball off the bat of the next hitter, and Jordan Harlow started a double play for the ‘Cats.
Fisher started a two-out rally in the third, following Wylie’s lead with a triple to right center. Harlow grounded a ball to short, and a bad throw allowed the Wildcats’ third run of the day to cross the plate. Truex reached on a dropped fly ball and came all the way around to score on the same play thanks to another throwing error. Harlow also scored on the play. McClellan followed with a single, Kyle Chamberlain walked and Wilson singled to load the bases for VanDomelen with two outs. Ashby got Linfield’s shortstop to ground out harmlessly, however, to prevent the game from moving completely out of reach.
Erautt walked the Leopards’ leadoff hitter for the second consecutive inning in the third, but a fly out sandwiched by a pair of groundouts retired the side and preserved the shutout.
Lindell picked up his second hit of the day in the fourth, and Harlow and Truex followed with back-to-back walks to load the bases for McClellan with two outs. Linfield’s designated hitter blew the game open with the third triple to right center of the day, a bases-clearing shot that pushed the score to 8-0. Wilson tacked on one more with an RBI single before VanDomelen grounded out to end Linfield’s biggest inning of the afternoon.
A two-out double in the fourth by Michael Stewart gave the Leopards two runners in scoring position and a golden opportunity to get on the scoreboard. Erautt kept his composure, however, and retired the side with a ground out for his third shutdown inning.
Linfield tacked on a run in the fifth on an RBI single from Harlow, and Erautt continued to cruise through the Leopards’ lineup as he retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning.
Pinch hitter Michael Hopp singled to left in the seventh to load the bases for Fisher. The Wildcats’ right fielder shot his fourth hit of the game into center field and two more runs for the ‘Cats made the score 12-0.
Each team scored in the eighth, as Kenny Johnson (Sr., Federal Way, Wash.) notched an RBI double and Tim Ralston was hit with the bases loaded to bring home La Verne’s first and only run.
Huckins closed the door in the ninth, retiring the side on a pair of strikeouts and a fly out.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Wilson has scored in 24 games this season…Wylie, Fisher and Lindell have driven in at least one run in 21, 17, and 16 games this season, respectively…Linfield benefitted from 21 total errors by opponents on the four-game road trip…Linfield scored 43 total runs and posted 54 total hits over the four-game stretch, an average of 10.8 runs and 13.5 hits per game…the ‘Cats recorded 12 multi-run innings on the weekend…this marks the first time the Wildcats swept their California trip since 2005 when the ‘Cats scored 51 runs to beat four different teams.
NEXT UP: Linfield returns to McMinnville for its final home NWC series of the season. The Wildcats take on rival George Fox in a doubleheader Saturday at noon, and a single game the following day at the same start time.
Hits 3-for-5 with 3 RBI
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128